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Making Changes to Assessment 

Theological Education Institutions (TEIs) can choose any of the patterns of assessment set out in our assessment parameters guidance, for a module of the relevant size, provided that they have taken our assessment design guidelines into account – see our Assessment Parameters and Assessment Design pages for more information. TEIs can make changes to the assessments chosen in line with the guidance set out below. 

All changes to a module’s assessment pattern should be approved by the TEI’s Management Committee; however, some changes may also require additional approval from Durham in advance of implementing the change. TEIs are advised to consult with their External Examiner and/or University Liaison Officer in advance when making changes to assessments.  

In any case, when making changes, TEIs should bear in mind the overall balance of assessment types across a programme, in light of the Programme Learning Outcomes. We encourage TEIs to use a wide range of forms of assessment, and to find creative ways of enabling students to demonstrate that they have met module learning outcomes. See our page on Assessment Types for guidance on the forms of assessment available in the Common Awards Framework.  

The information below summarise the action to be taken when TEIs want to make various kinds of change to the assessments for a module. It should be read in conjunction with our guidance on Curriculum Development 

Proposed changes in line with Assessment Parameters 

If the proposed change falls within the existing parameters for assessment patterns then TEIs will able to approve this revision at the TEI Management Committee, without seeking further approval from Durham.  

TEIs should ensure that the approval is made in good time to implement the change (e.g. to revise handbooks and inform students).  

TEIs will be asked annually to submit to Durham an up-to-date Module Overview Table (or ‘T4’) which includes details of your choices for the assessment pattern for each module. TEIs should clearly highlight any changes to previous years’ patterns using tracked changes and the previous years approved programme documentation. The Common Awards Team will check these changes against the assessment patterns parameters and confirm their suitability. The deadline for returning this information to Durham is usually in May each year. See our Common Awards Calendar for the specific date.  

When the assessment parameters guidance was introduced, specific assessment patterns were removed from each module guide – permitting TEIs enhanced flexibility of which assessment types to offer for each module. TEIs are permitted to retain the historic assessment patterns outlined in the module guide at the time. However, should TEIs wish to change their assessment patterns in the future, they must align with the assessment parameters.  

Proposed changes falling outside of Assessment Parameters 

If a TEI wishes to adopt any assessment pattern for a module that falls outside the parameters, they will need to submit a Curriculum Development proposal to Durham for approval, complete with a pedagogical rationale.  

Where a TEI intends to introduce a differentiation between the assessment patterns for different cohorts of students taking the same module, the TEI should submit a Curriculum Development proposal to Durham for approval. TEIs should provide a pedagogical rationale for the differentiation (that is, one based on the different needs, resources, and opportunities of the cohorts of students involved in relation to their programmes of study).  

Where a substantial change is being made, i.e., one which will affect the character of a programme for a cohort of students (e.g., moderate change to a large number of modules, or radical change to a small number of modules), TEIs should submit a Curriculum Development proposal to Durham for approval, complete with a pedagogical rationale. This distinction between minor and substantial change is a judgment call. 

All proposals for changes falling outside of Common Awards assessment parameters should be submitted in time for the Curriculum Development deadline usually in May. See our Common Awards Calendar for the specific date. 

Curriculum Development requests will need to include the following:  

  • Curriculum Development request form (see our Templates and Forms page) 
  • Proposed Module Overview Table (T4)