Starting the design process

About our student-focused programme and course design method, and a step-by-step guide for curriculum design teams.

Programme and course design (also known as curriculum design) is undertaken for a number of reasons.

Sometimes external criteria (such as accreditation, government or university criteria) change, and necessitate a change in what students learn and are able to evidence.

At other times, redesign reflects changes in pedagogical or conceptual approaches in the discipline itself.

Sometimes you may want to develop a completely new programme. Whatever the reason for engaging with curriculum (re)design, it is helpful to think of it as a systematic process. In this process you should:

  1. Develop your programme- or major-specific graduate attributes. These should be aligned with the University Graduate Profile and any degree, qualification or major attributes defined by your Faculty.
  2. Review and map the structure of the courses comprising the programme, including those offered by staff outside of the programme team to ensure programme attributes are mapped to courses and progression pathways identified.
  3. Review and develop course learning objectives, and align these with assessment activities (formative and summative) and teaching/learning activities.
  4. Develop a process for gathering evidence of the quality and effectiveness of the programme for supporting student achievement of the programme graduate attributes.

The Centre for Academic Development works with Faculties and Schools to assist academic staff in the (re)development of programmes.

The objective is to ensure that programmes are designed to effectively and efficiently provide pathways for student learning and attainment of the goals of their chosen major.

Redesign resources

Helpful resources