Procedure for curricula and course descriptions

This procedure applies to all curricula in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

This procedure is based on the University Act, the Education Order, the Exam Order, University of Copenhagen statutes for the allocation of responsibilities, and the overarching guidelines set out in the University of Copenhagen’s quality-assurance policy for study programmes.

The procedure has several purposes. Firstly, clear and unambiguous workflows ensure that statutory requirements are fully met. Secondly, the procedure ensures the maximum flow of knowledge, so that relevant knowledge is gained at different levels and through different processes, e.g. from the results of course evaluations, graduate surveys, meetings with employer panels and the chairs of the corps of external examiners. It also ensures that this knowledge flows to the study boards. This allows the study boards to organise the study programmes on the basis of the accumulated knowledge. Finally, the procedure clarifies the allocation of responsibilities between the different actors.

Procedure for drawing up new curricula and changes to existing ones

The University of Copenhagen statutes (section 35) stipulate that the dean has overall responsibility for the quality of the study programmes. The curricula are important instruments for the quality assurance of study programmes. Pursuant to the University Act section 18 (4), no. 2, the study boards draw up proposals for curricula and changes to them, and the dean approves the proposals.

The composition of the study boards, with both student and staff members, enables them to take into account a wide range of academic, administrative and educational theory and practice considerations.

The study board and head of studies draw up proposals in close collaboration with other academic staff, in particular the course co-ordinators for specific fields and subject elements.

On 1 September 2015, the Faculty of Social Science introduced the Curricula's Common Part for the Faculty of Social Sciences, which contains the common rules and regulations that apply to all bachelor and master's programmes and minor subjects. The Curricula's Common Part is complemented by programme curricula.

Thus, each study programme has adopted a programme curriculum containing information on and rules in relation to the framework and content of the study programme. A concept for the structure of programme curricula has been established. The study board is responsible for ensuring that the definition of objectives/learning outcomes of each subject element is divided into knowledge, skills and competences.

The study board is responsible for ensuring that the curriculum fits into the definition of the type of programme in question as defined by the Danish Qualifications framework for Lifelong Learning, and the study administration and the faculty administration are responsible for carrying out compliance control.

Moreover, the study board is responsible for ensuring that the curriculum includes a precise competence profile. The competence profile must be divided into knowledge, skills and competences. It is also the study board's responsibility to ensure that the academic objectives/learning outcomes as well as the criteria for evaluating their fulfilment reflect and underpin the competence profile. Description of academic objectives/learning outcomes for each course element must be divided into knowledge, skills and competences. Guidelines for drawing up statements of aims/learning outcome at the Faculty of Social Sciences can be found at KUnet (requires login).

The study board is also responsible for ensuring that the study programme includes a variety of types of exams, and that these reflect the content and methods of the teaching and, thus, underpin the competence profile.

The study board is responsible for ensuring that the content and structure of the degree programme underpin the competence profile. If one or more changes are made to the competence profile in the curriculum, the study board must consider whether or not changes should be made to the competence profile in the diploma as well. In such cases, the department must inform the faculty about this, when submitting the competence profile for the Dean's approval. The faculty then ensures that equivalent changes are made to the competence profile in the diploma. The same applies to the diploma supplement. At the beginning of each calendar year, the faculty contacts the departments with the view to ensuring that the competence profiles and the diploma supplements that are enclosed with the diploma continue to be accurate.

In addition, the study board is responsible for ensuring that account is taken of whether the proposal can be integrated into the study-administration system (STADS).

When acts of parliament and ministerial orders that affect work on curricula are amended, the faculty administration informs the heads of studies/study co-ordinators. The study board then draws up proposals to revise the curricula.

If a proposed amendment to a curriculum is substantial this is discussed in the employer panel. Substantial changes to the study programmes' curricula that touch upon the examination system are sent for consultation to the chairs of the corps of external examiners.

Based on the responses to the consultation, the study board draws up proposals to amend the existing curricula.

The same applies to drawing up new curricula.

The head of studies informs the associate dean for education of any planned major and/or significant changes. The associate dean for education has the opportunity to make comments that will inform the ongoing process.

The study board is responsible for ensuring that rules for transitional arrangements are incorporated where necessary.

The study board, in collaboration with local programme aministration, also evaluates whether there is a need to issue notice of future amendments. This is done via the study programme’s intranet. The study boards also evaluate whether there is a need to notify via e-mail students enrolled under the curriculum concerned.

The dean (the faculty administration) approves the draft curricula and any amendments to them, as mentioned above. The faculty subjects the draft to compliance control. This ensures that the curriculum meets the requirements stipulated by legislation, as well as any requirements set by the faculty or the University of Copenhagen.

Once the dean has approved a curriculum, the programme administration publishes it on the programme’s intranet. The curricula are also published on the faculty website.

Who is responsible

In the Faculty of Social Sciences, the head of studies and the study board are responsible for ensuring that the curricula are systematically monitored at least every three years. The monitoring is done by the study board, reviewed by the programme administration and subsequently approved by the dean. The head of studies is responsible for ensuring that the monitoring is underpinned by the knowledge gained from course evaluations, graduate surveys, employer panels, exam complaint statistics and reports by the chairs of the corps of external examiners.

The dean is responsible for the procedure for the quality assurance of curricula and for ensuring that the monitoring process follows the prescribed schedule.

As part of the continuous quality-assurance programme, all curricula and course descriptions are revised at least every three years.