Work-based Learning symposium


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This half day online symposium organised by the UHI Work-based Learning Hub and Learning and Teaching Academy will provide an opportunity to explore how Work-based Learning (WBL) can be incorporated into the curriculum.

The symposium will be of particular interest to curriculum staff who are providing Work-based Learning (WBL) programmes or considering new programmes, or adapting existing programmes so that they can embed work-based learning into the delivery and content.

There is currently an appetite for the university to consider WBL delivery models as part of the future curriculum strategy, taking account of the current climate of declining full-time student numbers and how WBL can be part of the solution for increasing student diversity and sustainable cohorts.

The Work-based Learning Hub was set up to manage apprentice programmes across Further and Higher Education, along with facilitating and supporting the development of all work-based learning programmes. UHI currently offers two Scottish Graduate Apprenticeships (Civil Engineering and Early Learning and Childcare) out of a total of twelve frameworks plus more than 50 Modern Apprenticeship frameworks at varying levels and 13 Foundation Apprenticeship frameworks at SCQF Level 4, 5 or 6.

Symposium objectives

Explore how Work-based Learning (WBL) can support and be incorporated into the curriculum planning to support the needs of students given the changing employment and regional context and ensure the learning is fit for purpose.

You should attend if you:

  • Already teach or assess any of the current Scottish Apprenticeship programmes
  • Are considering one of the Graduate Apprenticeship frameworks
  • Are considering adapting existing programmes to embed work-based learning
  • Have reducing cohorts or students leaving part-way through the course for a job in the industry

Topics will include:

  • The rationale and reasons to embed WBL into the curriculum
  • Considering the pros and cons of WBL with examples from existing programmes
  • How WBL aligns with wider UHI strategy and policy, including the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy.
  • The role of the employer and employee mentor
  • The pedagogical approach to WBL and how it differs to other undergraduate qualifications
  • The assessment methods for WBL qualifications



09:15 – 09:25

Welcome and introducing the programme

Su Bryan - Dean of the Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering

Recording - part 1

09:25 – 09:45

An overview of WBL and its place within the changing tertiary environment

Matt Tyrer – Head of Further Education, UHI


09:45 – 10:30

Lessons learnt from existing apprenticeship programmes

Julie Jones – Programme Lead for BA Early Learning and Childcare (Graduate Apprenticeship)

Liam MacKay and Matthew Millward – lecturers for BEng Civil Engineering (Graduate Apprenticeship)

Jacqui Allison – Lecturer, UHI Perth








10:30 – 12:40

Breakout Sessions (Break at 11:10 – 11:25)


Break out session 1

The pedagogical approach to WBL and how is it different to other undergraduate qualifications

Dr Heather Fotheringham – Head of Academic Standards and Enhancement, UHI Slides 

Break out session 2

WBL intrinsically involves 3 different parties - the training provider, the student and the employer. This breakout session will explore the employer involvement and the support mentors provide the apprentice.

Clara Hickey – Work-based Learning Manager, UHI

Recording part 2


Break out session 3

Considerations for embedding and adapting assessment methods into WBL qualifications

Angela Cameron – Lecturer, UHI Inverness  Slides

12:40 – 12:55

Summary of key themes and next steps


12:55 – 13:00

Close of programme