Teaching & Learning


Programme Design workshop

Arena's ‘Programme design’ workshop supports teams to revaluate their existing programme offer or to develop the design of a new programme in preparation for the formal approval process.

Arena’s ‘Programme design’ workshop has been developed as a practical tool that faculty programme teams can use to support their programme design process, in preparation for their submission to the Programme and Module Approval Process (PMAP)

The workshop is designed as two 2-hour sessions. These can be combined or you may wish to draw on elements of both to create a bespoke session to fit with your stage in the design process.  

If you are designing new programme and would like to schedule a workshop please complete the form below.

Request a ‘Programme design’ workshop

About the Programme Design workshop

 Well-designed programmes that think deeply about education and how to build belonging and support students do better than those that don’t (Howsen 2013; Burgess 2018). Our approach to programme design is inclusive and involves as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, including Student Quality Reviewers.

Arena’s Programme design workshop serves to facilitate a discussion between members of the programme team about the programme, prior to, or during, the process of approval. It is made up of a set of activities agreed beforehand with the programme Leader/designate and designed as one of a number of activities that can enable writing PMAP documentation.

The facilitators are able to advise on new UCL guidance and recommendations that can add value to the design process, such as assessment visualisation, module design, employability and sustainability resources. 

Download the workbook [pptx]

Who should request the workshop

All programme teams who are working on new undergraduate or postgraduate programmes prior to PMAP, or for programme teams who wish to re-evaluate their existing programme offer.

When to request

The best time to request a workshop is at the early, ‘outline approval’ stage of programme development. However, workshops can be taken at any time throughout the development in the programme design process.

The workshop is aligned to the PMAP documentation and many of the workshop activities will help programme teams with focusing and initial writing.  

Example activities

The Programme design workshop is bespoke to your programme team’s needs. Before the workshop, there is a planning meeting at which the Programme Leader and workshop facilitator discuss the team’s specific requirements and agree the format and timing of the session(s).

The workshop activities stimulate discussion about the vision for the programme, the educational methods used to meet the vision, the programme level outcomes and the types of students, structure and assessment patterns across the programme.  It can also include meetings with Student Quality Reviewers who sit on the PMAP panels.

Some example topics that can be covered in each session include:

First session topics

  • Articulating the vision for the programme
  • Exploring critical characteristics of the initial design
  • Articulating programme learning outcomes

Second session topics (tailored to the outcomes of the first session)

  • Mapping modules against programme-level outcomes
  • Visualizing aspects of teaching and assessment strategy
  • Considering barriers to implementation
  • Sense-making with students


Sandra Lusk, Projects Manager (Academic Development), Arena.  


1. Adrian P Burgess*, Carl Senior, Elisabeth Moores (2018) A 10 year case study on the changing determinants of University student satisfaction in the UK. 10.1371/journal.pone.0192976

2. Kandiko Howson, C. B., & Mawer, M. (2013). Student Expectations and Perceptions of Higher Education. King's Learning Institute.