Glasgow Caledonian University's workplace degrees have won praise from secretary of state for education David Blunkett as a model for the future.
The university's department of engineering has developed a workplace MSc course for the Post Office, aimed at Royal Mail automation centre managers who run high-tech processing centres. One week of intensive lectures is followed by assessment, and all but one of the eight modules include examinations.
The engineering department also offers BEng courses to Motorola and Jetstream. Academics travel to Motorola's Bathgate plant to give lectures and tutorials. Jetstream staff can study for both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at its Prestwick factory, using company information as the basis for case studies.
A university spokeswoman said: "Business needs higher- level skills and lifelong learning to compete. By delivering at the workplace, higher education institutions are able to fit in rates of study equivalent to full-time university attendance with almost full-time availability for work."