Making Changes to Modules and the Module Portfolio

The below sections provide information on making changes to modules, the paperwork required to create, modify, and withdraw modules, the approval processes, and additional information, including regarding assessment categories and assessment load guidance.

Module Changes, Timetabling and Consultation

When changing a module, or the portfolio of modules available on a programme, the later the change is made and/or the more significant the impact of that change, the greater the level of consultation is required, with students, Marketing, Admissions, Timetabling etc.

​Changes to modules/programmes made for sound pedagogic reasons will always be considered. 

Module Changes and Timetabling

Changes to the portfolio of optional modules (i.e. to the modules offered) that impact timetabling must be approved and submitted to the Curriculum Management Team in October 2023 (for 24/25).

Changes that impact timetabling include:

  • Creating a new module (this requires a module proposal form and module specification).
  • Changing the semester of delivery.
  • Changing the contact hours (i.e. numbers of lectures, seminars, etc.).
  • Changes to the title of an existing module (as this generates a new module code). 
  • Changing the level of an existing module, e.g. from LC to LI (as this generates a new module code).
  • Changing the credit value of an existing module, e.g. from 10 to 20 credits (as this generates a new module code).

Changes that do not impact timetabling must be made by the end of January 2024. These changes include:

  • Changes to the assessment.
  • Changes to the module description.
  • Changes to the learning outcomes.

Changes can be made after the January deadline but will require student consultation (see below).

Please see the Information for Timetablers page for further information regarding timetabling deadlines for 24/25.

Module Changes that Do Not Require Student Consultation

The below are examples of changes that do not require student consultation:

  • Changes to compulsory modules made by the June that is 16 months before delivery (e.g. June 2023 for Sept 2024).
  • Changes to optional modules that don't impact timetabling (see above) that are made by the end of January before delivery (e.g. January 2024 for September 2024).
  • Changes to optional modules that do impact Timetabling that are made by October before delivery (e.g. October 2023 for September 2024). 
  • Changes to module lead, semester of delivery, and other administrative changes that have no impact on students. 

Changes Requiring Student Consultation

Changes made after the above deadlines that impact the student experience, and that result in the module being different from that which students were expecting, require a high level of student consultation (e.g. gaining student feedback on the proposed change). These include:

  • Removing or introducing a compulsory module (or an optional module after it has been chosen by students). 
  • Significant changes to module assessment on a compulsory module (or an optional module after it has been chosen by students) (e.g. changing from 100% assessment by essay to assessment by exam and presentation). 
  • Significant changes to the module description and/or learning outcomes that alter what the students will be learning (and that, therefore, may also impact programme learning outcomes). 

Changes made after the above deadlines that have minimal/no impact on the student experience require a low level of student consultation (e.g. informing students of a change but not requiring a response). These include:

  • Minor changes to the module learning outcomes and description that do not materially affect what the students will be learning.
  • Minor changes to the assessment, e.g. changing the weighting of assessments or word lengths, or introducing a new assessment type with a low weighting. 
  • Changes introduced as a result of and in response to student feedback (particularly if it is from the students who will be affected by the change).

Methods of Student Consultation

  • Emails/letters to applicants, led by Marketing (for changes that impact programmes/programme factsheets after applicants have accepted their offer).
  • Emails to students (particularly if a response is required).
  • Canvas announcements, e.g. on the site for the affected module.
  • Lecture shouts (virtually or in-person).
  • (Re)induction presentations.
  • Student Staff Forums (it is best practice to utilise these when making any changes to ensure students are engaged in programme/module design).
  • Please also refer to the Policy on Student Consultation (PDF - 123KB) and its associated Guidance (PDF - 122KB).

Additional Consultation

In addition to student consultation, it may also be appropriate to consult with the below colleagues, depending on the extent to which the changes impact the student experience:

  • College Marketing need to be informed/consulted with when changes are made that impact the student experience, particularly if the change is made after the June that is 18 months before delivery for compulsory modules. This is to ensure that marketing literature, factsheets, and communications with students regarding the module/programme are updated.
  • College Planning Partners and College Accountants - especially for new module proposals that may require additional resource.
  • Partner Schools/Colleges who offer a module that is being changed on their programmes should always be consulted/informed regarding changes, particularly if the changes are to the module title, credit value, level, contact hours, learning outcomes, assessment, module description, and semester of delivery. 
  • Central Timetabling - if the change is made after the October deadline and will generate a new module code (see above) or the semester of delivery is being changed. 
  • Central Exams - only for in-session changes, if assessment codes and exam room bookings need to be amended. 
  • Taught or Research Student Administration - particularly if a module is being withdrawn. Registry will be able to inform you of any students who have the right to retrieve a failure in any module that is being withdrawn. As students, in some instances, are permitted to defer reassessment, full withdrawal of the module might have to be delayed until they have exercised their right to a resit attempt.

