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Module Handbook Preparation Guidelines for Academic Departments/Schools/Centres


In accordance with UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) guidelines, it is necessary that all students be provided with information on how a module they will be studying is delivered and assessed.

Therefore, all module leaders from all Academic Departments are required to prepare a single Module Handbook that is made available to each enrolled student on Learning Mall Online prior to the start of teaching or at least no later than the first week of the new semester and which provides all the information that a student requires in order to be able to study the module successfully. To achieve this aim, a standard Module Handbook template has been designed which explains and defines the minimum amount of information the module leader needs to provide to students. If the module leader so wishes, additional information, guidance and learning resources can also be provided in the Module Handbook. Each module leader must take care to ensure that all the information contained in the Module Handbook is up to date and accurately reflects the contents of the most current Module Specification available for download on e-Bridge (under the section ‘Module Specification’ on Curriculum webpage).

The Module Handbook template contains 12 major sections, including a brief introduction to the module, basic information, module delivery arrangements, time and venue of teaching activities, details about the module leader and teaching staff, contact information, office hours, the module’s aims, learning outcomes, assessment, methods of learning and teaching, syllabus and teaching plan, tutorial plan, assessed coursework deadlines, and reference materials such as readings and additional learning resources. Module leaders may also wish to include additional information, such as how student coursework groups are formed and managed, assessment and examination marking schemes, guidelines for the preparation and completion of coursework, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and so forth.

The information contained in the Module Handbook should be detailed and accurate, providing students with a clear overview of the module and how it is delivered, especially concerning teaching and tutorial plans which students can use to schedule their own learning. Moreover, it is important that students are provided with explicit instructions and guidance for the successful completion of coursework and examination-based assessments. Ideally, this should be explained in relation to the learning outcomes of the module, so that students can gauge their own learning and how this will be assessed.



1. Brief introduction to the module

The purpose of this section is to trigger and deepen student interest in the module and to provide students with basic information by explaining how the module fits in the programme, and how it is structured. Description here is different from the educational aims which come directly from the module specification. The brief introduction should be written in less academic terms by the module leader to help students to understand the module without any prior knowledge of the subject. To avoid too much information a word limit of 200 words is recommended.

2. Module information

This section details the module name, module code and credit value-related information.

3. Module delivery arrangement

Information on teaching venue and time is required in this section. This information is mandatory, but the format of provision of this information can be tailored to the needs of particular modules.

4. Module leader and contact information

In this section, information related to the Module Leader including name, email address, office telephone number, standard office hours for student meetings, and that of other teaching staff involved in the delivery of the module should be provided. The preferred contact method should also be indicated.

5. Aims

This section should be based on the content of the Module Specification, but presented in a more user-friendly way that will be accessible and understandable to students.

6. Learning outcomes

This section should clearly explain the intended learning outcomes to students, using exactly the same wording as in the Module Specification. It is recommended that the Learning Outcomes are copied into the Handbook directly from the Module Specification.

7. Assessment

This section is important, given that students will often have no other official way to obtain this information. Other information contained in the module handbook can be found in the Module Specification, even in a very brief way, but not in the case of assessment. The purpose of this section is to provide explicit information pertinent to assignments and examinations to students, and help them do better in assessment in terms of planning and performance, amongst other things.

To achieve this, the Module Leader must specify the tasks with detailed requirements, deadlines, marking criteria, reference materials or website links by which students can gain more knowledge. For this section, it is not acceptable to simply copy text from the Module Specification. However, the description of the assessment MUST be aligned with how the assessment is documented in the Module Specification: for example, in relation to which learning outcomes are being assessed, the contribution of the assessment to the overall module mark, the length in hours (for exams) or word count (for assessed coursework), the number of assessed components, whether or not the work is group work or individual, and so forth.

8. Methods of learning and teaching

For this section, the teaching methods need to be explained, ideally along with the learning approach (such as case-based or peer-assisted learning methods). While this text can be obtained from the Module Specification, it would be better if it is presented in a reader-friendly way that students will easily understand.

9. Syllabus and teaching plan

The table that needs to be completed is provided in the Module Handbook template, but it can be tailored if needed. The aim of this part is to give students a clear teaching plan of the module, including teaching week and teaching theme of that week, and as well suggested pre-reading information. This can be copied from the Module Specification, and adapted if necessary. The syllabus in the Module Handbook must accurately reflect (and not deviate from) the syllabus as it is described in the Module Specification.

10. Tutorial planning

This part is mandatory if the module has timetabled tutorials or seminars. However, it may not apply to EAP modules, as tutorials in EAP modules represent one of the basic delivery methods for teaching and the number of student groups involved is likely to be large.

11. Reading materials

Information on the Mandatory textbook and Optional textbook is required here, along with Reference textbook and so forth. Also, module leaders can embed website links here for easy access to online information and learning resources if necessary.

12. Appendix

More information related to items above can be supplemented here. In addition, information related to the module in question, but not included above, can be provided as well.

13. File name and repository

All Module Handbooks are expected to use the file name as ‘Department Code_Module Handbook_Module Code AYXX-XX_SX’, and they should be centrally stored on Learning Mall Online in the ‘Modules’ section.

14. Oversight

Education and Quality Assurance office (EQA) is responsible to oversee, as delegated by the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee (ULTC), the quality, standards, compliance and annual updates of module handbooks. To this end, SLTCs are expected to submit annual summary reports to ULTC through EQA.

(Last review date: 18-Aug-23)

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