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Course Design Blueprint


Courses are designed to provide many opportunities for students to learn, including content delivery such as lectures, seminars, on-line content, and/or demonstrations or workshops; tutor-set activities such as set reading, problem sets, online work sets and lab or workshop tasks; peer and group interaction; independent reading and study; completion of formative and summative assessment; engagement with feedback received on work; experience related to their studies such as in placements and through visits and employer interaction.

By ‘Delivery’ we refer to the learning activity that is planned as part of all students’ course experience, as would be described in course and module documentation and included in students’ study hours.  The extent of delivery will vary vastly between different courses and between different levels of study (see the Progressive Learning Strategies section for further information).  


Features of Delivery

The expectation is that courses and modules are designed to provide a holistic learning experience for students that will usually:

  • include active learning approaches through which students are required to employ higher order thinking to explore and apply their learning, enabling them to reflect on their progress and identify further leaning that is required.
  • be tailored to the level of study being undertaken, as set out in the University's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy.
  • ensure student learning is linked to employer, practice or other relevant contexts though the use of authentic examples, case studies, and experiences.
  • provide students with a selection of means by which content can be explored and applied through its presentation in a variety of forms and from multiple perspectives.
  • encourage students to form positive and constructive learning partnerships with their peers and their tutors, and with other key University and external partners as appropriate.
  • employ assessment and feedback activities as an integral part of the students' planned learning.
  • support and encourage students' development of personal and independent learning skills.
  • enable students to mature as a subject specialist or practitioner, embodying the mindset and attitudes expected of the associated vocation or identity.

Nature of Delivery

Students’ learning and teaching experiences will incorporate a combination of:

  • Synchronous learning: time (usually scheduled in the timetable) to be spent in the company of members of the course team either on-campus or on-line – examples include lectures, seminars, and supervised workshops.
  • Asynchronous learning: activity that students are expected to engage with that the course team specify – examples include work set out on the OLE, group activities, practice of course specific skills, and specified reading.
  • Tutorial Support: tutorial time each student is provided with in support of their learning and assessment on the module.   This will include individual tutorial support, and may also include group tutorials.
  • Work-based or placement learning: time spent within a (possibly simulated) working environment.
  • Independent learning time: study activities that the student is responsible for selecting and managing in order to support their learning.  This might include further reading, review of course materials, and practice or rehearsal of skills and tasks.
  • Assessment preparation time: activities associated with course assessments, including time to prepare for and complete the module’s assessment components, revision time, mock and actual examinations.

Each 20 credit module involves 200 hours of student learning, and as set out in the template, each module specification will indicate the proportions of this learning time that students will spend in each of the six types of learning activity (a. to f. above).  Course teams are expected to explore these types of learning activities further in the course handbook and through induction and ongoing support to ensure students understand the purpose of learning activities, how to prepare for their engagement with them, and how to review and expand their learning following the activities.