Undergraduate Degree Framework Handbook

Introduction

Edge Hill’s Undergraduate Degree Framework is a set of guiding principles for the design of all undergraduate awards validated by the University, providing both structural guidelines and a signpost to matters of policy that the University requires to be embedded in its taught provision. Working within the Academic Regulations the Framework is essentially permissive and enabling and encourages the development of a contemporary curriculum which:

  • Is consistent with relevant external and internal reference points, notably the UK Quality Code for Higher Education
  • Reflects the attributes of the Edge Hill University Graduate (see section 2 – The Student Learning Experience: ‘High Order Questions and Challenges’);
  • Provides guidance on the shape and size of modules that best serve the needs of learners and subject areas;
  • Uses flexible learning to maximise accessibility and relevance to students (and employers);
  • Allows for student-initiated learning and employer involvement in curriculum design, delivery and assessment and recognises prior and concurrent ‘extramural’ learning (RP[E]L) and Work-Based Learning (WBL);
  • Embeds student support to facilitate learners’ transition into, through and out of programmes.

This Handbook has been designed to assist programme teams preparing for the validation of new undergraduate degree programmes. It is also relevant to the monitoring and review of existing provision to ensure its continuing appropriateness in respect of curriculum, quality and standards. The process of review, reflection and sharing of good practice is essential to successful implementation of the Framework and it is intended that this Handbook will evolve over time to reflect and draw upon on the experiences of users.

Contents of the Handbook:
Section 1 ~ Design Requirements
Section 2 ~ The Student Learning Experience: ‘High Order Questions and Challenges’
Section 3 ~ Support and Guidance

Design Requirements

Section 1

This section of the Undergraduate Degree Framework Handbook provides a model for curriculum design which sits within the envelope of Edge Hill University’s Academic Regulations. The key elements may be summarised as follows:

Awards and Credit

The credit volume and level requirements for the achievement of the University’s undergraduate awards are aligned fully with the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. For example, a Certificate of Higher Education requires the achievement of 120 credits at level 4, a Foundation degree or Diploma of Higher Education 120 level 4 and 120 level five credits and an Honours degree 120 credits at each of levels 4, 5 and 6. Intermediate alternative awards of BA/BSC/LLB (300 credits), Dip HE (240 credits) and Cert HE (120 credits) are specified for all Honours degrees at validation and are available either for mid-programme transfer or for award at the point of exit. BA/BSc/LLB and Dip HE alternative awards will usually adopt the same title as the associated Honours degree unless the curriculum does not justify it or professional body requirements forbid it. CertHE alternative awards, which are also required for Foundation degrees and standalone Diplomas of Higher Education, are usually unnamed unless otherwise justified at validation. Proposals which confer a professional Licence to Practise will specify alternative exit awards for students who are unsuccessful in the practice or professional elements of their programmes. In all cases, validation panels will make a judgement on the appropriateness of all proposed award titles in light of the curriculum content as evidenced through engagement during programme design with the relevant Honours degree subject benchmark statement(s) and, where applicable, professional standards.

Although post-graduate in time, Graduate Certificates are Level 6 programmes and are therefore covered by the guidance contained in this Handbook.

Module Size

The default module size for undergraduate programmes is 20 credits although dissertation (and similar) modules may be larger. Use of 10 credit modules should be limited and considered as an exception rather than the norm. However, they may be significant for specific purposes e.g. ‘bite-sized’ Continuing Professional Development courses. Where 10 credit modules are included, programme teams will be required to make an explicit justification for them which will be tested during Faculty scrutiny and confirmed at validation.

Semesters

While not overruled by the Framework the traditional 2-semester pattern should no longer be considered mandatory. Programme teams are encouraged to consider alternative patterns for delivery and assessment for the benefit of learners (see ‘International students’ below) and in all circumstances fitness for purpose should be the guiding principle.

