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Academic progression

Academic progression

Progression during degree programmes

The quality of the academic objectives is closely linked to the quality of the exam assessment and the quality of the student’s progression during the degree programme as a whole. So it is important that the academic objectives are explicit – and that they are described clearly enough to form the basis of an assessment of compliance with objectives, as well as clearly revealing the student’s progression.

There are several dimensions involved in progression during a degree programme, including:

Thematic progression:

This occurs when new fields of study are introduced (horizontal progression).

Example: The course called “Regional Theme” on the Bachelor’s degree programme in anthropology

On the Bachelor’s degree programme in anthropology (2019), the students are taught a regional theme on both the second and fourth semesters. These courses are at the same level in terms of knowledge; but the students achieve thematic progression because they are introduced to two different themes (the Amazon region and Greenland, for instance).

Increasing complexity in terms of the level of knowledge:

Knowledge, skills and competences may also be mastered to an increasing level of complexity and/or confidence and independence (vertical progression).

Example: The courses called “Language and Communication I” and “Language and Communication II” on the Bachelor’s degree programme in Spanish and Latin American language, literature and culture

On the Bachelor’s degree programme in Spanish and Latin American language, literature and culture, the students study “Language and Communication I”, “Language and Communication II” and “Language and Communication III”. The progression involved here relates to the complexity of the student’s knowledge, skills and competences, which increases from one course to the next. For instance, in “Language and Communication I” the students become familiar with basic linguistic structures. In “Language and Communication II”, they have to analyse these structures. In “Language and Communication III”’, students must be able to communicate about Spanish grammar for communication or teaching purposes.

Increasing complexity in terms of context:

The level of complexity of the context in which knowledge must be demonstrated may also increase.

Example: The courses called “Art and Visuality History 1 and 2” on the Bachelor’s degree programme in art history

On the Bachelor’s degree programme in art history (2018), students are taught two courses called “Art and Visuality History 1” and “Art and Visuality History 2”. These courses have the same theme and level of knowledge. But there are a range of taxonomies that can be used to ensure a systematic approach to the task of describing the increasing complexity and confidence of student performances as they progress through the degree programme. Read more about taxonomy here.