QMU Module Descriptor - Guidance on Completion


Please avoid generic titles such as ‘Professional Practice’ which could apply to a number of disciplines. Equally, it is better to keep titles reasonably pithy – no more than six words for preference.


Please indicate both the Scottish Higher Education Level (year of study) and the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) Level. For further information on SCQF Levels, please refer to:SQA Website

SHE Level  SCQF Level


1 7

First year of a standard undergraduate degree; HECert

2 8

Second year of a standard undergraduate degree; year 2 of an HEDip

3 9

Third year of a standard undergraduate degree (Ordinary degree level)

4 10

Final year of a standard undergraduate degree (Honours degree level)

M 11

Masters level

D 12

Doctorate level

Semester and mode of study

Please indicate whether the module is offered in Semester 1 and/or 2; for each semester give the mode(s) of learning, e.g. FT, PT, Distance Learning (DL)


These are broad statements of intent which may use words relating to a process, such as enable, introduce, review or facilitate. These are broad statements of educational intent, which can be summarised in a few sentences (e.g. 1-3). A suitable beginning phrase is ‘The aim/purpose of this module is to....’ Normally, there should be one or two stated aims for a single module.

NB For assistance with writing aims and learning outcomes, contact the Centre for Academic Practice

Learning outcomes

These are specific statements which describe what learners should know or be able to do upon successful completion of the module. Outcomes must be measurable, realistic and relevant to the module.

The QMU Module Descriptor identifies the learning outcomes with the categories recommended by the QAA in the Guidelines for Preparing Programme Specifications which may be found at [ broken link ]

 The SCQF has five categories of learning outcomes at each level which have slightly different titles than the QMU categories. Two of the SCQF categories are included within our ‘transferable skills’ category (D), as indicated in the table below

QMU categories of outcomes

SCQF categories of outcomes

Knowledge and understanding (A)

Knowledge and understanding

Intellectual skills (B)

Generic cognitive skills

Practical professional skills (C)

Practice: applied knowledge and skills

Transferable skills (D)

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills Autonomy, accountability and working with others

Please include up to 8 learning outcomes which should be mapped to the above categories as outlined below. Learning outcomes in categories A and C will be subject specific and should be appropriate for the level of study. Learning outcomes in categories B and D are applicable to all programmes and should be appropriate for level of study. All learning outcomes should be cross-checked against SCQF to ensure they are at the correct level and compatible with the corresponding SCQF level descriptors.

Knowledge and understanding (SCQF category: knowledge and understanding)Learning outcomes to address, as appropriate, knowledge and understanding of content, related theory, methodologies, frameworks

Intellectual skills (SCQF category: generic cognitive skills)Learning outcomes to address skills, such as, analysis, synthesis, critical and investigative reasoning, problem identification and solution

Practical professional skills (SCQF category: practice: applied knowledge and skills) Learning outcomes to address professionally related skills such as laboratory, clinical, creating products. This category should be used for practical professional skills that are practised and applied as distinct from theoretical study.

Transferable skills (SCQF categories: communication, ICT and numeracy skills; autonomy, accountability and working with others)
Learning outcomes to address development of communication skills, numeracy, IT and information retrieval, personal development and preparation for work (e.g. teamwork, valuing and managing own learning, motivation and initiative, self-management, responsibility, creativity and self-appraisal)

Please indicate, with an asterisk, in the right-hand columns whether the outcomes are assessed in the module, and in which of the categories the outcomes can be identified (may be more than one, especially at postgraduate level)

Learning experiences

Please list the types of learning experiences in which the students will be engaged including indicative hours, e.g.:

8 hours lectures
16 hours facilitated group work
16 hours computer-based simulation 60 hours self-directed study

Assessment pattern

Please give the method by which students will be assessed, including indicative length of written work, and the relative weighting (%) which each assessed element carries.


Please summarise content of the module within 60–80 words. This information will be added to ISIS and used by students to assist them with online module choice.

Main Texts

Please cite indicative key texts (6-10) using the appropriate and accurate citation convention for the Division.

Other relevant details

Please give any additional explanatory information which may be specific to the module, such as uniqueness of structure or delivery mode.

Further guidance on developing module descriptors is available on request from the Centre for Academic Practice on 0131 474 0000.