Skip to Main Content

Course Design Blueprint: The Design Process

Course Design and Development Events

Course Design Development Events (CDDEs) have been designed to accommodate a flexible approach to learning design based upon course design needs and may take the form of an event or series of events to support self-evaluation, enquiry, co-creation, and critical support and challenge in relation to the Blueprint themes. 

The requirements for course development may be identified and initiated through the revalidation cycle, ongoing monitoring, or following approval of a new course through the Portfolio Oversight Committee.

The schedule of courses identified as in need of development is developed collaboratively by the Associate Deans for Learning and Teaching, Quality Team, Course Team, and CELT. The Associate Dean for the School will facilitate the design process and activity.

Design needs will fall into on of the following construction scenarios depending on whether it is a brand new course, one in need of significant attention to the delivery or student experience, or an existing programme looking to refresh particular elements or modules. 


This stage should be completed at least five weeks before the Course Design and Development Event. We encourage to to complete the Course Design Matrix and Course Planning Mapping Tool at this stage. 


  • Prior to the event the course team and the Head of Subject will meet with the Associate Dean to explore the course design process and for an introduction to the Course Design Blueprint.
  • The Course Team will receive a link to the ‘Course Design Matrix’ self-evaluation tool and ‘Course Planning Mapping’ tool.
  • The Course Team will complete the ‘Course Design Matrix’ self-evaluation tool at this stage.
  • A copy will be sent to the Learning Designers, Head of Subject, and Associate Dean. The self-evaluation will help the Course Team identify which themes they need to focus on during the early design phase, and this will inform facilitation of the Stage 2 ‘Storyboarding’ and ‘Intentional Design’ activities.
  • The course teams will also reflect upon course data and student survey feedback to guide activity and focus.


  • The Course Team work on the design for 4 weeks, referring to the Course Design Blueprint and recording their plans on the ‘Course Planning Mapping’ Tool.
  • The course Learning Outcomes, assessment philosophy, and consideration of Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship should have been established and shared at least one week before the ‘Stage 2 - Course Design and Development Day’.


One week prior to Course Design and Development Event

  • The course team will need to share the ‘Course Planning Map’ with the Learning Designers, Head of Subject, and Associate Dean at least a week prior to the Course Design Day.
  • The Associate Dean will specify the timings for activities for the Course Design Day, identifying colleagues required to facilitate or provide specialist input for the identified activities.
  • The course team will need to have identified and explored with the Quality Team and/or relevant Professional Services any elements of innovative or non-standard delivery, which may need wider consideration. (e.g., non-standard entry requirements or non-standard delivery models)
  • The Learning Designer facilitating the Course Design Day will review the ‘Course Planning Map’ and prepare the ‘Storyboarding’ and’ Intentional Design’ activities to support the course team on Course Design Day.

The Course Design and Development Event

This event includes the Associate Dean, Head of Subject, Course team and colleagues identified in advance to provide specialist input during the activities.

Session 1

Recap of self-evaluation

Session 2

Storyboarding of the course, from course to level to individual modules. 

Lead by a Learning Designer

Session 3

Intentional design. 

this will include guidance and advice for design innovation from a Learning Design who has reviewed the plans in advance.

Session 4

Review of action plan and next steps

Agreed actions will be collated during the event by the Head of Subject. The Head of Subject will also monitor progress against the actions. 

To be completed up to four weeks after the Course Design and Development event

Following the Course Design Day, the Course Team will finalise the course design features.

  • The Course Team will need to develop and submit at least one module guide for the newly designed course to Brightspace.   
  • The Learning Designer will review the module submitted to Brightspace and provide feedback which will guide the design of the remaining modules.
  • The Head of Subject will check targets on the action plan agreed at the Course Design Day have been achieved.