1. Introduction - University of the Arts London

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1. Introduction - University of the Arts London Powered By Docstoc
					ASDC 33 – 25 March 2010                                                                                            Item 11.1b



Credit Framework

           Summary of University of the Arts London Credit Framework


           Definitions and principles

           Levels and learning outcomes

           Credit requirements for HE awards

           Level descriptors

Course Structures Framework


Appendix 1 – Framework for Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Qualification Levels

Appendix 2 – Generic Level Descriptors – NICATS

Appendix 3 – Common Vocabulary

Appendix 4 – Student Entitlement

Appendix 5 – Personal and Professional Development


          The policy on the University of the Arts London Credit Framework was approved by ASC February 1999
          The Course Structures Working Party report on Course Structures and Frameworks was approved by ASC in March 2002
          Updated June 2005 following amendments by ASDC
          Working party on Credit Frameworks was approved by ASDC in June 2009
          Updated March 2010 following amendments by ASDC

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    ASDC 33 – 25 March 2010                                                                       Item 11.1b

                  Summary of University of the Arts London Credit Framework

    Key Principles

    All courses leading to a qualification will be credit rated.

    Credit is given for the achievement of the learning outcomes associated with a
    particular unit of learning. It is awarded at the point when that learning is assessed.

    A unit of learning is an assessed course element as defined in the assessment
    regulations for a course.

    A unit of learning is uniquely defined at one level of credit by its learning outcomes.

    Credit Tariff

    1 credit = 10 notional learning hours

    20 credits = minimum size of a unit of study. Unit sizes to be multiples of 20 credits.

    Units of learning at different levels can be combined to lead to a qualification. The
    credit requirements are set out below.

LEVEL   AWARD         CREDITS REQUIRED                                                  NOTIONAL LEARNING

7       Masters       180 credits (at least 150 at level 7, balance at level 6)         1800
        PgDip         120 credits (at least 90 at level 7, balance at level 6)
        PgCert        60 credits at level 7 (at least 40 at level 7, balance at level

6       BA (Hons)     360 credits (200 at level 5 or above, and a minimum of            3600
                      100 at level 6 or above)
        GradDip       120 credits at level 6
        GradCert      60 credits at level 6

5       FdA           240 credits (minimum of 100 at level 5 or above)                  2400
        FdA 3         360 credits (120 per year) of which a minimum of 100              3600
        yr/DipHE yr   must be at level 5 or above, the balance may be a mixture
                      of level 4 and level 3. The maximum allowable at level 3
                      is 90 credits

4       CertHE        120 credits at level 4 or above                                   1200

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The Purposes of the University of the Arts London Credit Framework

     1. The purposes of the University of the Arts London credit framework are:

                i.   To give students recognition for all assessed learning

               ii.   To ensure that within the University of the Arts London recognition
                     is given consistently within an agreed framework of principles and

              iii.   To locate University of the Arts London awards within the
                     developing national credit and qualifications framework;

              iv.    To facilitate the development of greater flexibility in the patterns of
                     learning available to students including opportunities for study
                     across colleges.

     2. It is recognised that a credit framework, in itself, does not increase flexibility in
        learning patterns, but it is an essential pre-requisite for developments which


     1. All courses leading to a qualification will be credit-rated

     2. Undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses will be credit-rated following
        the principles and definitions set out in the University of the Arts London credit

Definitions and Principles

1.      Credit                     Credit is an educational currency. It is awarded to
                                   students who have demonstrated that they have
                                   achieved a specified learning outcome at a given level

2.      Basis for the award        The number of credits awarded is based on the
        of credit                  achievement of the specified learning outcomes at a
                                   given level.

3.      Basic credit tariff        One credit is given for learning outcomes associated
                                   within each ten hours of notional learning time

4.      Notional learning          The number of hours it would (on average) take to
        hours                      achieve specified learning outcomes at a given level.
                                   This includes contact time, supervised and

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                                unsupervised access to facilities and independent

5.      Size of units           Unit sizes will be in multiples of 20 with 20 credits
                                (200 notional learning hours) as the minimum block of
                                learning for which credit can be given.

6.      Definition of       Learning outcomes specify what an individual knows,
        learning            understands and is able to do as a result of the
        outcomes/objectives learning he or she has undertaken.