BA/BSc Joint Honours and Major/Minor Combinations

Joint Honours awards, in which each subject contributes 50% of the award, are permitted within the Framework. Major/Minor combinations should be weighted 80/40 credits per level. Programme designers should consider the impact of mixed delivery patterns e.g., ‘long-thin’ modules from one jointing subject running alongside ‘short-fat’ modules from another:

Module Sharing

The Framework enables most existing Level 4, 5 & 6 modules to be considered for use within new programmes.  Opportunities for module sharing are strongly encouraged although it is acknowledged that this may occasionally be restricted by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) regulations or by specific physical and/or staff resource constraints. It is essential that any intention to use a module of another department or Faculty within a new programme is signalled explicitly during the planning stage, and the relevant permissions and agreements obtained.

Core, Compulsory and Optional Modules

Core modules are those which are deemed to comprise learning that is fundamental to the named award. Programme teams should remember that failure in core modules may not be compensated and it is therefore assumed that the core designation will be used sparingly and with full justification (e.g. to meet specific PSRB requirements) to avoid any unintended impact on students’ progression.

Some modules which are not prescribed as core may nevertheless be compulsory if no other module choices are available and in such cases the normal rules on compensation apply. Many programmes define a ring-fenced pool of optional modules (also known as ‘electives’) which provide additional choice for students within the boundaries of the validated award title.

Ungraded Credit for Work Placements

Sandwich, Study Abroad and Erasmus

Undergraduate programmes may be validated with an extra year (year 3 of 4) comprising 120 additional level 5 credits for the recognition of an extended industrial placement (sandwich) or study abroad experience. These additional credits contribute to students’ final degree classifications as outlined in section J3.10 of the Academic Regulations. Students may also substitute all or part of the second year of a 3-year undergraduate degree with an Erasmus study abroad experience. Course developers should consult their Faculty Quality Officer for more information.

Foundation Degrees

Foundation degrees (FDs) should further the development and career interests of individuals in employment, as well as the vocational needs of other students. The University’s FDs are fully aligned with the QAA’s Foundation Degree Characteristics Statement (2015) [PDF], of which the key defining characteristics are:

  • Employer involvement in curriculum design, delivery, assessment and management;
  • Flexible curriculum and delivery that maximise accessibility and relevance to the needs and interests of students and their employers;
  • Recognition of prior and concurrent ‘extramural’ learning (RP[E]L);
  • A substantial element of Work-Based Learning (WBL), i.e. at least 25% of the total academic credit of the award;
  • Opportunity and preparation for progression to higher study, i.e. a relevant named Honours degree, without the requirement for additional ‘bridging’ study.

Because of their vocational nature and the involvement of employers in their design, it is not feasible to offer Joint and Major/Minor combinations on foundation degrees.

International Students

Edge Hill’s strategy for Internationalisation aims to foster cultural diversity and awareness and the development of students as global citizens. Arrangements for the approval, monitoring and review of programmes to be delivered by or with collaborative partners are set out in Chapter 5 [PDF] of the Quality Management Handbook.  In the case of overseas partnerships programme teams will consider the implications – and risks – associated with physical (and cultural) distance between the University and its partners.

New programme developments also provide the opportunity to recruit students to the UK from overseas, or to facilitate international work placements or study exchanges for Edge Hill students. Where such developments are planned programme teams are advised to consider the following:

  • Has the course team worked collaboratively with the International Office?
  • How have staff been prepared to teach and support international students in the context of the programme/module?
  • How is the international dimension to be reflected within the programme, i.e. will students have a physical international experience or will other methods of raising international consciousness be used, e.g. through use of a Virtual Learning Environment or other online means?
  • How will the delivery pattern (semesters) affect the scheduling of overseas students and will some alternative timetabling pattern be necessary? Can the content and delivery of a year-long module be adapted so as to provide a coherent learning experience and assessment opportunity for overseas students who can only attend one semester?
  • Where it is intended to provide opportunities for student exchanges how will these fit with the programme structure and how will the transfer of academic credit be managed between institutions?
  • Where arrangements are made for Edge Hill students to study at overseas institutions how would reciprocal exchanges – a key focus of the Internationalisation strategy – be provided?

