The University adopts a ‘co-production’ model to the development, approval and implementation of curriculum. As such, all relevant University stakeholder teams must be engaged in the process and working collaboratively at points throughout the process, in order to ensure that curriculum development progresses comprehensively and all aspects of academic and administrative development are effectively considered.
This in turn enables modules and programmes to be created in a way that supports them being offered as soon as possible following approval.
The table below summarises the key co-producers who are required to be involved in the development of new curriculum offerings, along with the Programme Director/Module Coordinator/Faculty lead or team, and sets out additional information and guidance to support the curriculum development process.
Role and area of input: Curriculum design
Points of University policy the requirements of curriculum design, structure and delivery are set out across paragraphs 35 to 66 of the Curriculum Development and Management Policy. In addition, the Academic Development team can provide advice and support on curriculum design, and can be contacted via: email@example.com.
Digital Learning / Library
Role and area of input: learning technology within curriculum design and learning and teaching delivery / Reading lists, learning resources
Information Services delivers the Library, IT, digital learning technology and other information needs and services to enable all students and staff of the University of Stirling to learn, research and work. The team can assist in decisions around the Library resources, hardware, software, learning spaces and digital learning technology that are needed to support curriculum, and can also advise on access to resources (including copyright and licensing), information and digital literacy, and designing effective learning using technology.
The following questions can inform initial considerations of information needs and services for a curriculum proposal:
- Library and Information resources – what new material (books/e-books/journals) is required?
- Teaching and learning – is support required in developing multimedia content or using collaborative tools?
- How will technology support assessment creation, submission, marking and feedback?
- What specialist IT resources (hardware/software/lab access) are required?
- Where programmes are run in collaboration with others, which institution is responsible for providing access to library, information and IT resources?
Information for staff current services available can be found at: https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/professional-services/information-services-and-library/current-students-and-staff/
Role and area of input: quality assurance, academic regulation, module and programme coding, programme structures, curriculum information set up and management in the University’s student record system, Degree Programme Tables, module registration arrangements
The Academic Registry team has responsibility for academic quality assurance and enhancement, the operation of the University’s policy and procedure on Curriculum Development and Management, and creating and managing programme and modules within University systems. This work aligns with the team’s wider range of responsibilities which include module registration, student enrolment, attainment and degree award administration. Within the team’s work on managing curriculum within systems, Academic Registry operates the University’s module and programme coding conventions which are currently:
Module Coding Convention: 7 character module code: AAABCCC where:
- AAA indicates the subject area, such as BIO for Biology, ENG for English, new programmes do not require new “subject” codes.
- B indicates the level of study, and should always be U for undergraduate, or P for postgraduate.
- CCC gives the module a unique identifier and can be a mix of alpha and numeric characters. Neither the letter I nor the letter O are used in a module code as these are too easily confused with 1 and 0. By historical convention, undergraduate modules in semesters 1-4 usually contain the semester number, e.g. BIOU4BD, PSYU911 and honours options usually contain alpha characters e.g. ENVU9GA, SPCU9JA.
The Academic Registry team can provide advice and support on all of these areas and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Role and area of input: student views should be sought the development of new programmes, and amendments to existing provision
The Students’ Union can provide advice on engaging with students. The Vice President Education can be contacted at email@example.com
Role and area of input: input from external advisers such as business, employers, alumni, professional bodies and external examiners, should be obtained and used in relation to the development of new programmes
The UK Quality Code for Higher Education provides advice and guidance on ‘External Expertise’ and sets out that HE providers should, “use one or more external experts as advisers to provide impartial and independent scrutiny on the approval and review of all provision that leads to the award of credit or a qualification”.
The use of External Expertise is referenced throughout the Curriculum Development and Management Policy and Procedure, and paragraphs 115 and 117 of the procedure make particular reference to this topic.
Communications, Marketing and Recruitment
Role and area of input: marketing, contributing to market research, student recruitment
Market research considerations could include:
- Who is the audience for this module/programme and does the proposal fulfil their needs? E.g. is there a skills demand/shortage?
