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Purpose

Purpose

Educational intention

The purpose describes the overall educational intention of the course, including what the student should learn and the relevance of the course in relation to the degree programme as a whole, and perhaps in relation to subsequent employment opportunities. The purpose is important because it provides a holistic presentation of the course.

The purpose should be described in prose, in relatively broad terms. On the one hand, the description should be specific enough to give the students a clear picture of the content and intention of the course and what to expect. But on the other hand, it should also be general enough to ensure that the course will not be affected significantly if any minor practical and didactic adjustments need to be made or if teachers need to be replaced. This will make it possible for various teachers to teach the course, and for the course to develop from one year to the next.

Defining the purpose

When you define the purpose, it is a good idea to make sure that you fully describe its three parts: the students’ learning outcomes, the course content and educational intention, and the relevance of the course in relation to the degree programme as a whole:

The students' learning outcome

What should the students learn?

The first part of the purpose describes the students’ learning outcomes in the form of the knowledge, skills and competences which they will acquire during the course. The competences which the students develop can be either specific to the course concerned (e.g. understanding of historical developments), or general (e.g. the ability to collaborate or adopt a critical approach).

Example: Bachelor’s degree programme in international business communication in French (2017), course title: International Market Communication

The purpose of the course is to enable students to (1) use knowledge of theories of market communication, media, genres and rhetorical strategies to prepare market communicative solutions adapted to fit a particular target group, (2) explain and document their own solutions based on systematic information searches and market research, and (3) communicate effectively in French using the linguistic and terminological conventions of the genre, the course and the business sector in question.

The purpose is also to teach students to collaborate with a company’s international employees, including buyers, agents, distributors and/or the company’s branches abroad.

Example:Master’s degree programme in theology (2018), course title: Old Testament

The purpose of the course is to provide students with in-depth, specialised knowledge of the Old Testament, including a) theological main themes and complexes of thinking, b) the relationship of the Old Testament to its historical, religio-historical and theological contexts, and c) the literary forms and effective tools of the Old Testament. This will give students in-depth understanding of fundamental themes, structures and dilemmas in and for the subsequent history of Christian theology and the Christian church and liturgy.

Content and educational intention of the course

What is the course about?

The second part of the purpose describes the content and educational intention of the course by describing its theoretical, methodical and thematic content as well as general choices relating to its educational organisation, including how the content is dealt with.

Example: Bachelor’s degree programme in information studies (2018), course title: IT, People and Society

The course provides a basic introduction to the development and management of human resources and organisations, focusing in particular on teaching students to identify, define and resolve issues relating to the development and management of human resources and organisations. Students acquire knowledge, skills and competences based on a critical approach to research-based theories and methods within this field. The module focuses in particular on how theories of learning can be linked to the concepts and theories of organisational theory, including theories and concepts related to the development of organisations, competences and management. The academic content of the module includes theories and methods relating to education, learning and development in organisations based on classical and new contributions within the subject areas.

Example: Bachelor’s degree programme in comparative literature (2018), course title: Literary History 1: Antiquity to Middle Ages

The course presents selected main works from the period within different genres and from different language areas. The works are placed in their literary and historical context, which includes the development of literature over time and the interaction between literary works and their historical, social and cultural settings, including literary cycles and institutions. The course present fundamental issues relating to the methods of philology and source criticism.

Relevance of the course

What is the relevance of the course in relation to the degree programme as a whole, and perhaps in relation to employment opportunities?

The third part of the purpose describes the relevance of the course in relation to the degree programme as a whole by explaining the connection between the course and the other elements of the degree programme in terms of progression. For instance, some courses aim to develop the competences or content of a different course – or may form the academic or analytical basis of a subsequent course on the degree programme or a parallel course.

This part of the purpose can also contain a description of the relevance of the course in relation to subsequent employment opportunities.

Example: Bachelor’s degree in art history (2018), course title: Visual Analysis 1

This is a fundamental analytical course which forms the basis of the analytical competences which students use and develop during the entire Bachelor’s degree programme. The course establishes a transition from upper-secondary school and combines with the parallel course Art and Visuality History 1 to train the students’ ability to read academic texts. The course is followed by Visual Analysis and Method 2.

Example: Bachelor’s degree programme in history (2018), course title: World History and Danish History 2

This is a general course whose aim is to provide the students with a contextual understanding when working with specific topics and periods during the degree programme.