Module and Programme Handbook Policy
Module and Programme Handbook Policy and Guidelines
Module and programme handbooks are important ways in which detailed information is communicated to students regarding the curriculum and School-level procedures and practice. The University also produces a Student Handbook that provides core generic information (see part 3). Together, these sources of information allow the University and its Colleges and Schools to comply with the Quality Assurance Agency Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education1 as interpreted within the Quality Assurance Framework2. Publishing these documents also enables the institution to demonstrate how it intends to discharge its legal responsibilities, for example in relation to equality and diversity matters.
2. University Policy on Module and Programme Handbooks
- A programme handbook and set of module handbooks must be available for all students enrolled on taught undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes. A digital copy of each years' handbook must be sent to the Library and Learning Centre (email@example.com) for inclusion in the central handbook repository.
- For research degrees, the generic University Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate Research (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/qaf/docs/pgresearchcode.rtf) applies. This should be supplemented by a School research postgraduate handbook providing local information.
- Schools may elect to combine programme and module handbooks as they see fit. These should complement the University Student Handbook produced centrally.
- As part of the induction process each academic year, all students should be informed how to access the relevant handbooks.
- Handbooks may be provided in printed form to students, and/or via links to files (for example, in pdf format) either on School/programme website areas and via the virtual learning environment.
- Each handbook should undergo equality impact assessment3. Arrangements must be in place to provide handbooks in relevant alternative forms to assist students with disabilities.
- Certain elements of handbooks are mandatory, other recommended or optional. These are detailed in the accompanying guidelines.
- Schools are granted discretion over the presentation and order of handbook material and the specific material that is selected to appear within either the programme handbook, the module handbooks, or both.
- Information on how to access handbook material should be prominent in teaching materials, websites or VLE modules. There is no requirement to provide a hard copy to students, but online versions should be made available in all cases.
3. Content of the University Student Handbook
This annual publication contains generic material under the following headings:
Section I Welcome
Section II Being a student at the University of Dundee
1. How the University works what you need to know
2. Studying at the University
4. Students Matter: your voice in the University
5. Looking ahead
Section III Working and living in Dundee
6. Working while a student
7. Living in Dundee
8. Information for international families
Section IV Official information
9. Rules, regulations and the law
The current version should be consulted for detailed content and Schools should consider carefully the balance between cross-referencing and repetition between this publication and module and programme handbooks.
4. Guidelines for Content of Module and Programme Handbooks
The School Secretary and Dean have responsibility to ensure that the following material, regarded as mandatory handbook content 4, 5, appears in relevant school publications:
- Aims of module/programme
- A statement in relation to the School's policy on the inclusive nature of the curriculum and its teaching, including contact information in relation to support for disabilities and equality and diversity
- Definition of plagiarism and academic dishonesty6 as it applies within the programme discipline and types of assessment used
- Descriptive marking criteria allied to the marking scale7 or reporting scale or both, as appropriate
- Details and format of assessments (including, for example, weighting between in-course and end-of-module assessments, number and types of questions on each paper, duration of paper, word count for coursework exercises, weightings applied to component assessments, peer assessment details)
- Details of the mark aggregation process, where multiple assessments are involved, including weighting of elements among and within assessments or exam papers
- Details of criteria for achieving merit and distinction (for those taught postgraduate degrees where this is relevant)
- For groupwork and peer-assessed work, assessment processes and criteria and procedures for dealing with problems
- Health and safety information
- Sources of guidance and support (i.e. academic guidance, personal tutor, advisor of study schemes, University support services - academic and pastoral)
- Opportunities to receive formative assessment and feedback
- Penalties to be exacted for late submission and plagiarism and the appeal procedures that apply for extenuating circumstances
- Provisional nature of results, especially for Semester 1 modules or assessments
- Attendance and participation criteria and assessment, including use of registers, counts of online visits, and engagement in activities that may be taken into account and any penalties that may be applied
- Discipline, complaints and appeals8
- Resits, including the fee charged by the University for registration
- Information on student feedback procedures, representation and staff-student liaison committees
- Learning outcomes at appropriate levels, as deemed appropriate (lecture, practical, tutorial, topic, module, programme)9
- List of reading materials10 and book purchase recommendations (as appropriate)
- List of teaching team with contact details and/or office hours as applicable
- Procedures where extenuating circumstances apply (e.g. obtaining and submitting medical certificates, forms for self-certification or extenuating circumstances)
- Programme/module name and SITS code
- Progression/termination information
- Scheduling and submission dates for assessments and coursework, including, potentially, an assessment timetable (or information about where this will be published, and when) and information on any penalties for late return
- School office, programme leader and support staff contact details and/or office hours as applicable
- Statement on disclosure of disability
- The scale or scales used for marking, and their relationship to the reporting scale and descriptors (where marking does not take place using the reporting scale).
In addition, the following material is recommended handbook content:
- Careers Service contact details
- Contents page
- Details of graduate skills and where these are introduced, practiced and assessed
- Discipline formats for citing sources and discipline referencing style(s)
- How and where to submit coursework, including any presentation requirements
- How to access past exam papers
- Introduction/welcome by programme leader or Dean of School
- Library facilities, including induction courses
- Links to relevant University degree regulations (degree regulations, assessment policy, code of practice on plagiarism and academic dishonesty, code of practice for IT
- Marking procedures, including double-marking and anonymisation
- Module choices and degree pathways (where relevant) e.g. text, table or diagram
- Personal development planning as implemented by the School or programme
- Procedures for return of coursework (including minimum times for return) and type of grades and feedback that will be given to students on their submissions
- Semester dates and class timetable
- Use of the Virtual Learning Environment by the School
- Web-based learning materials.
The following material is optional handbook content
- Assignment submission top page
- Careers/employment information and details of events such as subject-related careers fairs
- Details of special exam procedures, e.g. for online assessment
- Guidance on appropriate behaviour during assessments
- Guidance on student conduct in groupwork
- Lecture plans
- Model exam questions (and answers) or information about how to access these
- Placements and internship opportunities
- Postgraduate opportunities
- PSRB Accreditation information
- Sample forms used for submission and feedback
- Specifics regarding learning within the discipline
- Staff photographs
- Student exchange schemes e.g. ERASMUS
- Student prizes
- Taking a year out / discounting a year / temporary withdrawal from programme
- Transferring between programmes /degrees
- University structures (i.e. colleges, schools, boards, committees).
1 QAA website: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/codeOfPractice/default.asp
2 University of Dundee Quality Assurance Framework: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/qaf/
3 See University of Dundee Human Resources website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/hr/equality/
4 Presented in alphabetical order
5 Some content here has also been defined within the Assessment Policy for Taught Provision (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/academic/assesspolicy.htm)
6 See University Code of Practice on Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/academic/plagiarism.htm)
7 This refers to the University Fifteen-point Literal Assessment Reporting Scale (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/academic/assesspolicy.htm).
8 See Discipline, Complaints and Appeals (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/academic/dca/index.htm)
9 These should include the information published in the Module and Programme specification, and may extend this.
10 Schools should consult with their Liaison Librarian (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/library/liaison.htm) over the content and presentation of this section and with ASRS to ensure that students who have accepted places can be supplied with this information.
Approved by Senate on 13 October 2010