The University of Derby has launched a new work-based MSc Professional Engineering degree course.
Developed in association with the Engineering Council as part of the Engineering Gateway Programme, the online distance learning course is billed as being suitable for employers looking to improve the development of current staff, Process and Control reports.
Given the e-learning structure of the course, people can study and attain the MSc without having to take time out of work, making it an appealing choice for both employers and employees keen to invest in skills development.
The course is part of a wider initiative by the institution, the highlight of which is a new Masters degree.
John Brash, a manufacturer of timber products for the construction industry, is one of a number of organisations that will offer work placements for students taking the new Masters degree.
The company will take on one student from the course who will be charged with reducing the firm's heating bills with the aim of making the organisation greener.
Angela Dean, head of the School of Engineering and Technology, said the deal is mutually beneficial and reflects a wider trend of shaping courses to meet the needs of industry.
"Employers are influencing the development of an innovative programme of study and developing a training programme that suits the needs of their organisation, focusing on specific projects and commissioning bespoke research. They are reaping the benefits of being involved in the recruitment and selection of a potential new staff member," she added.
The programme was born from the Higher Education Funding Council for England's £25 million Postgraduate Support Scheme.
According to the university, both the e-learning MSc and the Masters will lead to improved employee attraction and retention by providing credible and respected development opportunities.
Elsewhere, hotels, visitor attractions and pubs in Scotland are to benefit from a new £45,000 online training programme designed to help them better accommodate those with access needs, Travel Daily News reports.