A1.2.8 Module definitions

    1. A module is a formally structured learning experience with a coherent and explicit set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria.  Students are awarded academic credit in respect of their achievement as demonstrated through meeting the learning outcomes for a module.  Small amounts of measurable learning can therefore be accredited and recorded, and may be accumulated towards a qualification.  Modules may be practice/work-based or theoretical, or contain elements of both.
    2. A credit value, specified in terms of the number of credits and the level, is ascribed to each module.  The level assigned to a module is an indicator of the relative complexity or depth of learning required to achieve the stated learning outcomes.  Level descriptors are reference points setting out the generic characteristics of learning at specific levels, for example, as in the SEEC level descriptors (2010).
    3. The number of credits assigned to a module is based on the estimated notional learning hours, i.e. the number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level. 1 credit equates to approximately 10 notional learning hours during which time students will take part in a range of different learning activities which will be specified in the module descriptor.  For ease of transferability within the University, the standard (‘single’) module size is 15 credits on undergraduate programmes and 20 credits on postgraduate programmes.  For Workforce Development short course provision, smaller sized modules, in multiples of 5 credits, are permitted.  
    4. In order to be eligible for the award of academic credit for a completed module, students must submit the required pieces of work for assessment and meet the requirements of and regulations governing the module or programme of study (refer to section A3 Assessment of Students).
    5. Modules may be designated as compulsory or optional, according to their importance in enabling students to achieve the learning outcomes for the programme as a whole and, where applicable, to meet professional body requirements.  Compulsory modules serve a fundamental role within the curriculum for a programme of study, and achievement of the credits attached to these modules is essential for the conferment of award. Optional modules are offered to students in order to provide an element of choice in the curriculum, and may complement compulsory modules.
    6. Individual modules do not have intrinsic status as compulsory or optional, as defined above, but are designated as such in relation to a specific programme of study – the same module may therefore be defined as compulsory in one programme and optional in another. 
    7. Modules may also be designated as pre- or co-requisite with other modules within a programme of study.  A pre-requisite module provides specific preparation for another named module, either at the same level or at a higher level.  Students are expected to take pre-requisite modules in the designated order, as given in the Programme Specification.  Programme leaders should consider whether the potential restrictions with respect to progression placed on students by designating modules as mandatory pre-requisites are essential from an academic or professional perspective.   Co-requisite modules must be taken together, normally in the same stage of a programme of study.
    8. Other module classifications used within the Undergraduate Modular Programme are defined in the specific regulations governing the Undergraduate Modular Programme.  
    9. Every module must be set out on the current University module descriptor template, and approved according to the University requirements as set out in the Quality & Standards Handbook.  These module details must be made available to students via PIP and/or in module handbooks.