The MMU Education Strategy and Principles for Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Principle 1: We will provide an excellent learning environment and outstanding student experience


Click on a standard to see the associated guidance:

1.1 An academically rigorous curriculum that places students at its heart and is inclusive and accessible to all with the ability to benefit;  click to expand

Programme Specifications

The description of learning, teaching and assessment included in every Programme Specification justifies a programme team’s overall approach to teaching, learning and assessment and how the programme team intends to design and deliver the teaching.

Programme teams must articulate the ‘principles which underpin the delivery of the curriculum’. The programme must be clearly able to address the Subject Benchmarks and MMU ‘University Educational Aims’

CELT resources

Curriculum Design

Programme Teams must demonstrate in the Programme Specification and in information provided for students, what the team intends to achieve in the programme and how the delivery of the programme enables students to achieve the intended outcomes.

Programme teams must consider:

  • How the curriculum design supports progression within and/or across levels and highlight where in the curriculum students explicitly consider and/or develop their employability.
  • How assignments evolve over the duration of the programme to develop students’ knowledge and skills (eg group work, presentations, essay writing, report writing, research)
  • How the programme references QAA subject benchmark statements for the subject where relevant, as well as any PSRB requirements.
  • Have students and/or potential employers been involved in the design and review of the curriculum?
  • How the course will provide students with professionally orientated knowledge and skills and experiences.
  • What a typical student should be able to do when they leave the programme.
  • How the programme is structured
  • Are all units ‘long and thin’ or is a ‘short, fat’ model adopted for certain parts of the course?
  • Why a particular mix of assignments has been chosen
  • How and when student progress is monitored during the programme

Inclusive Teaching and Curriculum

Good practice in learning and teaching should ensure that all students are able to access the taught programme because staff have given thought to how they plan, deliver and evaluate students’ learning with a focus on INCLUSION and DIVERSITY.

Programme teams must indicate what arrangements they have in place for finding out about individual needs and for providing support to students.

The Programme Specification requires programmes to demonstrate how they comply with the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

The University is committed to making its programmes accessible to all with the ability to benefit. It may at times be necessary to make reasonable adjustments to provision in order to achieve this aim.

Programme teams must consider:

  • How the programme monitors compliance with the University’s Equality and Diversity policy
  • How students communicate particular needs and who monitors actions which need to be taken as a result.
  • What steps are taken to diagnose particular issues such as difficulties with technical English and what actions are taken in response.
  • How they will respond appropriately to the needs of learners with a dynamic range of teaching and learning activities 
  • Ways in which the programme delivery can be made flexible and accommodate a wide range of learners.
  • How programme teams make best use of data and analysis (SPMI) to inform learning and teaching.

CELT resources

Student Engagement in Learning

Every programme must consider how the design of learning opportunities and assessment will ensure high levels of student engagement in their learning.

Programme teams should consider:

  • How to manage expectations of students in different learning situations.
  • How to communicate clearly with students and set the pace and complexity of their teaching at an appropriate level for all students.
  • How they ensure students are clear about the links between teaching, learning and assessment.

Collaborative Learning

Every programme will offer opportunities in the programme for students to work collaboratively with their peers.

Programme teams should consider:

  • What kinds of opportunities are provided, and at what levels of the programme
  • An articulation of the distinction between collaborative working and group assessment.
  • The rationale and mark allocation strategy for the use of any group assessment?
  • How groups are formed and monitored
  • What opportunities are provided for peer assessment (formative or summative)
  • What opportunities are provided for peer mentoring and support

Learning Opportunities

Every programme must consider:

  • How they will maximise student learning and engagement through the integration of face-to-face learning and student self-study.
  • How to plan and deliver contact hours (as stated in KIS data) contact hours and communicate resulting attendance patterns (and expectations) to students.

Programme teams should consider:

  • The best combination of face-to-face learning opportunities that will enable students to meet planned learning objectives.
  • How to ensure face to face teaching opportunities take place as planned, and how they will manage unexpected changes to the taught curriculum.
  • How independent learning is integrated with face-to-face learning activities.
  • What reading, preparatory materials and activities will enable students to gain the maximum learning from face-to-face learning opportunities.
  • How they design and support students’ independent learning to consolidate learning in ways other than face to face lectures and seminars.


1.2 High quality, interactive and creative teaching, learning and assessment, with a focus on the outstanding quality of the classroom experience.  click to expand

Programme Teams must describe in the Programme Specification the overall approach to teaching and learning.

Every programme will promote the use of interactive and engaging learning and teaching strategies appropriate to the needs of the student group

Programme teams must ensure that staff teaching on the courses:

  • Demonstrate good communication skills, enthusiasm for teaching and dynamic delivery;
  • Are specialists in their subject, and have experience of their subject in the working world (and able to make clear links to future employability skills);
  • Are approachable, accessible, organised, and are professional in their interactions with students;.
  • Ensure students feel comfortable talking to their lecturers about additional support or queries.

Teaching sessions should be:

  • Interesting and dynamic – providing interactive and engaging classes which involve students in their learning, enable them to develop peer relationships, and the opportunity to express their opinions, hear the views of other students and discuss different interpretations.
  • Enhanced through the use of appropriate technology and visual aids
  • Supported by interactive group teaching sessions and tutorials, and library support, seminars, and practicals


1.3 Staff engage and challenge their students, providing high quality teaching, informed by scholarship and research.  click to expand

Programme teams must communicate to their students how research informs the delivery of the programme.

Programme teams should consider:

  • How current research in the discipline is used to inform teaching
  • Where there are opportunities for students to develop research skills
  • The extent to which problem-based learning can be used to develop student knowledge and skills
1.4 Access to leading-edge facilities, learning opportunities and the effective use of technology to support learning, teaching and assessment.  click to expand

Programme Teams must demonstrate in the Programme Specification and in information provided for students, that essential learning resources are available remotely and 24/7

Programme teams must consider:

  • Whether there has been appropriate consultation with LRIS staff over the provision of suitable resources;
  • If all essential resources and a good proportion of further reading can be made available electronically;
  • Whether all such resources are properly embedded in Moodle for ease of access by students on or off campus;
  • If appropriate arrangements have been made with library services staff to embed information skills training (online or face-to-face) into the programme. 

Learning Spaces

Information to follow

NB Learning Resources and Environments for Collaborative Partners and their Students

To assess partner capacity, the Academic Collaborations team undertakes an assessment of the physical, library and e-resources in place to support the proposed partnership . Throughout this process, Academic Collaborations liaises with staff from LRT and the Library. Upon successful completion of the Programme Approval, Review and Amendment Process, a more detailed assessment is undertaken, when the Panel checks that any programme-specific specialist resources are in place. All partners are subject to the Partner Review process on a periodic basis. During Partner Review the University checks that the Partner continues to provide appropriate learning resources to support the student learning experience.

Technology-enhanced Learning

Programme teams must demonstrate in the programme specification the mechanisms by which the student experience is supported and/or facilitated via the embedding of technology to the curriculum in relation to learning, teaching and assessment activities.

Programme teams must consider:

  • How the use of technology-enhanced learning supports the overall aims of the course and the graduate employment prospects.
  • What kinds of technology-enhanced learning are integrated into the curriculum.
  • How staff and students are supported in the use of technology-enhanced learning.

Related UTA resources:

Problem Based Learning

Lectures and Lecturing

Learning and Teaching in Action journal

Developing your Teaching

Peer Support for Student Success

Inclusive Curriculum

Collaborative Partners support


Effective Use of Research in Teaching