Further Reading:

The Student Learning Experience

Section 2

‘High Order Questions and Challenges’

Edge Hill University has in place many policies and strategies which outline its expectations in respect of academic standards and the quality of students’ learning opportunities and this section of the Undergraduate Degree Framework Handbook describes the ‘lenses’ through which programmes are developed, delivered and reviewed. It contains a series of questions and challenges that are intended to provide a scaffold to assist in the design and realisation of curriculum and is underpinned by exemplars, case studies and support contacts which are available to Edge Hill staff’

The Undergraduate Degree Framework ‘lenses’:

  1. Graduate attributes – what can an employer expect from an Edge Hill graduate and what should our graduates expect of themselves?
  2. Inductions and transitions – how can programme teams facilitate valuable induction experiences to improve transitions into, within and out of undergraduate study, e.g. from school, further education or work into higher education, or between different levels of an undergraduate degree programme? How are overseas students prepared and supported for academic study in the UK?
  3. Teaching, Learning and Assessment including RP[E]L – how is student learning achieved and measured? How may students’ prior (experiential) learning be recognised?
  4. Personal tutoring – what is the role of the personal tutor and what should students expect of it?
  5. Personal Development Planning – how is such development integrated within the curriculum, and how can a programme team make PDP a valuable and worthwhile experience?
  6. Learning Literacies – how can a programme team take account of and improve a student’s skills for learning and academic study?
  7. Work-Related and Work-Based Learning – what should teams consider when developing a programme with either work-related or work-based elements?
  8. Technology-Enhanced Learning and Distance Learning – how will programme teams use technology to enhance student learning and the student experience? How will distance learners be supported?
  9. Employability – how do programmes prepare students for graduate employment opportunities through the development of relevant knowledge, skills and attributes?
  10. International Dimensions – how are internationalisation and globalisation addressed in the design and delivery of curriculum?
  11. Education for Sustainable Development – how do programmes incorporate opportunities to consider social, environmental, economic and ethical dimensions which align with the promotion of ESD?

2.1 Graduate Attributes

It is expected that Edge Hill graduates will be:

  • academically successful
  • knowledgeable across disciplines
  • leaders in communities
  • attuned to cultural diversity
  • aware of global responsibilities

Programme teams at validation and periodic review will be expected to benchmark their curriculum against these attributes and to demonstrate how they will be achieved by students.

2.2 Induction and Transitions

Edge Hill University recognises the significance of the various transitions that students make into and during higher education. Programme teams should outline their specific plans for managing and supporting the following aspects of the undergraduate student experience:

  • transition into higher education (induction), including technology-enhanced and distance learning elements as appropriate
  • ‘First Year Experience’, including introduction to, and development of, reading, writing, discourse and practices in the discipline
  • transition from one year to the next (perhaps carrying referrals)
  • transition from study to work placement
  • transition from work placement back to study
  • entry to programmes from diverse backgrounds, including different cultures and learning styles
  • experience, through graduation, to the world of work.

It will be important to have a clear position on module size and a delivery pattern that maximises the likelihood of student success (particularly if ‘short-fat’ modules are chosen, as compared with ‘long-thin’ ones) by providing appropriate formative assessment experiences aligned with planned approaches to induction and transitions.

2.3 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Including RP[E]L

The University, through its programme approval, monitoring and review procedures, requires assurance that curricula are designed and delivered in accordance with its policies and strategies for teaching, learning and assessment.

Teaching and Learning

Programme teams should develop specific plans to ensure that there is:

  • Appropriate support and challenge for students during their learning process, with a particular focus upon the First Year Experience and on progression as they move from year to year
  • Development of academic writing skills and learning literacies (see also 2.6)
  • Promotion and scaffolding of self-directed learning skills
  • Understanding of academic malpractice issues
  • Flexible and inclusive approaches to learning and teaching that enable all students to meet the programme requirements
  • Full access to equipment and other learning resources including use of assistive technology for students with learning difficulties or disabilities.

