Design and approval resources

The following resources are provided to support the development and approval of courses still engaged in Phases 1-3 of CT (mainly taught postgraduate courses).

Please note that these resources were created during earlier cycles of the CT process and staff are asked to consult the University’s QA pages below for up to date details of the process for 2023/24:

– For the development and approval of courses through CT, please refer to the University’s QA Code of Practice statement Approval of Courses under Curriculum Transformation (CT) during 2023/24 for formal guidance and comprehensive details of the process and required information.

– For the development and approval of brand new courses, or those being developed outside of CT, please refer to QA3 Approval of New Programmes of Study.

Phase 1: information gathering

There are numerous ways in which consultation and engagement with stakeholders can take place. As part of the approval process for Phase 1, Departments will be expected to demonstrate how they have used information gathered through these activities to inform the review of their current provision and the development of a refreshed Course Vision.

Engaging with key stakeholders

You can use the stakeholder mapping exercise to identify your key stakeholders, your relationships with them, and to help prioritise your engagement activity (approx. 20-30 mins). 

Focus groups are an effective means by which to begin student engagement activity. The Department of Health used this approach in the first phase of their course transformation and gained valuable insights into the student experience that shaped later thinking around course structures and teaching and learning methods. 

It is important to ensure that a range of student voices are heard – including those that might not normally put themselves forward. Contact your CLT liaison to discuss ways in which students from different backgrounds and experiences might be identified and engaged. 

Download a suggested focus group plan which includes key questions designed to support the course-wide approach to learning that underpins Curriculum Transformation. The focus group is estimated to take 45mins-1hr. 

Involving staff in the process is vital. The Vanguard programmes used surveys, focus groups, workshops, and consultation events to gather staff input and provide updates on the process. 

Alumni can provide a valuable perspective through their course experience. Existing departmental networks might be utilised to consult with previous students. An exemplar alumni survey template is provided for reference. 

Relevant accrediting bodies and PSRBs should be contacted by the Department at the start of Phase 1 to inform them of the process and its broad purposes. Vanguard programmes have found accrediting bodies to be supportive of Curriculum Transformation and willing to offer appropriate guidance.

An exemplar external stakeholder survey template is provided for reference.

Comparator courses

Gathering information about the courses offered by comparator institutions and departments can usefully highlight key similarities and differences in offerings to students. This can help to inform your reflection and Course Vision through assessment of your distinctiveness within the market. 

The course pages of other University websites will provide headline information about courses, and will usually provide links to more detail about the structure of modules, teaching methods, and assessment. 

A template for gathering comparator information is provided. The tables provide a guide to the areas of key information to look out for as the basis for comparison.

Phases 2-3: course and unit development

Please refer to the University QA Code of Practice statement on Curriculum Transformation approvals during 2023-24 for full details of the documentation required at each stage. The statement also provides the key reference points for design, which must be aligned to unless exemptions are sought and approved:

  • The Academic Framework for Taught Courses (10 credits), QA3 Annex A
  • The Curriculum Design Principles, QA3 Annex C
  • The Assessment for Learning Design Principles, QA3 Annex D
  • The Assessment Taxonomy, QA3 Annex E
  • The CT Phase 2-3 Success Criteria approved by Senate on 10 April 2019
  • Postgraduate Taught Assessment Regulations (PGTAR).

Templates for mapping Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) as well as for a course Assessment Strategy are available from the QA3 Approval of New Programmes of Study webpage. CLT guidance on writing CILOs and assessment and feedback design is available on the Hub via the links below:

Support for development and approval

For support with the development and approval of CT courses please contact the relevant CLT liaison:

Faculty of Engineering and Design: Rob Eaton (Curriculum and Academic Development Manager)
Faculty of Humanities and Social Science: Jo Charles (Curriculum and Academic Developer)
Faculty of Science: Liz Beaven (Curriculum and Academic Developer)
School of Management: Liz Beaven (Curriculum and Academic Developer)

Latest news and updates

The CT Digest site provides consolidated update on important changes, activity and resources connected with Curriculum Transformation.