Developing a new programme or curriculum is a complex interplay of formal process steps, accreditation, educational development and project-based collaboration, among others. On average, this process takes at least two and a half years. To help you get started, we list the process steps for setting up a new programme and the steps for curriculum design on this page.
Broadly speaking, the process of developing a new course has four stages:
- Ideation phase
- Development phase
- Application phase
- Start-up phase
Including three formal stop/go moments:
- Consent application to the Faculty Board and the Executive Board. The application is to include the programme in the Faculty's programme offering.
- Macro-objectivity application to the Higher Education Effectiveness Committee. The application is for the programme to be funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
- Test New programme with the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. The test is important for obtaining accreditation (issuing recognised diplomas).
In this process, Education Affairs' education policy officers guide the development team.
Designing a curriculum, (e.g. learning line or minor) is a complex process. A helpful model in the process of curriculum (re)design is the ADDIE model. ADDIE is an acronym for the five phases in the development process: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation. The Teaching Information Point staff in your faculty can guide you through the process steps.
Please note: if in an existing programme more than 50% of the learning outcomes change, a new macro-eligibility application must be submitted. An Education Affairs staff member can advise you on this.
In the first phase, it is important to have the objectives of the development process in focus: What is the reason for the development and what are the desired outcomes? You also create clarity on available resources for the development team.
In phase two, you develop a blueprint for the (new) curriculum, determining how students will achieve the desired outcomes of the programme. Think for instance of a didactic profile, the content you want to cover, the courses that will make up the programme and the activities and guidance offered in them, the way testing is designed. The result of the design phase is a draft design on the basis of which education can be developed or revised.
In the development phase, you work out the design and develop the new teaching or make revisions to the existing programme. In this phase, you pay attention to making the didactics your own and carrying out a teaching pilot. The pilot is then evaluated and points for improvement are applied in the educational design.
In the implementation phase, teaching is carried out according to the new curriculum. This starts with preparing teachers and students for the new programme and setting up the (digital) learning environment. Next, the programme is put into practice. Here, it is important to pay attention to what is happening in education, so you can adjust things and take experiences into the evaluation phase.
Evaluation recurs in every phase of the ADDIE model and constitutes a moment of critical reflection on process and outcomes. After the implementation phase, the new curriculum is evaluated with students and improvements are worked out for the next course year.
If you want to set up a shared education programme with an educational institution abroad, you should contact the Joint Programmes working group. The working group will guide you through the process and help you with practical implementation. Upon request, the working group makes the Joint Programmes Handbook 2022 available.
Curriculum range: get to grips with aspects of curriculum (re)design.
The curriculum range is a tool that can help you define more precisely what a curriculum is, how to develop a curriculum and who is involved in curriculum development.
Kotter's steps of change
With his eight steps of change, Kotter offers a structured approach to almost any change within organisations.
Van den Akker's curricular spider web
The curricular spider web explains the ten components of the curriculum.
Guidance and advice
Assistance with content design of new curriculum
The faculty Teaching Information Points can provide assistance with educational advice and support on the use of digital learning tools in the new curriculum.
Guidance and advice on formal process steps
If you are starting with a new programme or collaboration with a foreign educational institution, you should always contact the education policy officers at Education Affairs. They will assist you on your way with handy information and think along with you.