Strategies for linking teaching and research (adapted from Jenkins et al, 2007)

  • Curriculum should be designed so that it incorporates past and current research. Where possible, this should include research carried out by staff at Edge Hill, particularly from the department/area in which students are studying
  • Programmes should extend students’ awareness of the nature of research and knowledge creation and contain research projects that become progressively more difficult in terms of their scale and complexity
  • Students will carry out research and be aware of the ethical considerations that need to be taken into account when conducting research
  • Students will be encouraged to learn in ways that replicate the research process. This should involve carrying out their own research and evaluating the research of others
  • Students will develop the ability to communicate the results of their research in ways that are appropriate to a defined audience.

Further Reading:

Assessment

Programme teams should develop specific plans to ensure that there is:

  • Alignment of programme and/or module learning outcomes with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and associated level descriptors to ensure that students are assessed at the correct level and that the award of credit at Levels 4 to 6 is justified
  • Alignment of learning outcomes with the processes and methods of teaching, learning and assessment
  • An assessment schedule which facilitates the timely submission of student work and prompt production of feedback
  • An assessment diet that is varied, interesting and relevant to the demonstration of learning outcomes and can take account of the particular needs of individuals or groups
  • Preparation for assessment including assignment briefings, introduction to new modes of assessment and opportunities for ‘mock’ examinations (where appropriate)
  • Integration of formative assessment approaches and the provision of high quality and timely feedback focused on enhancing students’ next cycle of learning and their performance in future modules
  • Flexibility to devise alternative forms of assessment for overseas students participating in programmes such as ERASMUS and Edge Hill’s US Study Abroad programme.

The following should also be given the fullest consideration, specifically in validation scrutiny related to assessment and student workload:

  • Without a very strong rationale there should be no more than one item of summative assessment in a 10 credit module. Similarly, there should be no more than two items of summative assessment in a 20 credit module and a single item will normally suffice
  • Unless justified, learning outcomes need not be assessed more than once
  • Where students are required to pass each element of assessment in a module (rather than passing on aggregate) this should be rationalised in terms of achievement of the learning outcomes.

As such, a number of typical questions should and will arise for due consideration at validation:

  • How do 10 credit modules (if present) enhance or detract from the manageability of assessment in terms of the frequency and volume of assessment items? How, in context, is this preferable to a 20 credit structure?
  • In the context of a programme, how is assessment described as a mapped pattern of student experience in relation to timing and sequencing to ensure it is manageable and that any challenge of over-assessment can be refuted?

Further Reading:

Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning [RP(E)L]

The Framework embeds the University’s commitment to recognising the prior learning of students including experiential learning gained from the world of work. Such individuals require support and guidance to produce evidence for assessment (e.g. a portfolio) and to reflect upon it. Each Faculty has developed RP(E)L procedures which best suit its target student population in conformity with the University’s requirements and programme teams will be expected to  articulate clearly how entrants are supported in making successful claims for RP(E)L.

Further Reading:

2.4 Personal Tutoring

All undergraduate students will have planned arrangements for personal tutoring and opportunities for access to other subject tutors during University working hours. Programme teams should outline their specific plans for ensuring a managed and supported experience for:

  • Students undertaking Joint Honours programmes
  • Students undertaking single modules, e.g. CPD
  • Students on full programmes including those which span more than one subject area
  • Students studying by distance learning and/or Technology-Enhanced Learning.

Further Reading:

2.5 Personal Development Planning

Every student following a programme leading to an award within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications must have appropriate opportunities for personal development planning (PDP) as part of a continuous process of personal review and development. The primary objective of PDP is to improve the capacity of individual learners to understand what and how they are learning and to review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning. Programme teams should outline their specific plans for ensuring that students have a managed and supported learning experience such that they may:

  • Become more effective, independent and confident self-directed learners
  • Understand how they are learning, and relate their learning to a wider context
  • Improve their general skills for study and career management and be aware of career opportunities, with the skills to present themselves appropriately and effectively to employers and increase their probability of securing graduate employment
  • Articulate their personal goals and evaluate their progress towards achieving them
  • Use appropriate technology to express their achievements and also their development needs.

