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Module and Programme Design

Coherent Learning Approaches

Having considered your programme's educational philosophy and the primary curriculum models to be used in your programme, your team can then get down to the practicality of planning your programme’s learning outcomes, its structure and its teaching, learning and assessment strategies. It is important that there is a coherence and integrative approach to the programme, not a collection of individual modules.

Three questions you might ask yourself at this stage are:

  1. Is there a coherent planning process in the programme?
  2. Are there coherent teaching and learning strategies?
  3. Is there a coherent, sequential and integrated design across the programme?

Developing Curriculum Coherence

It can be very helpful to students to draw a visual that shows them the programme coherence and how everything fits together.

In your programme design allow space in the curriculum for students ‘to breathe’ and learn in different ways at different rates. Build in challenges at levels of difficulty that will promote creativity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Try to build in knowledge depth, time for complex concepts and space for personal growth (Knight, 2001).


  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Knight, P.T. (2001). Complexity and Curriculum: a process approach to curriculum-making. Teaching in Higher Education, 6 (3), 369-381.