Making Changes in the Current Academic Session

Any change to a module or programme that takes place in the current academic session is called an in-session change. As these changes carry a high risk, they require verification by the Chair of the University Quality Assurance Committee, following approval by the School and College (the same forms are used as normal).

The rationale for any in-session changes needs to be very strong, e.g. changes to assessment made in response to student feedback that will have a clear benefit to the student experience. 

Paperwork and Approval 

Paperwork for Proposing, Modifying, and Withdrawing Modules

To create a new module, a module proposal form must be completed and accompanied by a module specification. The specification outlines the module’s content, including its learning outcomes and assessment.

To modify an existing module, the module modification form must be completed and accompanied by the module's specification that shows the required amendments in tracked changes. This is so those approving the modifications can clearly see what is being changed and so the Curriculum Management Team know which module information to alter in the Banner records system. If the same change, with the same rationale, is being made across multiple modules, one modification form can be submitted with multiple module specifications. 

To withdraw an existing module(s), the module withdrawal form should be completed, and no specification is required. Multiple modules can be withdrawn on the same withdrawal form, provided the rationale is the same, e.g. the modules are being withdrawn because they are consistently low-recruiting.  

Approval of Proposal, Modification, and Withdrawal Forms

All module proposal, modification, and withdrawal forms require approval by the School Education Committee (or equivalent). Module proposal and withdrawal forms should then be approved by the College Quality Assurance and Approval Committee (CQAAC) (usually by Chair's Action), to ensure that any potential resource implications or other factors are thoroughly scrutinised. (In many Colleges module modifications are also approved by CQAAC Chair's Action; please contact your College Academic Policy Partner if you are unsure of the practice in your College).

Once approved, the proposal/modification/withdrawal form can be submitted to the Curriculum Management Team so the required changes can be made in Banner; they will send a confirmation email once the module has been created/modified/withdrawn. 

Changes that do not Require Approval

The below changes can be made simply by emailing the Curriculum Management Team

  • Changes to the semester in which the module is delivered.
  • Changes to the module lead.
  • Changes to formative assessment also do not require formal approval; any changes to formative assessment should be made by administrative staff in your School/Institute (a revised specification can be sent to CMT for their records once the changes have been made locally).

Additional Information

Assessment Categories

Assessment categories will make the assessment information presented to students via the Course and Modules Catalogue (which will replace the Programmes and Modules Handbook, provisionally in Sept 2025) easier to digest. All assessments are divided into either 'coursework' or 'examination', with the total percentage assessed by this method displayed alongside. Therefore, a module assessed by an essay, presentation, and blog post would appear on the Course and Modules Catalogue as '100% coursework'. Providing this general level of information to students can remove the requirement to consult with students if the assessment is to be modified in advance of the module running (e.g. a 3000 word essay changes to a 2000 word blog post and 5 minute presentation), as long as the assessment category is unchanged (and the assessment detail has not been provided to students by other means). 

Note that changes to assessment will continue to require approval (via the module modification process), to ensure the assessment is an appropriate and suitable means of assessing the learning outcomes, requires an appropriate amount of student effort, and that it meets the course's assessment strategy and/or accreditation requirements. For these reasons, more detailed assessment information (the type of coursework, word/exam length) will continue to be captured on module specifications. This information should still be as brief as possible, e.g. 'essay, 2000 words (50%), individual presentation, 10 minutes (50%)', to allow flexibility, and, as previously, a module modification will be required to change the assessment information contained in the module specification. 

More detailed assessment information will continue to be made available to students locally via module handbooks.

Examples of the two assessment categories are provided below.


'Coursework' includes a wide variety of assessment tasks that are undertaken during the semester and normally before the end-of-semester designated exam period (i.e. one week at the end of Semester 1 and four weeks at the end of Semester 2). Coursework can be submitted anytime during the semester, including the assessment weeks. Extensions to coursework can be requested (see the guidance on extensions and Extenuating Circumstances).