Specifically, plans should be in situ to demonstrate:

  • Engagement with the EHU Careers Centre
  • Consultation with employers, where appropriate, in curriculum design and careers guidance
  • Opportunities for preparation for job applications (CVs, interview techniques etc.).

Further Reading:

2.6 Learning Literacies

Edge Hill has developed an agreed listing of key skills which it expects all of its graduates/diplomats to have acquired and developed during their programmes of study. Many of these are central to students’ development as learners and structured opportunities for their development will be built into programmes while in other cases, skills will be developed during the study of the subject curriculum. Programme teams should outline their specific plans for ensuring that students have a managed and supported learning experience such that they may:

  • Clearly see the opportunities to develop key skills
  • Reflect upon and improve them
  • Have them assessed, and receive feedback
  • Understand and articulate them in relation to employability, e.g. through PDP processes (see 2.5, above).

Further Reading:

  • ‘Key Skills and the Edge Hill Graduate/Diplomat’ (EHU, 2003)

2.7 Work-Related and Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is central to practice- and vocationally-based awards and uses the actual workplace as a vehicle for the achievement of learning outcomes. Work-Related Learning (WRL) offers an alternative approach which uses the workplace as the basis for learning but is abstracted from its actual physical location into classroom and/or virtual settings. When developing undergraduate programmes that contain either WBL or WRL, programme teams should demonstrate how they have addressed the following:

  • How WBL/WRL has been considered and, where appropriate, integrated into the curriculum
  • How key and employability skills have been incorporated into the curriculum design and how they are developed, assessed and recorded
  • How students may demonstrate relevant learning through appropriate prior experience and have this learning recognised (see also 2.3)
  • How the curriculum has been designed with the career progression of individuals, and  the expectations of employers, in mind.

In specific relation to Work-Related Learning programme teams should outline how this is to be developed within the curriculum, e.g. through the use of case-studies, workplace scenarios and simulations and guest speakers from industry.

In specific relation to Work-Based Learning programme teams should explore the following:

  • Identification of placement opportunities (where the student is not already in relevant employment): can a placement be provided which can offer a learning experience that meets the needs of students? Are there any cost and budget implications?
  • Agreeing a programme of learning with the placement provider: does the team have the organisation’s co-operation in the scheduling and implementation of placements? Will there be a named individual (usually a manager, supervisor or work placement co-ordinator) who will have responsibility for the student’s experience in the workplace?
  • What is the provider’s understanding of employer’s liability in respect of staff-student supervision, working conditions, health and safety, and equal opportunities? Have/will risk assessments be planned and who will conduct these?
  • Will there be a work-based mentor or facilitator and if so, what training will be provided for them? Will mentors contribute to assessment and if so, how will they be developed for the role?
  • How will the quality of the learning experience be evaluated, e.g. tutors’ site visits and student evaluations? How would an unsuccessful placement impact on the student’s progression and what arrangements are there to mitigate this?
  • Will a formal contract be developed between the University and placement provider and how will grievances from either the employer or the student be managed?

Further Reading:

2.8 Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Distance learning

Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) and distance learning programmes bring significant additional risk to the quality of student learning and must be approved specifically for delivery in that mode. Programme teams should outline their approach to the following:

  • How has the University’s Framework for Quality Assurance of the ‘E, F and D’ (Electronic, Flexible and Distance) in Technology-Enhanced Learning as described in Chapter 7 of the Quality Management Handbook been addressed?
  • Has the team engaged with the Senior SOLSTICE Fellow(s) in the design and realisation of the curriculum and what benefits did this bring?
  • Has the preparedness, capability and capacity of teaching staff to deliver TEL been addressed and developed/supported appropriately for course development?
  • How will students be inducted and supported in the use of TEL?
  • How in general will distance learners be supported and monitored, including arrangements for student consultation and representation?

