The Professional Studies Framework (PSF) is a means of creating named awards from different combinations of modules to enable employer needs to be met. Credit to form an award may be combined from a range of sources:
- credit awarded by different institutions
- modules drawn from different programmes (internal)
- free standing modules
- credit achieved as a result of the recognition of an employer's work based in-house training
- credit achieved through newly created, bespoke modules
- credit achieved through the PSF's own module suite
The PSF offers a suite of highly flexible modules to enable the recognition and extension of learning from existing provision e.g. employer CPD, existing industry courses. These modules are for use by all Harper Adams and partner college staff developing work based accredited provision.
The PSF has been designed to support course developers who are designing provision for cohorts of learners who either already have credit from different sources and who wish to bring that credit together, along with some new Harper Adams credit, to form a named Harper Adams award; or seek an award through unique combinations of modules; or have existing training already occurring in-house which may be recognised through flexible modules from the PSF's own suite of modules.
The PSF offers awards in the range of a Foundation Certificate through to an MSc in Professional Studies:
- University College Foundation Certificate
- Certificate of Higher Education
- University College Diploma
- Foundation Degree
- Diploma of Higher Education
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
- Ordinary Degree
- Honours Degree
- Postgraduate Certificate
- Postgraduate Diploma
- Master's Degree
Please note named awards can be gained for credit volumes of 40 and above (at level six) and 60 and above at levels four, five and seven). It is also significant that awards can draw upon credit from a range of levels (2-7 inclusive). For the credit requirements of each award see Annex 4.4.5 of the Harper Adams Academic Quality Assurance Manual.
The document called Framework Specification acts essentially as a generic programme specification for all of the awards within the PSF. The specification contains fairly broad award outcomes that focus upon learning behaviours and levels rather than specific content or context. The outcomes are set out for each level of the framework such that if an award is formed at level four, the award outcomes would be taken directly from the framework's level four outcomes (see below for level four award outcomes).
Upon completion of level 4, learners will be able to Identify and communicate concepts and principles associated with their area of study or practice; evaluate and interpret concepts associated with their area of study or practice; present, evaluate and interpret data; formulate argument and make sound judgements in accordance with relevant basic theories and concepts; evaluate the appropriateness of approaches to solving problems related to their area of practice; communicate accurately and reliably, and with coherent arguments; develop new skills relevant to practice; display qualities and transferable skills necessary for practice; demonstrate a culture of personal responsibility for learning.
Modules that are proposed to form a route to an award within the framework must be mapped out to ensure that they meet the award outcomes at the correct level; modules are work relevant for the intended student group; proposed modules do not duplicate content; the student can experience a cohesive learning experience.