Module code: ELAM026

Module Overview

The module will provide you with an introduction to the principles and processes of curriculum design, assessment and validation in Higher Education. It will cover a range of issues, e.g. the principle of constructive alignment, validity and reliability, the washback principle and assessment literacy.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

GREEN James (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative topics include:


  • Principles of curriculum design

  • Principles of assessment in HE

  • Constructive alignment

  • Feedback principles

  • Validity and reliability of assessment

  • Assessment literacy

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1500 word critical evaluation of a module 50
Coursework Assessment design + 1500 word commentary 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate skills in evaluating programmes of study and assessment as well as the ability to develop your own.  


 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following:

  • a 1500 word critical evaluation of an existing HE module (LO 1, 2): You will identify an existing HE module and use both academic literature and the theoretical concepts studied in class to review this it and make suggestions for its improvement. This assessment will develop your employability through the authenticity of the assessment and your resourcefulness and resilience by showcasing the ability to apply a critical stance in this review.

  • Assessment design + 1500 word critical commentary (LO 2, 3): You will design an assessment for an HE module. In addition to this, you will also write a 1500 word critical commentary on the your work, drawing both on academic literature and the theoretical concepts studied in class, to justify your decisions. This assessment develops your employability as this is task you might be asked to do when you are in employment. Moreover, it will develop your resourcefulness and resilience as, in the progress of creating the document and receiving peer feedback on it, you will have to learn to deal with challenges to your concept. Finally, the assessment gives you the opportunity to develop educational programmes that represent principles of quality education and sustainability.


Formative assessment & feedback


  • Evaluation: A dedicated 1 hour slot in a seminar session will be made available to share the programme of assessment or the curriculum you are reviewing with other members of the class and give your initial thoughts on it. Alternatively, students will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts in another medium, e.g. Padlet.

  • Assessment & critical commentary: You will be assigned a peer reviewer that you can share your programme of study with prior to submission of the assignment, allowing you to receive extensive peer feedback.

  • Tutor feedback: Detailed feedback (and feed-forward) will be provided on the first assessment, allowing you the insights from this to the second assessment.

Module aims

  • develop students¿ knowledge and understanding of what a curriculum is and how to design and evaluate it
  • develop students¿ knowledge of effective assessment and feedback processes
  • enable students to design a curriculum and assessment / feedback processes which meet key quality principles (constructive alignment, validity, reliability)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand key terminology relating to curriculum and assessment design and validation K
002 Evaluate curricula and programmes of assessment based on key quality principles CK
003 Design the curriculum for a programme of study or an HE assessment KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to encourage interaction and communication with all group members. The mode of study is online and therefore the synchronous seminars and discussion board activities are crucial to the development of a group identity.


Captured content

You will have access to pre-recorded short videos and different supporting resources such as pdf slides, short articles and language learning materials. The captured content aims to develop understanding of key concepts and theories. You will be expected to engage with the captured content in order to participate in the interactive activities both online and in the synchronous sessions. All the captured content will be accompanied by a guided learning worksheet. . In order to maximise the learning opportunities from the captured content, and to make links to the in-session material, you will be expected to engage with the captured content prior to the synchronous sessions. All the captured content will be accompanied by a guided learning worksheet which you will be expected to complete prior to the synchronous sessions. Engagement with the captured content and other online resources support the development of your digital capabilities and ability to work autonomously. It also develops your knowledge of sustainable practices in curriculum design.



Weekly synchronous seminar sessions

The synchronous seminar sessions will build on the captured content and will allow students to explore issues and reflect on their own practices. It is expected that you will bring your completed guided learning worksheet to these sessions. These synchronous seminar sessions will involve interactive tasks either whole class or in break out rooms, quizzes and presentations. The aim of the seminar sessions is to apply the theories and concepts from the captured content to your own learning and teaching contexts and to critique the theories presented in the literature. To maximise the potential for sharing ideas and learning from others, you will be expected to participate in whole group and smaller group activities and discussions based on the pre-session and in-class material. Discussions and other interactive activities with classmates supports the development of resourcefulness and your ability through application of concepts to contexts you know well.



Guided study

The guided study comprises a number of reading activities drawing on the key literature in the field. All readings are accompanied by a reading comprehension worksheet which will allow you to read key texts and engage with theories in their own contexts. Guided study aims to encourage independent work and develop planning and monitoring skills.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELAM026

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: This module provides you with an understanding of core principles of curriculum design and assessment design as practiced in a variety of higher education contexts. You will have the opportunity to apply theoretical principles directly to the review and the development of curriculum and assessment documents. These are key skills required for leadership positions in an international higher education environment.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Reviewing documents from contexts you know well, and having your own documents peer reviewed, may be unsettling and uncomfortable. However, you will develop the skills to overcome these challenges and work constructively with others to provide and receive feedback. You will also develop the skills and understanding to enact the feedback to further enhance your work.


Sustainability: ‘Quality Education’ is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This module will impart you with the knowledge about the characteristics of a curriculum and assessment that is of high quality. You will be able to apply this knowledge directly through authentic assessment, equipping you with the skills to work towards this goal in higher education contexts you are familiar with.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.