Further Reading:

2.9   Employability

Employability has become an important issue for students. This is because the growth in the number of graduates from higher education in many countries, including the UK, has resulted in increased competition for jobs. There is, therefore, a need for Edge Hill University to provide a greater focus on developing the employability of our students if they are not going to be disadvantaged in the graduate labour market.

Employability can be defined as:

“A set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations…” (Pegg et al. 2012, p. 4)

According to Cole and Tibby (2013, citing HEFCE, 2011, p. 5) employability is central to what universities do:

“Embedding employability into the core of higher education will continue to be a core priority of Government, universities and colleges, and employers. This will bring significant private and public benefit, demonstrating higher education’s broader role in contributing to economic growth as well as its vital role in social and cultural development.” (p. 5)

In order to help students gain employment and be successful in their chosen careers it is expected that Edge Hill students will be provided with opportunities to:

  • Understand the nature of the labour market, particularly the ‘graduate labour market’, and what employers are looking for in graduates.
  • Develop their personal reflection and career decision-making skills so that they are able to make effective career decisions. This will include the ability to research different career options in order to identify career opportunities that meet their aspirations and needs. In doing this, students should be aware of the range of employment opportunities that exist.
  • Become aware of the recruitment and selection methods employers utilise – and have developed the skills to successfully navigate these processes. In particular, students need to be able to market themselves to graduate employers.
  • Develop their ‘personal capital’, i.e. the skills and other attributes (e.g. personality traits, values, etc.) that employers are seeking. Students also need to be able to provide evidence that they have these skills/attributes through their engagement in both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Personal Development Planning (PDP) should play a key role in ensuring students do this and programmes should have a clearly identified strategy to help students acquire and develop the skills and attributes they need (see the Undergraduate Degree Framework lens 2.5 ‘Personal Development Planning’, above). It is important that students understand how their personal capital is being enhanced through their engagement with their programme of studies. Students should also be encouraged to take responsibility for the development of their personal capital.
  • Become mindful of (and able to manage) their ‘digital footprint’ so that it has a positive influence on their employability.
  • Develop a strategy for applying for jobs before they enter their final year of study.
  • Be aware of the steps they need to take when starting their first job in order to make a successful transition from education to employment.

In order to help students to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes outlined above course teams need to focus not only on what is taught, but on how it is taught.  Pedagogic approaches that encourage activity-based learning, reflection, and an environment that mirrors the uncertainty and demands of the workplace all help students to develop their employability. It is well known that assignments motivate students so these could be reviewed to see how they can be used to encourage students to develop their employability (see the Undergraduate Degree Framework lens 2.3 ‘Teaching, Learning and Assessment’, above).

In designing the curriculum programmes are also expected to:

  • Provide a list of key skills and attributes that students will acquire and develop during their programme of study (see the Undergraduate Degree Framework lens 2.1 ‘Graduate Attributes’ above, also the Undergraduate Degree Framework wiki for examples of the type of skills and attributes graduate employers are looking for).
  • Identify a strategy for the delivery of opportunities for students to acquire and develop these skills and attributes. This should include opportunities for students to engage in work-based and work-related learning (see the Undergraduate Degree Framework lens 2.7 ‘Work-Related and Work-Based Learning’, above).
  • Specify how these skills and attributes will be assessed and how feedback will be provided on their development. Assessment may be formative and/or summative.
  • Identify opportunities for students to record their achievement in gaining and developing these skills and attributes (see the Undergraduate Degree Framework lens 2.5 ‘Personal Development Planning’, above).

2.10   International Dimensions

Edge Hill’s corporate strategy aims to foster cultural diversity and awareness through the process of ‘Internationalisation’ and expects that Edge Hill students will graduate as ‘global citizens’. When developing new programmes and reviewing existing ones, course developers should therefore consider the following in relation to internationalisation:

Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Student Support

Fundamentally, all aspects of the Undergraduate Degree Framework should apply to planning for the best possible experience of all students. However, the following aspects related to internationalisation should be considered in configuring the curriculum and in validation process as appropriate to the specific programme in development and/or review.

