Module and programme handbook policy and guidance

Updated on 10 May 2022

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  1. The UK Quality Code outlines the expectation that all students are provided with the support that they need to succeed in their studies and that modules and programmes are both well-designed and provide a high-quality academic experience. It is expected that students are provided with information to enable them to understand the learning outcomes of their programmes and modules and how these will be assessed.
  2. It is a guiding principle that we provide clear, consistent, and accessible information about the opportunities and support available to students; the information should be concise, timely and well structured.
  3. Additionally, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) requires all Scottish institutions to make information about the quality of their teaching and learning publicly available in a clear and accessible format. It is expected that the information we provide is accurate, honest, accessible, and where possible tailored to the audience it is provided for. The information must be easily updateable and reusable so as to avoid repetition or duplication.

University policy on module and programme information provision

  1. Programme and module information must be available for all students enrolled on taught undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research programmes.
  2. It is expected that module level information is provided via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). (The VLE in place at the time of this policy update is My Dundee (Blackboard Ultra)).
  3. It is expected that programme level information is provided to students in the form of an e-handbook (a word or PDF handbook), or via the Virtual Learning Environment, whichever is the most appropriate for the Programme of study.
  4. The Associate Dean for Quality & Academic Standards (where handbooks are developed in departments outwith Schools the head of that service must make the confirmation) must confirm, annually, to the Quality and Academic Standards Committee that all module and programme information is made available to students on or before their date of enrolment.
  5. Programme e-handbooks should be submitted to the Quality and Academic Standards team (QualityAndAcademicStandards@dundee.ac.uk) prior to the start of the semester, where a VLE alternative is provided to students the Quality and Academic Standards team should be made aware of this.
  6. As part of the induction process each academic year all students should be informed of how to access their module and programme information.
  7. In line with current legislation e-handbooks must be provided in an accessible format that supports the provision of relevant alternative formats to assist students with disabilities.
  8. The following guidelines provide the minimum requirements for module and programme information. Schools may provide more information as they deem appropriate. Any additional information should meet the guiding principles of clarity, consistency, and accessibility.
  9. Module and programme teams should coordinate information provided to ensure that duplication is avoided. Where institutional information is made available, for example about mitigating circumstances, the information should not be repeated, but linked to. This will avoid both duplication and errors arising from version control.

Guidelines for information about modules

  1. The School must provide module information via the VLE. They may choose to also provide this information in an e-handbook format, however that that is not a requirement of this policy. Should an e-handbook be provided this does not remove the requirement for information provision via the VLE as outlined below.
  2. The Associate Dean for Quality and Academic Standards has the responsibility to ensure that the following material, regarded as mandatory, is included within the module information on the VLE:
    • introduction/welcome by module leader
    • module name and SITS code
    • intended learning outcomes
    • module aims and indicative content
    • assessment information including
      • assessment strategy
      • assessment types and weightings
      • relevant information about marking of the module, descriptive marking criteria allied to the literal reporting scale
      • Individual assessment information including how and where to submit coursework
      • details of the mark aggregation process, where multiple assessments are involved, including weighting of elements among and within assessments or exam papers
      • How assessment feedback will be provided
      • Information about resits
    • Description of the approach to teaching and student learning opportunities, including;
      • Mode of delivery
      • Breakdown of activity types and notional hours
      • Module resource/reading list
    • Key contact information
    • Relevant dates and timetable
  3. The following mandatory information will be pre-populated within the module template, it may be necessary to amend or augment this information if there is guidance specific to the module of which students should be aware:
    • Turnitin guides
    • Accessibility statement
    • Academic integrity/misconduct
    • Mitigating Circumstances Guidance and forms
    • Library subject guide
  4. The following information is considered optional. This list is not exhaustive.
    • Information about how the module has been amended in response to student feedback
    • Information about how the module has been updated since the previous iteration
    • School and/or programme level resources

Guidelines for information about programmes

  1. The Associate Dean for Quality and Academic Standards has the responsibility to ensure that the following material, regarded as mandatory, is included within the programme e-handbook or via the VLE (This information may be also be provided in a discrete module handbook, however this is not a requirement of this policy.):
    • introduction/welcome by programme leader or Dean of School
    • programme name and SITS code
    • semester dates and timetable
    • programme team (inclusive of academic and professional staff responsible for the programmes delivery) contact details
    • programme aims
    • programme intended learning outcomes at appropriate levels, as deemed appropriate (lecture, practical, tutorial, topic, module, programme)
    • information about the modes of delivery used across the programme
    • link to reading and resource materials
    • sources of guidance and support (i.e. academic guidance, personal tutor, advisor of study schemes, Careers Service, University support services - academic and pastoral)
    • Institutional statement in relation to the inclusive nature of the curriculum and its teaching
    • statement on disclosure of disability
    • the programme regulations including information about taking a year out / suspension of studies/ withdrawal from programme or transferring between programmes /degrees
    • programme level information about assessment including approach to peer assessment, late submission penalties, referencing guidelines, progression rules or other programme specific information
    • provisional nature of results, especially for Semester 1 modules or assessments
    • attendance and participation criteria and assessment, including use of SEAtS and engagement in activities that may be taken into account and any penalties that may be applied
    • link to the University assessment policy and classification regulations for the programme
    • information about academic misconduct and integrity as relates to the discipline
    • link to information about student discipline, complaints, and appeals procedures
    • library facilities, including induction courses
    • information on the use of the Virtual Learning Environment by the School and any software or web-based learning materials (where appropriate)
    • information on student feedback procedures, representation and student-staff liaison committees and a link to the Student Partnership Agreement
    • link to health and safety information
  2. For research degrees, the generic University Research Degrees Quality Code applies. This should be supplemented by a School research postgraduate e-handbook providing local information.
  3. The following information is mandatory where the opportunity is provided within the programme:
    • module choices and degree pathways (where relevant) e.g. text, table or diagram
    • placements and internship opportunities
    • PSRB accreditation information
  4. The following information is considered optional. This list is not exhaustive.
    • opportunities for students to receive formative assessment and feedback
    • sample forms used for submission and feedback
    • how to access past exam papers
    • details of special exam procedures, e.g. for online assessment
    • guidance on student conduct in group / peer assessed work
    • details of graduate skills and where these are introduced, practiced, and assessed
    • postgraduate opportunities (where relevant)
    • Student exchange schemes e.g. Turing
    • student prizes
    • School based / student led academic societies
    • staff photographs

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