Development of new and existing courses presents a key opportunity to think about the needs of your future students.

Starting points

Here are some areas for you to consider as part of your commitment to supporting the needs of all learners.

  • Engage with Phase 1 feedback, especially from Marketing, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach and PGT Admissions and Recruitment; seek specialist support to help you interpret the feedback and take action.
  • In undergraduate courses, look for opportunities to learn more about your future students from your schools/colleges activity and/or work with teachers. How can you get messages out through departmental or University widening participation work and/or marketing, that your course is a place where a diverse group of students will belong? What messages about your course/discipline would you like to be able to change to attract a broader group of students? This could be on Open day/applicant visit days.
  • Ensure your schools/college engagement is planned, targeted and recorded appropriately and is joined up to broader University work; seek advice from Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach to see where you can make the biggest impact, especially where you want to reach underrepresented students or make an impact on widening participation.
  • Design Year 1 undergraduate/Semester 1 of PGT to support effective transition for students with a range of prior knowledge and experiences; can you ensure the perspectives of your admissions tutor/s and/or outreach officer are taken into account as you plan your engagement with your department on your UG courses?
  • Engage in a broad range of student engagement strategies and learn from them; how you might be able to make effective use of your student ambassadors in your ongoing course student engagement, especially where they work with underrepresented students as part of widening participation programmes?
  • Identify opportunities to embed intercultural understanding and acts of decolonisation in your course.

Useful links to school-level qualification information

A range of helpful resources are available that can be used to avoid making assumptions about the knowledge and skills that students are developing in school and college:

Examples from Bath

  • Chemical Engineering vanguard are trialling ‘year coordinators’ for teaching to ensure a joined-up approach to transition, especially for incoming undergraduate students. They ran a new departmental staff workshop on effective transition in autumn 2019, led by the CLT. They are considering how to incorporate reflection on transition to their degree in work with undergraduate prospective students and offer holders.
  • Psychology’s outreach officer has worked with their course development team and supported Phase 1 through reviewing A-level curricula.
  • Chemistry’s course development team reviewed A-level curricula in Phase 1 to aid their approach to transition.
  • Psychology have units which explicitly address both wellbeing and the ‘Bystander’ phenomenon as expressed in the institutional #NeverOk campaign to combat harassment and discrimination.
  • Civil Engineering’s Phase 1 evidence shows their full lifecycle approach to supporting the needs of all learners: a commitment to cultural awareness development and global outlook, links between assessment/outcomes data and between academic progression/outcomes and entry qualifications, and their explicit commitment to reviewing entry requirements.
  • Economics have committed in Phase 1 to increasing a sense of belonging in their cohorts.
  • Maths incorporated discussions about attainment differentials into their Phase 2/3 curriculum design workshop. Their departmental chair of Equality and Diversity committee, their Outreach Officer and the CLT’s Curriculum Development Officer (Inclusion) proposed actions that link curriculum with attainment. They’re also looking at their Open day messaging.
  • With support from the Student Engagement Team in the CLT, Computer Science have reviewed their international student responses to NSS; they explore course-related issues in their dedicated departmental international student forum, the findings of which feed into Curriculum Transformation.
  • Biology used students as active participants in their Phase 2/3 course design workshop, including some students from non-traditional backgrounds.
  • Both Health and SPS have some courses which accept a high proportion of non-A level students; they have carefully reviewed the different skills and experiences these students come in with as part of their approach to transition and they have sought ways to celebrate this student diversity on their courses, as well as adopting flexible and inclusive approaches to assessment.

Updated on: 14 May 2021

Blue circle with white figures inside depicting many different learners
Contact us

Email the Curriculum Development Team to discuss this area of practice and for guidance on putting this into practice within your session, unit, year, and course.

 Further information

University of Bath Widening Participation

Useful prompts on designing for your future students from Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach and Immigration, including key specialists you can contact for support.

Good practice examples and suggestions for enhancing practice from the Disability Service, considerations on wellbeing and mental health and some quick wins to help all students.

There is a range of other professional services input that can help you in considering your future students on our support pages.