General Aspects to Consider

  • How may you focus on the use of global resources and sources of knowledge?
  • Creation of opportunities for online connectivity with staff and students at a distance
  • The potential for opportunities for Placement/Exchanges/Study Abroad
  • The deployment of international students and home students as advocates/buddies/mentors
  • How any links with the Edge Hill Language Centre may need to be configured

Specific Considerations in relation to International Students

  • How their prior teaching, learning and assessment experiences will be recognised and how cultural acclimatisation to the UK classroom approaches will be supported through induction activities
  • EFL support and resources that they may be directed to
  • Induction in broad terms (social and academic) including preparation for assessment, reading and writing in the discipline
  • Appropriate preparedness of teaching and non-teaching staff who have association with the programme and plans for  provision of professional development

Structural/Operational Aspects

In the programme development stage, course developers should consider the following:

  • If articulations are planned, Partnership Agreements between the University and international institutions should ensure that the programme structure and credit value of the modules which they propose to validate are compatible
  • Monitoring is such that any plans for changes in partner’s curriculum are known before implementation so that the validated  integrity of the University’s awards can be protected
  • The nature of international dimensions and how to raise international consciousness within the programme
  • Where it is not possible for programmes to incorporate a physical international experience, how it may include an international element to the programme, for example through deployment of online environments to connect with staff, students and others at a distance
  • Where appropriate, that the scheduling of delivery is consistent with the needs of international partners and students
  • If student exchanges are an integral part of the programme, its structure and credit values should map satisfactorily and take account of match with the time period that international students will be at the University
  • The requirement that courses comply with emerging European frameworks for Higher Education
  • If course developers wish to develop ERASMUS contacts with European institutions, that the delivery pattern and credit values permit exchanges for one semester or one academic year between Edge Hill students and European students.
  • Validation of alternative forms of assessment should be planned for ERASMUS students and those participating in visiting student programmes.

In Programme Review:

  • Use the internationalisation lens as an opportunity to reconsider and address this aspect of the curriculum
  • As a matter of routine, check that any modifications to the curriculum in partner institutions has been subject of discussion and agreement and that the processes of liaison and surveillance re. this aspect are robust.

2.11   Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

ESD is subject to many definitions and interpretations. A widely accepted definition of ESD comes from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the context of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), where, in part, it describes Education for Sustainable Development as being about learning to:

‘Be caring citizens who exercise their rights and responsibilities locally, nationally and globally.’

Consideration of the following dimensions is identified as contributing to the sustainable development agenda in a broader sense:

  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Ethical
  • Political.

The Edge Hill University Learning and Teaching Strategy aims to produce graduates who are ‘Academically successful, highly employable, confident and adaptable with a breadth of understanding including global perspectives, with a good understanding of sustainable development and their environment and are attuned to cultural diversity.’ This is to be achieved through ‘A dynamic academic community that nurtures excellence in learning, research and the application of knowledge, enterprise and entrepreneurship, regard for sustainability and civic responsibility’ underpinned by ‘Curricular experiences which promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, regard for the environment, the economy and just practices of benefit to both the present and the future.’

In curriculum design and review, it is expected that programme teams consider approaches to teaching, learning and assessment which include appropriate opportunities to consider social, environmental, economic and ethical dimensions which align with the promotion of ESD.

Useful Links

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/education-for-sustainable-development

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/sustainability/green-academy

http://efsandquality.glos.ac.uk/

https://wikis.bris.ac.uk/display/BristolESD/ESD+at+Bristol

Support and Guidance

Section 3

The Centre for Learning & Teaching and Academic Quality & Development Unit provide advice and guidance to departments preparing for the validation and periodic review of undergraduate degree programmes. Specialist support for the development of programmes containing significant amounts of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is available from the University’s SOLSTICE CETL. A wiki-based repository of materials and guidance representing best practice in the design and delivery of undergraduate programmes is also available to Edge Hill staff.

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