- Is there a market for the module/programme? E.g. size and growth rate, any government funding potential?
- What is the competitive intensity like in that market? Is demand high relative to supply? Or is the market saturated?
- Who are the key competitors in this market and how does their proposition differ from the University of Stirling?
- What would be the appropriate tuition fee for the module/programme, considering current University of Stirling fees and competitor fees?
Sources of information to inform market research include:
- An internet search for the programme including google trends (),
- Government sites for initiatives for the subject
- Job sites for the employment potential
- Primary research among current students/alumni would be beneficial to ascertain if they would find the programme interesting/would have applied to it.
- University data on existing modules/programmes/students etc.
- Analysis of current UK wide data surrounding the competitor sets.
Admissions and Access
Role and area of input: entry criteria, English language requirements, admissions arrangements, mapping intake targets
The Admissions and Access team can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internationalisation and Partnerships
Role and area of input: transnational education considerations and arrangements, curriculum to be offered through a partnership arrangement
Staff in the Internationalisation and Partnerships Directorate can be contacted via: email@example.com.
Careers and Employability Service
Role and area of input: work-based and work-related learning; business engagement, career management skills development, graduate attributes, reflective practice
Over the course of the last few years there has been a move away from seeing employability as purely a ‘bolt-on’ or optional activity towards a much more integrated and embedded approach which accepts and values the place of employability within the curriculum. Enhancing and developing employability is a key strategic goal for the University. The institution’s Strategic Plan is clear in its intention to provide an excellent student experience and to maintain its strong record on graduate employment. A pivotal part of this is ensuring the institution is developing and improving the employability of its students by equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in a fast-moving world with global opportunities. The strategy also focuses on the necessity of building strong partnerships with business and industry, on the importance of helping individuals identify and use their natural abilities, and on providing for students to fulfil their ambitions. These themes are reflected in the institution’s Employability Strategy.
The Careers and Employability Service can support Faculties considering the careers and employability make up of new curriculum by providing information, advice, best practice, resources and (where possible) external contacts. Initial contact should be made with Pam Crawford, Head of the Careers and Employability Service. Each Faculty has a dedicated Careers Consultant who can also be part of the process.
Student Learning Services
Policy and Planning
Role and area of input: strategic alignment, external drivers such as Scottish Funding Council (SFC) funding implications, data to support market research
The Policy and Planning team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Support Services (Accessibility and Inclusion Service)
Role and area of input: accessibility and inclusion
The Accessibility and Inclusion Service (A and I) is part of Student Support Services, and exists to facilitate support and recommend adjustments for students which are reasonable and appropriate in line with the Universities responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. The service delivers a wide range of advisory, support and training services to disabled applicants, students and staff, and also works in close partnership with academic schools and service areas to promote, support and train in the mainstreaming of accessibility and inclusion throughout the delivery of the curriculum and core student services.
Specialist A and I Advisers discuss with students the extent to which the University’s current arrangements and mainstreamed approaches meet their learning and other needs. As it is recognised that sometimes, students will also require individual adjustments to remove barriers and equalise their access to education, learning and research, accommodation, the institution, and whilst interacting with staff, a mechanism known as an Agreed Record of University Access Adjustments (ARUAA) has been developed.
Identified adjustments are recorded in their ARUAA and shared with permission with academic, professional services and appropriate external partners. This helps students to overcome/manage the effects of their disability/circumstances in order to achieve their academic potential both on campus (e.g. relating to class tests, examinations, coursework, attendance, the learning environment, research, meetings, viva, supervision, access to technology, accommodation and the wider campus), and whilst operating out of the University (e.g. on placement or participating in field work or conferences).
Further information on support for learning within the University can be accessed here.
The Accessibility and Inclusion Service can be contacted via email@example.com.
Role and area of input: financial modelling and costing
The Finance role in the process is to ensure that all new programmes have been costed to identify financial viability (or otherwise) of the programme. This informs management decisions as to whether to progress with a loss-making programme for other non-financial reasons on an informed basis.
Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS)
Role and area of input: links with PGR programme
The IAS can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.