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Module and Programme Design

Programme Mapping and Alignment

Curriculum mapping is a growing activity for programme-level review and development. The programme teams’ dialogue and collaboration is a key aspect of mapping process (Uchiyama & Radin, 2009).

‘the collegial discussions and decision-making processes are the heart of curriculum mapping. Curriculum maps are by-products of teachers working collaboratively and individually to design and review curriculum’. 

Hale and Dunlap (2010, pp. 17-18).

The purpose of curriculum mapping is to ensure that the teaching and learning activities, assessments, and/or content of a programme align with the programme outcomes. This is to enable:

  • Transparency for the students and faculty; 
  • A coherent approach to programme enhancement and change; 
  • Efficiency in teaching, learning and assessment approaches;
  • That key institutional attributes are reflected in the programme activities;
  • Enhancement of sequencing and coherence of programme’s content, teaching and assessment approaches (Arafeh, 2015; Hale & Dunlap, 2010).

Some Different Types of Curriculum Mapping

  • Mapping programme outcomes to external drivers (such as professional and accrediting bodies) demands
  • Mapping programme outcomes and module outcomes and assessments
  • Mapping development of graduate attributes across a programme
  • Mapping development of research skills across a programme
  • Mapping threshold concept development across a programme 
  • Mapping changes and innovations in programme design 

Using the Curriculum Mapping Tool in InfoHub

All module coordinators contributing to the programme play a part in the curriculum mapping process. Under the direction of the academic lead for the programme, each MC can map their module(s) to the programme outcomes, using the online mapping tool in the Curriculum Review and Enhancement InfoHub system.  The system collates the mapping data on each module to provide a programme level view of how the contributing modules address and assess the programme outcomes.

Key Point

The most important aspect of curriculum mapping is the collegial dialogue and collaborative decision-making that arises from the mapping process and combined visual output. 

Reviewing and interpreting the curriculum map

Once each module has been mapped, the programme director can convene a workshop involving as many of the programme team as possible to discuss and interpret the curriculum map.  The following exercise may be of assistance with that: 

When complete, the curriculum map will summarise the distribution of the programme outcomes that appear to be achieved across the associated modules. The data may be viewed by: (i) Stage; (ii) Core/Option Modules; and (iii) Entire Programme.

The programme outcomes are automatically summed into a ‘weighted total’ using the following scoring system: 1= Introduced; 2 = Further Developed; 3 = Achieved. This allows the concentration of the programme outcomes to be read in relation to the selected group of modules.

The number of times a programme outcome is assessed ‘summatively’ or ‘formatively only’ is also calculated. This allows a review of the link between programme outcomes and assessment. In reviewing the assessments across the selected group of modules, it is also useful to discuss the use of different methods of assessment (such as exams, projects, presentations, journals or lab reports) and to note whether there is an over or under emphasis on certain assessment methods. 



  • Arafeh, S. (2015): Curriculum mapping in higher education: a case study and proposed content scope and sequence mapping tool, Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2014.1000278
  • Hale J.A & Dunlap, R.F (2010). An educational leader’s guide to curriculum mapping: Creating and sustaining collaborative culture. London: Sage Ltd.
  • Uchiyama, K.P & L. Radin (2009) Curriculum Mapping in Higher Education: A Vehicle for Collaboration, Innovation in Higher Education, 33:271–280. 
  • Udelhofen, S. (2005). Keys to Curriculum Mapping –Strategies and Tools to Make it Work. California: Corwin Press.