Curriculum work

The curriculum describes the skills, knowledges and competences that the students has achieved after completing the studies required for the degree. When planning a curriculum, this requires proceeding from larger entities to smaller sections, from the degree to the study modules and then to the study units, all the way to the planning of individual modes of study.

Curriculum is designed in cooperation

Teaching a degree programme comprises several different elements and features various interdependencies. This entirety, with all its motives, cultural customs and meanings, is called a curriculum. This means that a curriculum is a great deal more than just a document controlling teaching practices, objectives or evaluation or the work to achieve these. In fact, the curriculum contains everything that is taught and the reasons why it is taught.

Planning education is, therefore, always also curriculum work from this perspective, as even individual courses become a part of a student’s experiential world and shape their relationship with both past and future studies. A student’s scientific and professional expertise is built as a continuum of the courses, in relation to the rest of their passage of life. Even an individual course alone should be an understandable unit in itself, from a student’s perspective, but its more extensive pedagogical significance is ultimately determined through the consistency and balance of the educational module surrounding it.

This does not mean that an individual study unit could not seem like a highly significant learning experience to a student – as many of us have personally experienced. However, it does not seem like these experiences are connected by any particular teaching methods or pedagogical tools used in courses, but rather by an insight gained into the significance of the matters learned and finding a new, wider perspective on the logic or world outside the course.

Striving for such experiences encourages a shift in the focus of planning from the level of individual courses to the level of the entire degree programme and study modules. Instead of attempting to implement as many study methods or activities in every study unit as possible, we should instead consider the relationship between the courses’ function and content with each other and review the entire curriculum in relation to scientific knowledge, professionality, various operational contexts and the construction of the student’s own identity. Through these discussions, the scientific and professional community also becomes aware of such cultural educational assumptions that often provide individuals with negative experiences of their own participation opportunities and space for action in decision-making related to joint educational provision.

Curriculum enables efficient studying

The curriculum is planned to facilitate smooth progress of studies and the completion of 60 study credits in one academic year. The smooth progress of studies / Efficient studying can be promoted though the curriculum by

  1. ensuring that the content of successive study units is cumulative;
  2. ensuring that consecutive study units are also organised in the correct order;
  3. ensuring that the curriculum does not have any limitations that obstruct the progress of studies, such as unnecessary prior information requirements, overlapping content or other inconsistencies;
  4. ensuring the adequacy, timelines and accumulation of studies that promote the build-up of learning skills and techniques as well as continuous learning skills in a consistent manner throughout the degree;
  5. including alternative completion methods and forms for study units and other parts of study modules and degree programmes in the curriculum;
  6. ensuring the diversity of teaching and assessment methods as well as completion methods within the degree programme;
  7. increasing the availability of options between study units and participating in cooperation across degree programme, faculty and higher education institute borders when planning the elective studies;
  8. securing sufficient counselling resources and efficient guidance arrangements.

More information for staff

TAMKin opetussuunnitelmatyötä ohjaavat strategiat, periaatteet ja linjaukset  (in Finnish)

TAMKin OPSin kirjaus Peppiin (in Finnish)

Elsewhere in TLC

Evolve in teaching
News on trends in education
Diversity in teaching

Links checked 8.3.2021