Customised Awards Scheme

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Customise your degree to fit your personal career aims. Explore a unique selection of subjects to enhance your academic knowledge. Gain a qualification that closely matches your particular needs.

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The Customised Awards Scheme (CAS) is an innovative scheme which allows you to design your own degree to suit your career aspirations or personal interests. It is available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and allows you to specialise in a subject or a combination of subjects where a named Single Honours does not exist.

Each course of study is individually constructed to ensure that it has academic integrity and coherence. The title of the award can be individually negotiated or you can be awarded a general degree in Customised Studies.

Why us?

  • Customised Awards Scheme is a unique scheme which puts you at the heart of subject choices
  • You can construct innovative courses which provide opportunities for specific career pathways

Course structure

Teaching and assessment will be defined by the range of subjects undertaken and presented in your subject specifications. Depending upon the range of modules taken, you will be exposed to a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods as determined by the individual module descriptors.

Core and optional modules are negotiated for each individual subject. Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

For undergraduate students taking a degree course at Stage 1, there is a CAS core module – CSP121 Skills for Success in CSP/CAS.
Where students are required to take CSP121, this module is delivered by a combination of class taught sessions, use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), email correspondence and face-to-face sessions to allow students to assess their personal, academic and career goals and to facilitate the achievement of those goals. This is a pass/fail module and the assessment consists of a portfolio of formative and summative work produced during the module.

The Scheme will include the following in full-time and part-time modes:

  • University of Sunderland Foundation Certificate via Customised Study for those wishing to study up to and including 120 credits at level 3 or equivalent
  • Certificate in Higher Education for those wishing to study 120 credits at level 4 or equivalent
  • Diploma in Higher Education for those wishing to study 120 level 4 credits and 120 level 5 credits or equivalent
  • A degree without honours for those wishing to study 120 level 4 credits and 120 level 5 credits and 60 level 6 credits or equivalent
  • A degree with honours for those wishing to study 120 level 4 credits and 120 level 5 credits or equivalent, and 120 level 6 credits
  • Postgraduate credits for those wishing to study between 10 and 55 credits at level 7
  • A Post Graduate Certificate for those wishing to study 60 credits at level 7
  • A Post Graduate Diploma for those wishing to study 120 credits at level 7
  • A Masters (MA/MSc) degree for those wishing to study 180 credits at level 7
  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to- date academic and industry articles. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format.

    Library Services - general


The location of your course and the facilities available to you will depend on the subjects and modules you choose. For more information, see the course pages of the subjects/modules you are interested in.

Entry requirements

Due to the nature of the Scheme, the admissions requirements are flexible and negotiable. However, degree routes will normally request the minimum qualifications for entry which are at least a grade C at GCSE in English and Mathematics or L3 Key skills qualifications, with 102 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

Subject specific admission requirements will be defined by the Director of Study. Students with non-traditional qualifications and work experience are welcome to discuss entry with the Scheme leader.

For other routes within the Scheme, students will be admitted at the discretion of the Scheme leader.

Fees and finance

The tuition fees for this course will vary depending on whether you wish to take an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate degree or individual modules.

Contact the Scheme leader Freda Cook to discuss your personal circumstances:

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

A student with graduation scroll


CAS graduates are well placed to enter a wide range of careers, having had the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills and qualities that employers value.

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