7.      Assessment for          Credit can only be awarded for learning which is
        credit                  formally assessed. Credit is awarded for the
                                achievement of the minimum defined by specific
                                learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

                                No additional credit is awarded for achievement
                                above the minimum (the recognition of such
                                achievement in degree classifications or grades is
                                separate from t he award of credit)

8.      Principle of learning   Notwithstanding the link between credit and notional
        achieved                learning hours, the emphasis of assessment
                                should be on learning achieved not time served.

9.      Credit accumulation     Credit can be accumulated towards the achievement
                                of particular University of the Arts London
                                qualifications as specified in the relevant course

10.     European Credit         Where academic credit awarded by the University of
        Transfer Scheme         the Arts London is to be converted to ECTS, this will
        (ECTS)                  be on the basis of 1 UAL credit being equivalent to
                                0.5 ECTS.

Levels and Learning Outcomes

11.     Qualification Levels The University has adopted five levels for its awards
                             which correspond to those in the Framework for
                             Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) published by
                             the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Within each
                             level, specific qualifications will involve different
                             volumes of learning, and differences in the range of
                             intended learning outcomes. A table outlining FHEQ
                             levels can be found at Appendix 1.

                                Information relating to FHEQ qualification descriptors
                                can be found at

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ASDC 33 – 25 March 2010                                                          Item 11.1b


12.     Level descriptors       A single hierarchy of levels and their associated level
                                descriptors will be used in the allocation of credit.
                                These are set out in Appendix 2.

13.     Terminology             The university has adopted the terms level 4 - 7 which
                                represent the types of work undertaken in HE

14.     The determination       The level of a particular unit is determined by the
        of the level of units   correspondence between its learning outcomes and
                                the relevant level descriptors within a particular
                                academic context.

15.     One unit, one level     All units much have a level attached, units can only be
                                attributed to one level. Levels are defined by learning
                                outcomes not course delivery.

16.     Levels and years of     Levels are not intrinsically related to years of study
        study                   although there will often be a correlation. Thus;
                                     Units undertaken following the award of a first
                                      degree are not necessarily postgraduate in
                                     Work experience units may be at any level

17.     Combinations of         Different levels of credit and units may be combined in
        units at different      an overall University of the Arts London qualification.
        levels and              The combination will be specified in the course
        qualification           handbook and must follow the guidelines set out in the
        requirements            credit tariff.

Credit Tariff

18.     Assumptions on          1 full time academic year = 1200 notional learning
        length of               hours
        academic year

19.     Award requirements The award requirements indicate minimum
                           requirements and allow for appropriate flexibility in
                           course design. Many University courses will have
                           requirements above the minimum. E.g. Many BA
                           courses will be credit rated with a full 120 credits at
                           each level of study

20.     General Credit          The total amount of credit attributed to specified
                                learning outcomes at validation

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21.     Specific Credit   The number of credits at specified levels which a
                          receiving course or institution is prepared to accept in
                          recognition of prior learning on a specific course. This
                          term used when students move between courses,
                          programmes or institutions.

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Course Structures Framework

1.     Introduction

1.1    Under the Course Structures Framework of the University of the Arts London
       each college has a single Postgraduate and single Undergraduate Course
       Framework. These frameworks have in common the features defined in the
       University Framework and will normally include other features specific to the
       college. College frameworks are approved by Academic Standards and
       Development Committee and all courses are validated within the frameworks
       under normal University validation procedures.

2.     Undergraduate Frameworks

2.1    All college undergraduate frameworks must contain the following common

a)      A common vocabulary (Appendix 3);

b)      Credit rated units in line with UAL credit framework;

c)      Unit descriptions include agreed student entitlements (Appendix 4);

d)      Minimum unit size of 20;

e)      Maximum unit size of 40 in years 1 and 2, 80 in year 3;

f)      Unit size to be divisible by 20;

g)      A free standing Induction Unit ‘Introduction to Study in Higher Education:
        optional subtitle’ (20 credits) for all FdA and BA courses in year 1

h)      Personal and Professional Development (PPD) launched through the
        Induction Unit (20 credits), and embedded in all years (Appendix 5)

i)      Elective units in year 2 are no longer a formal requirement of the course
        structures framework. Where elective units are discontinued, Colleges should
        retain as part of the University’s course credit framework, elements of study
        that allow students to step outside their core subject as a way of enriching
        their understanding of their own discipline. *Further consultation will take
        place to create a model which provides opportunities for interdisciplinary work
        and increases flexibility of the curriculum (could be delivered as a discrete unit
        or as a project within a unit). Model planned for introduction 2011/12
        Academic Year. Courses undertaking revalidation or major changes before
        2011/12 should consider the potential model that might be adopted, and
        discuss the most appropriate action with Academic Affairs.

j)      Honours classification calculated on the basis of final year marks only;

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k)      All credits transferable within the University of the Arts London. A student’s
        home examination board will accept credits and associated marks as agreed
        by any other examination board for agreed units;

l)      An undergraduate year of three ten week terms.

