Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes specify what the student will be able to do on successful completion of the module. Learning outcomes are expressed as:

  • knowledge and understanding
  • intellectual skills
  • practical skills
  • transferable skills.

If the module has been validated at two adjacent levels, then separate learning outcomes are validated for each level.


The following information is from: Guidelines for Preparing Programme Specifications (50KB PDF)

How do we expect our students to achieve and demonstrate the intended outcomes?

Consider the teaching, study and assessment methods used to promote learning. Some methods are more appropriate than others for developing particular types of learning outcome. For example:

Knowledge and understanding of a subject is often developed through lectures and seminars. Such direct teaching methods are usually supported by directed study of textbooks and journal articles (hard copy or electronic) and by assignment or project work. Knowledge and understanding is often assessed through unseen written examinations, but most if not all assessment methods will require some demonstration of knowledge and understanding.

Intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem solving may be practised and demonstrated through more active learning processes involving assignments or projects, group-learning activity such as a seminar or tutorial, laboratory, workshop, or field-based activity. Assessment of intellectual skills can utilise unseen written examinations or problem-based exercises. Independent project work or research dissertations are typically used to demonstrate capability in a range of intellectual skills linked to specialist knowledge, understanding and practical skills.

Practical skills need to be developed through opportunities to practise the activity in an appropriate learning context (eg in laboratory, field, or workplace placement). Work-books or guidance manuals may also be used to support learning. Assessment of competence in exercising a practical skill must involve practical demonstration of it.

Transferable/key skills, that are readily transferable to employment and other contexts, such as communication, teamwork etc can be developed through naturally arising opportunities within the curriculum. For example, written communication skills can be developed and assessed through essays or dissertations; oral communication skills through presentations in seminars; or team working skills through collaborative projects. Skills may be developed also through extra-curricular activities including work experience, student representative work, and social and cultural activities.