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Course Design Blueprint


Course content will include subject knowledge, theory and skills alongside contextualised generic elements such as academic skills and research methods.  Within the themes under this heading we look at the expectations for how course content is identified, structured into modules at different levels, and presented in student facing documentation.  

As explored within the eight themes under this section, the development or review of course content should be completed with systematic reference to relevant standards and benchmarks, reflect local, national and international subject and professional practice and trends, and ensure that there is a planned student experience that provides a progressive coverage of key subject specific content along with opportunities for students to pursue their own passions and interests as pertinent to the course. Through consultation with stakeholders including employers, students, graduates (for re-approvals), service users (for health and social care provision), and local and national representative bodies, courses are designed to meet the needs and aspirations of applicants, students and their potential employers. 

In designing course content, the intended approaches to delivery will need to be considered, ensuring that students are prepared for the learning processes involved in exploring course and module content, and reference should be made to the Skills element of the Blueprint.

In the course design, course content will be captured through:

  • Summaries presented in validation documents, course handbooks, and promotional materials.
  • The course's module structure
  • Course and module learning outcomes
  • Module indicative content

Standards, benchmarks and frameworks

All University of Suffolk courses provide a coherent and effective programme of study that enables students to achieve defined learning outcomes aligned with the relevant level of achievement as set out within the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.  Foundation Degrees and Master’s Degrees will also exhibit the characteristics as set out in the relevant QAA Characteristics statements.  Curriculum content conforms to pertinent QAA Subject Benchmark statement(s) and, where relevant, Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) standards and benchmarking statements and/or Apprenticeship Standards.

Common content expectations

In addition to course specific content, all University of Suffolk course curricula are expected to explicitly include opportunities for students to:

  • Learn and practice academic skills appropriate to the subject area and level of study (such as the University's level four outcomes). 
  • Reflect upon and develop their abilities to take responsibility for their own learning (see Learning for Learning).
  • Develop an understanding of, and the ability to plan, complete and interpret as appropriate to the level of study, research methodologies associated with the subject area.
  • Achieve personal and professional development learning outcomes as appropriate to the level of study.  For example, all Honours graduates should achieve the University's level six Personal and professional development learning outcomes.