3       Postgraduate Frameworks

3.1     All college postgraduate frameworks must include the following common

a)      A common vocabulary (Appendix 3)

b)      Credit rated units in line with the UAL framework

c)      Unit descriptors include agreed student entitlements (Appendix 4)

d)      Minimum unit size of 20

e)      All credits transferable within the University of the Arts London. A student’s
        home       examination board will accept credits and associated unit marks as
        agreed by any other examination board for agreed units;

f)      The following credit requirements;
        MA           180 (at least 150 at level 7, balance at level 6)
        PgDip        120 (at least 90 at level 7, balance at level 6)
        PgCert       60 (at least 40 at level 7, balance at level 6)
        GradDip      120 (120 at level 6)
        GradCert     60 (60 at level 6)

g)      Three models of duration (in weeks); FT, PT and ‘Extended FT’
                            FT      PT      Extended FT
        Masters             45      90      60
        GradDip/PgDip       30      60      40
        GradCert/PgCert 15          30      20
        (see Appendix 5 for definition of ‘extended FT’)

h)      Normally a start date of September or January

        *Note: In exceptional cases individual courses may sit outside college
        frameworks as long as they meet the overall rules of the University of the Arts
        London Framework. Any departure from a single college framework must
        receive prior approval from Academic Standards and Development

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 FHEQ Levels and Qualification Descriptors                                                     Appendix 1

   Typical higher education qualifications within            FHEQ
                                                                        Corresponding FQ-EHEA cycle
                    each level                               level*

                                                                                    Third cycle
 Doctoral degrees (eg, PhD/DPhil
                                                                8                 (end of cycle)
 (including new-route PhD), EdD,
 DBA, DClinPsy)**

 Master's degrees (eg, MPhil, MLitt, MRes, MA, MSc)                                Second cycle
                                                                                  (end of cycle)
 Integrated master's degrees***                                                    qualifications
 (eg, MEng, MChem, MPhys, MPharm)
 Postgraduate diplomas

 Postgraduate Certificate in Education
 Postgraduate certificates

 Bachelor's degrees with honours                                                    First cycle
 (eg, BA/BSc Hons)                                                                (end of cycle)
 Bachelor's degrees
 Professional Graduate Certificate in
 Education (PGCE)****

 Graduate diplomas
 Graduate certificates

                                                                                   Short cycle
 Foundation Degrees (eg, FdA, FdSc)
                                                                          (within or linked to the first
 Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE)                                                 cycle)
 Higher National Diplomas (HND)

 Higher National Certificates (HNC)*****
 Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE)


 * Formerly, in the 2001 edition of the FHEQ, the levels were identified as Certificate (C), Intermediate
 (I), Honours (H), Masters (M) and Doctoral (D) level.

 ** Professional doctorate programmes include some taught elements in addition to the research
 dissertation. Practice varies but typically professional doctorates include postgraduate study
 equivalent to a minimum of three full-time calendar years with level 7 study representing no more than
 one-third of this.

 *** Integrated master's degree programmes typically include study equivalent to at least four full-time
 academic years, of which study equivalent to at least one full-time academic year is at level 7. Thus
 study at bachelor's level is integrated with study at master's level and the programmes are designed
 to meet the level 6 and level 7 qualification descriptors in full.

 **** In April 2005, the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, the Standing Conference of
 Principals, Universities UK and QAA issued a joint statement on the PGCE qualification title. The full
 statement may be accessed at: PGCEstatement.asp

 ***** Higher National Certificates (HNCs) are positioned at level 4, to reflect typical practice among
 higher education awarding bodies that award the HNC under licence from Edexcel.
ASDC 33 – 25 March 2010                                                                Item 11.1b

Generic Level Descriptors                                                   Appendix 2

                           THE ABBREVIATED NICATS
                             LEVELS DESCRIPTORS

ENTRY LEVEL Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: employ recall and
elementary comprehension in a narrow range of areas, exercise basic practical skills within
highly structured contexts, and carry out directed activity under close supervision.

