Course Organisation and Management

Course Structure and Delivery

Our award-bearing courses are modular in structure and are delivered in semesters. Modules are generally taught and assessed within one semester but some run across two semesters.

The minimum requirements for each award (degree, diploma, or certificate) are specified in the regulations in terms of entry qualifications, duration, credit points, level and standard of achievement.

Course/Subject Director, Course/Subject Committee

A course committee is responsible for the organisation and management of the course. It is made up of all staff who contribute significantly to the teaching and assessment of the course. It may include student representatives.

One of these staff is appointed the course director who looks after the day-to-day running of the course. You should contact this person if your adviser of studies, the module co-ordinator or other lecturing staff are not able to help you with a particular problem or query relating to the course.

The course committee, with the external examiner(s) becomes the board of examiners for the course and as such determines the results and academic progress of students.

If you are studying for a Combined Honors degree in two subjects (Major/Minor or Main/Main), a subject committee has these roles for each subject (and for the related Single Honours programme).

A campus co-ordinating group, comprising all subject directors and chaired by the director of combined studies, looks after inter-subject matters, and a campus board of examiners is responsible for decisions on academic progress.

The Course/Subject Committee issues you with a handbook which gives you detailed information on such matters as the structure of the course, content of modules, the programme specification, teaching, assessment, Faculty and School policies and regulations.

Module Co-ordinator

Each module has a Module Co-ordinator who has overall responsibility for the module. The main responsibilities of the Module Co-ordinator are:

  • Planning the module and changes to the module
  • Co-ordinating and managing teaching on the module
  • Co-ordinating the examining of students on the module

In cases where a module is delivered by more than one member of staff, some responsibilities will be shared. A Course Support Area is available within the Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard Learn, to assist communication.

Click here to view the Modular Course Structure.

Adviser of Studies

When you become a registered student on a taught course you are assigned an Adviser of Studies who provides guidance in matters relating to choice of modules, assessment and progress.

You are encouraged to talk to your advisers about your work and progress and to seek assistance, if required, with study or examination skills.

Studies Advisers will be pleased to provide you with information about the range of support available e.g. from Student Support, Chaplaincy, Careers Development Centre and, if requested, will make arrangements for you to seek specialist advice or help.

You will be given the name of your Studies Adviser during the first week of the semester. You should meet with your Adviser at least once each semester. Your Adviser will agree with you the frequency and format of these meetings.

Student Views

The University very highly values your views on the programmes and modules that you are taking and aims to be responsive to both positive and negative feedback on your overall experience whilst you are a student at the University.

Feedback and comments are encouraged in a number of ways, some formal and others informal. An online student survey gathers your views at the end of each module.

Each programme/subject has a Course/Subject Committee which has a requirement to consult you and obtain your views, whether through the Committee itself or through a separate Staff-Student Consultative Committee (see below).

In addition, you may be asked for feedback at various stages in your course or on particular aspects of your University experience. You may also be asked for your views on any proposed changes to your programme.

Informally, lecturing staff may seek feedback from you about each of the modules that you are studying and your Studies Adviser will encourage you to raise any issues or concerns about your programme directly with them.

The University also has a formal complaints procedure (outlined below) which allows you to raise serious concerns that haven’t been effectively dealt with by other feedback methods.

Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCC)

This is the key method for obtaining feedback from full-time students about your programme of study and is a good opportunity for you to have a direct input into how your course/subject is run and how it might develop in the future.

The SSCC is made up of elected student representatives from your programme/subject area, who are there to represent the views of your group of students, together with the Course/Subject Director and other members of academic staff.

Through this committee you may discuss specific matters within individual modules but also more general issues such as approaches to teaching and learning assessment, library and IT resources, general University facilities and health and safety.

For part-time courses, because of the difficulty of arranging convenient meeting times for student representatives on the course, Course/Subject Directors are not required to hold formal meetings but are encouraged to adopt a more flexible approach.

They must still consult you once per semester and maintain a formal record of issues raised and how they were resolved, but they may choose to adopt a variety of different consultation methods such as e-mail, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), whole class meetings and questionnaires.

In addition to SSCCs you are also represented on decision-making committees of the University and your Faculty through the Students’ Union.

Student Representatives

Student Representatives are elected from within your programme or subject area to act as ‘Course Reps’ on the SSCC or Course/Subject Committee.

All students from your programme/subject area should have the opportunity to take part in the election of your representatives.

Course Reps are there to represent your class as a whole and also feed back information from the University to students on their course/subject.

Full-time students should elect a representative during the first few weeks of the academic year, and the election process will usually be coordinated by your Course/Subject Director.

Part-time students may be asked to elect student representatives for their programme or subject but this will depend on the method of consultation chosen by the Course/Subject Director.

You do not need past experience to be a Course Rep. You can nominate yourself for the position, but your fellow students will expect you to be organised, a good communicator and someone they can approach with problems or queries.

All Course Reps have the opportunity to attend essential accredited training for the role, which is provided by the Students’ Union. In addition, once elected as a Course Rep you will be given a copy of the Student Representation Handbook, which provides more details on the role and its duties.

Being a Course Rep enables you to develop a number of transferable skills (leadership, team work, communication, problem solving, and negotiation… to name but a few) that can make you more employable at the end of your time at University.

These transferable skills should then also be noted onto your Personal Development Plan (PDP) so that your experiences, skills and achievements as a Course Rep can become part of your portfolio.

You will also receive the satisfaction that you have done your part to improve not only your course, but also the institution as a whole.

If you are interested in becoming a Course Rep, please consult with your Course/Subject Director during the first few weeks of your course.