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Curriculum, Learning and Assessment

Updating Modules and Programmes

The Academic Support Office manages the curriculum development process for all new and existing programmes at Durham University. Curriculum development is carried out under the authority of Senate, through Education Committee (a sub-committee of Senate) and Faculty Education Committees (sub-committees of Education Committee).

The regulations for curriculum development are contained in Section 3 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook. Departments schools wishing to create, amend or withdraw any module or programme (taught or research degree) should consult this document in the first instance. Any further queries regarding curriculum development should be directed to the appropriate Assistant Registrar or Faculty Support Officer. They are:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Catherine Ellis

Faculty of Science

Nicola Brennan

Faculty of Social Sciences and Health

Andrea Armstrong (UG); Ellen Chapman (PGT)

Deadlines for Curriculum Development

For curriculum development to take effect from October 2018

  • Undergraduate: all documentation to be received by ASO no later than 26 January 2018
  • Postgraduate: all documentation to be received by ASO no later than 16 March 2018

All curriculum development should be approved by the relevant board(s) of studies before it is submitted (this approval may be by Chair's Action on behalf of the board, or by a delegated nominee such as the Director of UG Studies).

All amendments to existing programmes, such as changes to the programme regulations, or requests for programme withdrawals or suspensions, should be sent to the Curriculum, Learning & Assessment service for processing, updating and, where necessary, approving. Advice and guidance on process and structure is available from the service at any point. Detailed advice and guidance on curriculum design, and on the relevant approval levels and processes, is available from the Learning and Teaching Handbook (Developing Modules ; Developing Programmes), and departments are encouraged to get in touch with their appropriate faculty support contact for support and guidance at any point.

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Catherine Ellis

Faculty of Science

Nicola Brennan

Faculty of Social Sciences and Health

Andrea Armstrong (UG); Ellen Chapman (PGT)

Deadlines for Curriculum Development

All documentation relating to changes that will take effect in October 2018 should be received by the service by the following dates:

  • Undergraduate: all documentation to be received by ASO no later than 26 January 2018
  • Postgraduate: all documentation to be received by ASO no later than 16 March 2018

These dates are set to ensure that all updates can be checked and made (February-March), and student-facing regulations published (March-April), in advance of the May student registration period. If you are not able to provide all changes by the deadlines, please get in touch with your faculty support contact to discuss the feasibility and implications of any extension.

Updating Programmes

Programme Regulations are published as linked pdfs, and are available as word documents which should be updated using track-changes. Documents are available from the service at any point on request, and will be provided to departments in December of each year.

Departments are encouraged to consult with students and external examiners on all significant programme developments.

Updating Modules

All proposals for new modules, or to amend or withdraw existing modules, must be submitted electronically via the module outline webpages (detailed instructions on working with the online module outline system can be downloaded from the webpages). To use the module outline system you will need to have Altova Authentic installed on your computer.

To make a change to a Module Outline, simply download a copy of the most current version of the module you wish to amend (usually the official version). Then open the document (an .xml file) using Altova Authentic, and make the changes as appropriate. You will then be able to upload the revised module to the website, outlining the timing of, and reasons for, the proposed change.

The appropriate member of the service will be informed automatically, and will be able to either approve the change or, where necessary, refer the change to the relevant faculty senior officer for approval, or contact you with queries or requested revisions. Changes can be proposed with immediate effect, or to take place in future academic years.

To submit a new module for consideration, simply download a copy of the blank undergraduate or postgraduate module outline template. Then you can enter the correct information and upload the module to the website. Please note: all new modules should be accompanied by external examiners' comments, and all new modules require the approval of the chair of the relevant Faculty Education Committee.

New Programmes

All proposals for both undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes must go through the University's new programme approval process. This two-stage programme approval process - recently revised by the Stragetic Planning Office on behalf of UEC - allows departments to demonstrate both the academic and financial viability of their proposals. Full details on the new programme approval process can be found in the Learning and Teaching Handbook.

Proposed programmes that will involve other institutions (which includes other universities, and organisations that are not HEis) must also go through the University's processes for approving collaborative partnerships, and will require the development of a legal agreement.

Contact Details

Curriculum, Learning & Assessment service
Durham University
Palatine Centre 
Stockton Road
Durham DH1 3LE

Phone: +44 0191 334 6104
Fax: +44 0191 334 6250