Academic programme specifications

A programme specification is the definitive record of a programme, providing its intended aims and learning outcomes, and how students will achieve them.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) expects that each UK higher education institution will ‘maintain a definitive record of each programme and qualification that they approve (and of subsequent changes to it) which constitutes the reference point for delivery and assessment of the programme, its monitoring and review, and for the provision of records of study to students and alumni’, while encouraging autonomy in the way that each institution approaches providing this information.

At the University of Stirling, programme specifications are written for a current and prospective student audience. They are comprehensive records, which are agreed upon at the point of programme approval, and updated as and when any amendments are made to the programme.

Each programme specification will provide a summary of the programme, outline the programme’s aims and learning outcomes, detail the kinds of assessment that students should expect, provide a degree programme table for the entire length of the programme, discuss opportunities provided on the programme (i.e. study abroad and work placements) and outline admissions criteria. Prospective students should feel that they are able to make a well-informed decision about applying to the programme from its specification. Current students should be able to refer to the programme specification and see their learning journey reflected in the document.

A programme specification template is provided to aid in the creation of a comprehensive and accessible document, enabling consistency in the information provided to current and future students about each programme offered by the University of Stirling.

You can request copies of our academic programme specifications by emailing