Get an honours degree and work

New Dean of The Businesss School, Gail Boag
New Dean of The Businesss School, Gail Boag

A new initiative which allows employees to study for an honours degree without leaving full-time employment is being launched in Northern Ireland.

Edinburgh Napier University will deliver the BA (Hons) Applied Management degree from January 2020 in collaboration with Coleraine-based Gradworks.

The course will boost employees’ skills and improve their career prospects, and Gradworks will work with businesses from a variety of sectors to identify staff to recruit as students to the programme, which is being launched on Friday (September 6).

Employers will benefit from the work-based learning assessments students undertake from the outset, which will balance theory with day-to-day work experience to give them fresh insights. Significant business benefit will also come from the assessed work-based projects students will undertake.

Gradworks director Catherine McBride added: “If you are not currently in employment within the Province then Gradworks can assist you in identifying a suitable host employer company that will be supportive to your study needs and provide a workplace mentor.”

Employers can find out more by contacting Gradworks’ on 02870 511377.

Gail Boag, Dean of The Business School at Edinburgh Napier, who will attend Friday’s launch event, said: “Students will attend classes in Antrim on a day-release basis – weekly in year one, on Fridays, and monthly in years two and three.

“They will also undertake work-based learning projects throughout their studies. In this way, the degree will help students solve problems on real workplace projects from the outset.

“Creating work-ready graduates is our focus at The Business School and the launch of this new course is a significant step towards helping businesses to engage their key employees and thrive in a rapidly-evolving commercial environment.

“The course allows students to achieve a BA (Hons) degree from one of the UK’s leading universities in three years, and to learn in an environment that is directly linked to their degree.”

In the QS World University Rankings 2017, Edinburgh Napier was awarded a maximum 5 stars for teaching and employability and it is ranked highly in the UK for nurturing student talent. The University will provide ongoing academic and pastoral support to students throughout the duration of their studies.