A course is a part of studies that covers a specific topic, content or competence area. The curriculum defines the course contents, implementation methods and other course information that is valid for the whole curriculum period.
Curriculum information about programmes and study modules
The programme curriculum consists of the basic information on the programme and its study modules, intended learning outcomes and degree requirements. The minor subject curriculum consists of the basic information, the intended learning outcomes and the degree requirements concerning the minor. ‘Basic information’ refers here to information that is generally permanent. This information is decided when the programme or study module is established, and no changes are made to it from one two-year curriculum period to another. Intended learning outcomes and degree requirements may be changed: they are edited generally as a result of programme development work and put into the new curriculum for the next curriculum period. In connection with the curriculum, information is also published that is not decided formally or as part of the curriculum planning process.
Curriculum information about programmes
Education leading to a degree is organised in the form of programmes. A programme is a goal-oriented entity made up of several study modules. The educational selection of Aalto University consists of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes. Some of the programmes are implemented through international collaboration.
The details to be included for all programmes are basic information, intended learning outcomes and degree requirements.
When establishing a programme, decisions are also made on its basic information. As a rule, changing basic information requires establishing a new programme. The following basic information are described in the curriculum:
- The name of the programme in the different language versions (Finnish, Swedish and English for the schools of technology and ARTS; Finnish and English for BIZ; for international cooperation programmes, the languages are decided separately)
- The title of the degree earned in the programme
- The programme code
- The programme scope in ECTS credits
International joint and double degrees
For programmes carried out in international cooperation where students complete only part of the degree at Aalto University, the curriculum also describes the following:
- The coordinating organisation
- The scope of the part completed at Aalto University
- The education paths among the different partners, through which the student can attain a degree at Aalto University
The intended learning outcomes of the programme indicate what the student is expected to know, understand and be able to do after completing the programme. The intended learning outcomes guide the process of planning the programme content and implementation. The intended learning outcomes are also a key tool in for instance, assessing the applications for credit transfer. Instructions on how to design intended learning outcomes
Programme-level degree requirements refer to the study modules of the programme and the rules concerning the students’ study choices within the modules (‘selection rules’). In practice, the degree requirements of the programme are a list of the programme’s study modules and their scopes and any selection rules. Degree requirement design is guided by the degree structure set forth in the degree regulations.
The curriculum may also include a description of the core content and aim of the programme. The aim of the programme is a summary of why the programme is important and what future needs of the field of education the competencies produced by the programme meet. The description of the programme contents may include, for instance, the key topic areas covered in the degree. You can also specify the types of sustainability themes the studies will cover, how the programme supports internationalisation of its students, or give other information relevant for the profile of the programme.
International joint and double degrees
For programmes carried out in international cooperation where students complete only part of the degree at Aalto University, the curriculum confirms at least the following:
- the intended learning outcomes of the part completed at Aalto University
- the degree requirements of the part completed at Aalto University and the place of the studies in the programme structure
- the timetable for the part to be completed at Aalto University
Curriculum information about study modules
A study module is a degree constituent consisting of a minimum of two courses. Examples of study modules are basic studies, studies towards the major, elective studies, studies towards the minor and research field studies.
When establishing a study module, decisions are also made on its basic information. As a rule, changing the basic information of the module requires establishing a new study module. The basic information given in the curriculum consists of:
- The name of the study module in the different language versions (Finnish, Swedish and English for the schools of technology and ARTS; Finnish and English for BIZ; for international cooperation programmes, the languages are decided separately)
- The study module code
- The level of the study module (basic, intermediate, or advanced studies, doctoral studies, other studies)
Information to be updated for each curriculum period as needed
- The academic in charge of the study module planning, execution, assessment, and development.
- The person in charge varies by school.
- Organisation(s) responsible (‘Responsible organisation(s)’ in Sisu)
- Scope of the study module
- Languages of study attainment (language of learning in Sisu)
- Prerequirements, if any
For minors, also the following details are included:
- Person with administrative responsibility
- Target group and restrictions on choosing the minor, if any
- Quotas and prioritisation policies and the application procedure if any
In the curriculum, degree requirements and intended learning outcomes are defined for at least the following study modules: basic studies, studies towards the major, studies towards the minor, and for other corresponding study modules.
The intended learning outcomes of the study module indicate what the student is expected to know, understand and be able to do after completing the study module. The intended learning outcomes guide the process of planning the module contents and execution. The intended learning outcomes are also a key tool in for instance, assessing the applications for credit transfer. Instructions on how to design intended learning outcomes
Degree requirements refer to the courses included in a study module, as well as their scope and the rules concerning the students’ choice of courses within the module (‘selection rules’). In practice, degree requirements are a list of the compulsory, alternative and elective courses that make up the study module. Degree requirement design is guided by the degree regulations.
Other information included in the curriculum
During the curriculum design process, model timetables (‘timing template’ in Sisu) are also made for the programmes. The model timetables are not part of the official curriculum and do not need to be formally approved. The model timetable may be produced as a separate document or it may be entered into the student information system Sisu as timing template.
During the curriculum design process, a model timetable is also made for each programme. Often it is practical to make a model timetable for each study path, such as for different majors. Model timetables are not required of doctoral programmes.
The purpose of the model timetable is to make it easier for the students to plan their studies. In addition, the model timetable is a way to ensure the following: the intended learning outcomes of the programme are attainable within the target time set for the degree; the students acquire knowledge purposefully; and the workload is evenly distributed. It is worth using the curriculum mapping tool when preparing the model timetable.