Examples of ‘coursework’ assessment tasks include: 

  • Written tasks, including essays, fieldwork/placement/reflective reports, practical write-ups, learning logs/diaries, dissertations, projects, literature reviews, writer’s notes, essays in the target language, calculations, practice assessment documents, and other types of extended writing. 
  • Digital assets, including podcasts, blog/vlog posts, posters, discussion boards, webpages, and wikis.
  • Oral presentations, including presentations, video essays, and debates.
  • Portfolios of work/tasks, including Practice Assessment Documents and other assessments not covered by the above related to professional placements.


Examinations’ will not normally last for longer than 3 hours. Deferrals can be requested for examinations (see the guidance on deferring exams).

Examples of different types of examination include: 

  • Traditional on-campus timed ‘closed book’ exams. These are normally centrally scheduled in the designated exam periods (i.e. one week at the end of Semester 1 and four weeks at the end of Semester 2) and it is these exams (in addition to 'open book' exams) that should not normally contribute >50% to the overall module mark. In addition, there is a 'supplementary period' in the summer when resits or any exams that have been deferred will usually be taken. 'Closed book' exams may be scheduled in an examination hall or other local or practical setting, computer cluster, or other UoB-approved venue. In a ‘closed book’ exam, students are not allowed to bring any written material into the exam venue or to access additional materials. 
  • On-campus timed ‘open book’ exams that, as with 'closed book' exams, are normally centrally scheduled in the designated exam periods and should not normally contribute >50% to the overall module mark. These may be scheduled in an examination hall or other local or practical setting, computer cluster, or other UoB-approved venue. A timed 'open-book' exam allows students to use notes, textbooks, and reference materials or other approved resources during the exam. 
  • Online, fixed time period exams and assessments, which require students to work on an assignment for a scheduled period (usually up to 3 hours) or a specified amount of time within a duration (e.g. 3-8 hours in a 24-hour duration). These assignments are usually undertaken within the assessment period. These do not need to be sat in an examination hall or other UoB-approved venue. (Where assessments are undertaken off-campus, it is important to consider whether additional on-campus engagements may be required to confirm the attendance of sponsored students - see the Code of Practice on Student Attendance/Engagement and Reasonable Diligence (PDF - 119KB)).
  • Practical exams and assessments, including laboratory practicals, performance and other practicals for music, dance, and drama, oral-aural and listening exercises, skills-based assessments, and OSCEs.
  • In-course tests (UoB-approved venue including on-campus, or off-campus), in-person or online, are scheduled locally and are during the semester before the designated exam assessment period. They will be submitted during the semester and before the assessment week(s). They include laboratory/workshop/computer-based examinations, synoptic examinations, short answer questions, multiple-choice tests, and Canvas quizzes. 'In-course tests' may take place off-campus or online for sponsored students during the semester and before the designated exam assessment period if additional on-campus engagement is already in place.
  • Vivas, e.g. on a thesis, project, or dissertation.

Integrated Programme (synoptic) Assessment describes tasks that are specifically designed to assess programme level learning outcomes rather than articulated at the module level. Such assessment is integrative in nature, trying to bring together understanding and skills (often across modules) in ways which represent key programme aim and graduate attributes. Integrated Programme Assessment may consist of any assessment type.

Assessment Load Guidance

Assessment is an important part of learning and is integral to the student experience. Assessment should be appropriately varied and a valid measurement of the module and/or programme learning outcomes, as well as being authentic to the discipline.

The Assessment Load Guidance (PDF - 391KB) has therefore been developed to aid staff when planning the assessment on their programmes and modules and to promote consistency in assessment load. It aligns with the UoB Assessment & Feedback Principles and the Code of Practice on Taught Programme and Module Assessment and Feedback; and Colleges may choose to provide further guidance to aid local interpretation, taking account of disciplinary nuances and subject benchmark statements.

Competition and Markets Authority Guidance

The University have put together a short Canvas course where you’ll learn about the University’s obligations under Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) guidance, and how we can make sure that we are providing up-to-date, accurate and timely information to prospective students. If you’d like to complete the course then please contact Lauren Neale, who can add you to the course on Canvas.

CMA guidance is also available here.



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