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Course Specifications Checklist

  • Is the specification clear and coherent? Would a potential student, employer or QAA reviewer be able to understand it?
  • Does the course match the level descriptor in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications? This is especially important if there is no relevant subject benchmark, and for higher qualifications. Is subject material appropriate for Honours or Master's level? Are the transferable and employability skills explicit?
  • Does the specification articulate with the relevant benchmark(s) (where applicable)? Are the references to the benchmark signalled (B) in the specification?
  • Is it clear how students are supported in learning, given the opportunity to demonstrate, and assessed in respect of the course's overall learning outcomes? This can be achieved by completion of the module-mapping grid, which charts course learning outcomes against modules at different levels in the course. It is important to ensure that all outcomes are assessed at level H (3). It is also important to consider whether it would be possible to gain a pass degree without achieving all learning outcomes.
  • For Master's courses with Diploma and Certificate variations, are the learning outcomes marked to demonstrate those which apply only to the Master's (M) degree, and those which apply to only the Master's degree and diploma (D) or certificate (C)? Lesser qualifications cannot be awarded following failure to attain a full Master's degree, but by identifying and demonstrating the achievement of learning outcomes specified for a Diploma or Certificate at M-level, as set out by the course specification.
  • Who is the course leader? Is s/he employed in the University? Is the information in the specification consistent with information in other course-related documents (e.g. course approval documentation, student handbook, course publicity, documentation from Periodic Reviews, mapping documents/course structure diagrams)?