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Professional development units allows individuals to choose the units that suit their specific education needs and the needs of their employer.

Professional learning and development begins with standalone units (Professional Development Units, or PDUs) which can be taken individually as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), possibly to meet professional body requirements.

They can also be complemented by other units, combining to form a unique package of learning tailored to individual needs. These units may form the basis of discrete professional development awards as well as being used towards more generic qualifications validated by the University such as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Many units allow you to draw on experience and expertise from your workplace and elsewhere, and can be delivered at your place of work, at the University, or via distance learning.

How do PDUs work?

Each professional development unit represents a certain amount of learning (credit) at a particular level. The levels 4, 5 and 6 are undergraduate level learning, while level 7 is equivalent to postgraduate level. Once you have accumulated the required minimum credit, you can apply for a Professional Development Award.

This credit accumulation model differs from more traditional awards such as degrees or master's qualifications by allowing more flexibility with the units you take and the volume of credit required to create an award that suits your professional development needs.

 AwardLevel of AwardVolume of Credit
University Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Development Level 7 70-120
University Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development Level 7 30-60
University Graduate Diploma of Professional Development Level 6 250-360
University Diploma of Professional Development Level 5 130-240
University Certificate of Professional Development Level 4 30-120

Available units

Southampton Solent University runs over 90 PDUs grouped into subject specific areas. Follow the link below to see the full list of available units.

Find out more

What next?

Solent provides impartial advice and guidance to help support you with your choice of PDUs and awards. For one-to-one general employability advice, contact For discipline or sector specific progression advice, please contact the individuals listed next to the PDUs you are interested in.

University service units

Develop your leadership potential, and improve your skills, your confidence, and your CV

At Southampton Solent University we pride ourselves on putting our students at the heart of everything we do, providing a real-world, applied-learning environment and making learning enjoyable as well as relevant to the future. 

University service units provide excellent opportunities to develop friends, improve your skills, develop confidence and leadership skills, and strengthen your CV.

  • Challenge yourself
  • Advance your CV
  • Develop teamwork
  • Earn money
  • Travel across the world

From regular drill nights, sports such as hockey, rugby and netball, and adventure training including climbing, mountaineering, skiing, sailing and sky diving, to expert instruction and expeditions around the UK and across the world, the service units offer a unique student experience. 

Read our university service units brochure to find out more

There is no obligation to join your chosen service at the end of your studies and students cannot be deployed on operational duties.

University service units are open to first and second-year students who are a British, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizen and aged 18 or over. 

If you fancy a taste of military life while you're at Solent, more information is also available each service unit’s website, including details on the application and selection process: 

Southampton Solent University is currently not eligible for Thunderer Squadron, a defence technical undergraduate scheme run by the Defence Academy.

If you have any queries about the University service units at Solent, contact our military education committee representative

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