LEVEL 1 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: employ a narrow range of
applied knowledge, skills and basic comprehension within a limited range of predictable and
structured contexts, including working with others under general supervision, but with some
discretion and judgement about possible action.

LEVEL 2 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: apply knowledge in some
areas and employ a broad range of well-developed practical skills within a variety of
contexts, some of which may be complex or non-routine; and undertake directed activities,
with limited autonomy, within time constraints.

LEVEL 3 (Includes Access Level) Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to:
apply knowledge and skills in a broad range of complex activities with relevant theoretical
understanding; independently access and present information; make informed judgements
selecting from a considerable choice of procedures, in familiar and unfamiliar contexts; and
direct own activities, with some responsibility for the output of others.

LEVEL 4 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: acquire a broad
knowledge base, incorporating theoretical concepts and employing a range of specialised
skills: evaluate information using it to plan and develop investigative strategies and to
determine solutions to a variety of unpredictable problems; and operate in a range of varied
and specific contexts, taking responsibility for the nature and quality of outputs.

LEVEL 5 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: generate ideas through
the analysis of concepts at an abstract level, with a command of specialised skills and the
formulation of responses to concrete and abstract problems; analyse and evaluate
information; exercise significant judgement across a broad range of functions; and accept
responsibility for determining and achieving personal and/or group outcomes.

LEVEL 6 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: critically review,
consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, utilising specialised
skills across a discipline; critically evaluate new concepts and evidence from a range of
sources; transfer and apply diagnostic and creative skills and exercise significant judgement
in a range of situation; and accept complete accountability for determining and achieving
personal and/or group outcomes.

LEVEL 7 Learning accredited at this level will reflect the ability to: display mastery of a
complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct
research, or advanced technical or professional activity, accepting full accountability for all
related decision making.

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Common Vocabulary                                                                   Appendix 3

Course                    Leads to a named award (e.g. BA (Hons) Fashion)

Unit             The basic, credit rated element of building block of all courses (e.g. Retail

Pathway          Choice within a course leading to a separation of studies (e.g. BA (Hons)
                 Fashion (Menswear)). May be named (appears on certificate in brackets) or
                 unnamed (does not appear)

PPD              Personal and Professional Development. PPD must be embedded within the

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Student Entitlement                                                        Appendix 4

The University is committed to the principle of transparency of student entitlement and
to encourage this a dataset of student entitlement information is a required part of the
presentation of each unit. This should be updated annually and can appear in the
course handbook, or may be posted on the course’s Blackboard site or on notice boards
and given in detail unit briefings.

 Entitlement               Description

 Unit Name

 Credit Rating

 Contact Hours             Hours for the unit where students can
                           expect contact with a lecturer. Indication of
                           size of contact (e.g. whole class, small
                           group, individual etc) and form of contact
                           (e.g. seminar, lecture, studio discussion etc

 Access to Resources       An indication of the amount of access
                           students can expect to resources that are
                           seen to be required for the unit with cross
                           referencing to existing schedules and
                           timetables as appropriate

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Personal and Professional Development                                      Appendix 5

1. The term PPD will include Personal Development Planning (PDP) activities.

2. PPD opportunities will be embedded in all FE, HE, Postgraduate and Doctoral
   programmes of study and their presence, significance, and how/when they are assessed
   made explicit to students.

3. PPD opportunities must be clearly identified in all years of study.

4. Courses will have the freedom to decide how they would like to incorporate PPD within
   units e.g. as intensive blocks or strands and will be able to flex PPD opportunities to fit
   the nature of the discipline.

5. The relationship between PPD and creative practice will be emphasized where relevant
   and opportunities to explore this relationship made available to students.

6. Students must be given clear guidance as to the nature of assessment of PPD within

7. PPD opportunities should be designed, structured and delivered with recognition of
   diversity in students’ profiles, learning styles and prior learning experiences.

8. PPD elements of the course must support growth across all four domains of the student
   experience: academic, work related, personal, and social.

9. All students must have the opportunity to reflect on their PPD across all domains of their
   experience, in a medium suited to their needs and course.

10. All students will have access to resources produced or accessed by UAL to support

11. University/College agencies with the ability to feed into the PPD offer must be
    encouraged to collaborate with courses wherever possible.

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12. Colleges will have freedom to decide on PPD staffing structures locally.

Reference should be made to the full PPD Guidelines on the Academic Affairs Website.

Issue 09/10

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