Phase 1 - Strategic Positioning

Phase 1 is centred upon the review and evaluation of your current provision of undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses to inform the production of a refreshed Course Vision. This will be based on consultation with key internal and external stakeholders, and reflection against the underpinning principles of Curriculum Transformation. Phase 1 activity will make a vital contribution to revised course aims and outcomes, and will act as an invaluable precursor to the next phase, in which more detailed consideration of factors such as course structure and methods of learning and assessment will take place.

Why is Phase 1 important?

Guidance from the QAA Quality Code, Chapter B3 Learning and Teaching:

In order that teaching and support for learning remains effective, staff reflect on their practice and consider how it might be changed and improved. They draw on a variety of sources to inform this, including feedback from: students gathered at different organisational levels from the individual teaching session and module upwards; examination boards and external examiners; and recent alumni and employers

Effective reflective practice retains a practical focus. It may involve different organisational levels, from the individual teacher or programme teaching team, to a whole department, faculty or higher education provider.

Successful reflective practice depends on self-awareness, critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation leading to new perspectives.

Phase 1 Key Documents

A full guide to the Phase 1 process is provided alongside the documentation that each course will be expected to produce for approval. Completed Phase 1 documentation will be submitted by each course to the Curriculum Transformation Committee for approval.

A range of supporting resources are provided to assist in this activity.

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Phase 1 Guidance Document

Updated February 2019

Full Phase 1 Course Documentation Template

Updated March 2019

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Phase 1 Course Documentation Addendum

Additional guidance on completion of Phase 1 documentation, provided following successful Phase 1 approval of Early-Adopter PGT courses by the Curriculum Transformation Committee in February 2019.

Updated March 2019

Phase 1 'Light-Touch' Documentation

To be completed by new courses alongside their QA documents for APC.

Updated March 2019

By the end of Phase 1 you should have:

An agreed course level vision informed by key internal and external stakeholders.

Confirmed course offerings and titles in line with sector-wide rules.

Agreed course descriptions (for use in marketing materials including the prospectus) between course team, Admissions & Outreach, and Marketing & Communications.

Phase 1 Resource Toolkit

Resources have been designed to support you through the Phase 1 process. Use the links to the right to find information and guidance relevant to each part of the documentation.

Managing Documents

A bespoke SharePoint site has been created to provide an easily accessible means for staff to collate, share, and edit documents and resources relating to Curriculum Transformation. Faculty Assistant Registrars will be able to advise staff on obtaining access to their relevant departmental pages.

Links to relevant SharePoint documents can be included within the Phase 1 documentation to reduce the need to duplicate content.

Key Contacts and Sources of Support

The Centre for Learning and Teaching will support the Curriculum Transformation and can be contacted for guidance and advice. A Curriculum Development Officer has been assigned to provide specific support to each Faculty and Student Engagement theme.

Many other sources of support and expertise are available from across the University.

Follow the links for contact details.

Learning from the Vanguards' Phase 1 Experience

The Vanguard courses made use of a variety of methods of consultation and engagement activity. Importantly, they showed that different departments can take different approaches to best suit their needs.


Full reports on Vanguard Phase 1 activity are available to view. These include details of the different consultation methods used and how the process was managed. A number of key lessons identified by the Vanguards are also listed.

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Chemical Engineering Phase 1 Report

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Health Phase 1 Report

Key lessons learned by the Vanguards:
  • A core departmental Course Development Team who meet regularly is essential for both the coordination of stakeholder engagement activities and the evaluation and application of the information generated. Where there are multiple courses it may be necessary to have Sub-Course Development Teams for each of these.
  • Ensure that Phase 1 activity remains focused on the wider course-level vision in order that stakeholder consultation and innovative thinking can genuinely inform the direction of transformation.
  • Accredited courses should talk to their accrediting bodies early on in the process. The Department of Chemical Engineering have found their accrediting body to be supportive so far.
  • Develop a student engagement plan and get students involved early on in the process. In addition to student focus groups, this may include inviting student representatives to participate in Course Development Team meetings, ‘town hall’ meetings, SSLC meetings, time during lectures, or questionnaires/surveys. Activities should be timetabled as early as possible so that they are in students’ diaries. Refreshments can provide incentive.
  • Engagement with identified employers and/or placement providers can be undertaken through a Department or Faculty event rather than individual course events.
  • Administration and facilitation support is required in order to deliver activities such as focus groups and questionnaires, and to gather and interpret findings.
  • Conversations with contacts at other universities who have carried out a similar exercise in curriculum change can provide support and reassurance, and provide a community to share ideas.