This chapter is intended as an aid for anyone who is undertaking the task of designing an undergraduate degree programme. Course design has become increasingly complex with the decision by universities to incorporate more subject-specific degrees into their undergraduate profiles in an attempt to attract larger numbers of students each year. This move has increased the provision of undergraduate programmes principally through more extensive intra- and cross-faculty collaboration. In addition, the changes have put added pressure on timetabling systems and have meant that institutions have had to become more aware of the issue of key skills, options and programme learning outcomes, particularly in cases where units/modules and courses are shared with other faculties/schools.

Structures and procedures differ from institution to institution. This chapter uses particular terms, such as units, modules, Boards of Studies, faculties and so on, which may not correspond exactly with titles or arrangements at different universities. However, the expectation is that each term will find an approximate translation to the circumstances of each institution.

There are numerous issues that need consideration in the development of a successful undergraduate programme and the following guide seeks to provide detailed information about this process. Sections 1.2 and 1.3 introduce the main areas for consideration, while section 2 provides detailed information about the process of course design and the issues that play a crucial role in the development of undergraduate programmes.