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Course Design Blueprint

Course Design Blueprint

Welcome to the University of Suffolk Course Design Blueprint.  The Blueprint is a toolkit which will provide you with all the guidance and support materials you need when designing and developing new courses, or preparing an existing course for reapproval. 


We have designed the course design blueprint around eight themes, as depicted to the left, which are all components to be considered as part of the course design process.  Each of these themes is explored in a section of this guide, and presents some of the questions to be asked and considerations to be made through the design process. These components interconnect and should be interwoven through your course.  Where possible, we have sought to provide the following wherever relevant:

  • principles and expectations which characterise courses learning strategies;
  • self-evaluation materials, and rubrics to support you as you review and align your provision to the LTAS;
  • case studies and exemplars from across the University to generate ideas and share good practice; 
  • exploration of how students’ learning activity should develop through the levels of study.

Course design for apprenticeships

There are specific criteria which must be included as part of the course design and delivery for apprenticeships. These are made explicit in this blueprint designated in blue as shown below. 

Throughout the blueprint we draw attention to particular elements as presented below: 



The UK Professional Standards Framework

The blueprint also provides opportunity to consider your practice against the UKPSF for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. the aims of the UK Professional Standards Framework are to:

  1. support the initial and continuing professional development of staff engaged in teaching and supporting learning. 
  2. foster dynamic approaches to teaching and learning through creativity, innovation, and continuous development in diverse academic and / or professional settings.
  3. demonstrate to students and other stakeholders the professionalism that staff and institutions bring to teaching and support for student learning.  
  4. acknowledge the variety and quality of teaching, learning and assessment practices that support and underpin student learning. 
  5. facilitate individuals and institutions in gaining formal recognition for quality enhanced approaches to teaching and supporting learning, often as part of wider responsibilities that may include research and / management activities. 


Self Evaluation Rubric

Throughout the Blueprint we provide self-assessment rubrics to help course teams to evaluate their designs and provision against a criteria setting out the University's expected student experience.  These rubric are set out in four columns as illustrated below:

Exemplary Accomplished (Baseline) Promising Incomplete
Criteria setting out better than baseline provision that course teams might aspire to achieve, particularly in areas of provision that are of particular importance to the subject area, the nature of delivery, or the typical student cohorts, or those that are passions of the course team. Criteria setting out the student experience that the University aspires to develop within all courses. Meeting the criteria in this column would indicate a course has some significant pockets of good practice but these are not typical of the course as a whole. Meeting the criteria in this box would indicate that the course has limited evidence of good practice being in place and that there is a need to develop the provision significantly.