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Modular qualifications for post-18 study work if they are designed well. Poor design can jeopardise the value of such degrees to the learner and employer alike.  


The aim of this project was to develop a handbook for good programme design across levels 4-6 and between higher education and further education, using the principle of co-design with industry partners. 


Modular qualifications in the post-18 space already exist and work well where the articulations between them are designed into the qualifications. Key to good design is the successful ability to pause and to progress, hence the critical relationships between the linked college, university and employer.  

Project outputs

The project team broke down the core principles and practice of qualification design across the HE and FE sectors to produce a guide that presents a number of considerations for coherent and effective curriculum design at levels 4-6. A suite of case studies from across the UK exemplify these design principles.


Guide to Micro-credential Design: Modular learning by design and not default

Publication date: 06 Jul 2023

Case Study: Modular learning by design not default, Staffordshire University

Publication date: 06 Jul 2023

Case Study: Skills Bootcamps at Bath Spa University

Publication date: 06 Jul 2023

Case Study: Healthcare and Professional Skills level 4 – 30 credits) at Coventry University

Publication date: 03 Jul 2023

Project lead:

Bath College (part 1) and Bath Spa University (part 2)


Project partners:

University of Middlesex, University of Staffordshire, Coventry University

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.