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Before you start to complete the online unit proforma you are advised to refer to the CeLT Resources on EQAL: .  This website provides extensive information on the EQAL process and useful guidance on writing unit specifications that not only meet the EQAL principles but provide helpful information to students undertaking the unit.

The online proforma feeds a number of other systems, including timetabling, room bookings and the Assessment Database.  To ensure that appropriate information is gathered for the variety of stakeholders you will find that a number of constraints are in place eg number of permitted characters, LOs and assessments.

If you would like further guidance on a specific aspect of the system and/or its requirements please click on the relevant link below.

If you experience any difficulty in completing the proforma please direct initial enquiries to your Faculty’s Management Services Team

Summary of the unit approval process




Unit status



Input initial unit data



Unit Co-ordinator works on the unit detail

Initial work  undertaken but not all fields completed




All fields completed – but not ready to save as WCT




Completes detail on the unit







Sends unit specification report to the
external examiner for scrutiny




Dependent on the external examiner’s comments:




External examiner approval given


Progress to Stage 5






External examiner requires further work to be undertaken


FQA updates database and notifies the Unit-Co-ordinator






Unit Co-ordinator undertakes refinement in accordance with the external examiner’s comments.  When unit details finalised Unit Co-ordinator updates the database to confirm completion.






Repeat Stage 3 until external examiner approval is given and then progress to Stage 5.








Submits unit for committee approval




Dependent on the panel’s recommendations:





Panel approval given








Unit referred back for further work


PA updates database and contacts the Unit Co-ordinator to confirm action required. Repeat Stages 2 – 6 as necessary




List of Abbreviations


Centre for Academic Standards & Quality Enhancement


Centre for Learning & Teaching


Unit recommended for approval by the external examiner


Unit sent to the external examiner for scrutiny


Enhancing Quality & Assessment for Learning


Work in Progress – to address external examiner feedback/comments


Faculty Quality Administrator


Joint Academic Coding System


Management Information Planning Services


Planning & Management Information


Panel Administrator (either FQA or a member of CASQE)


Approved by the Panel


Submitted for Panel Approval


Work in Progress – to address panel feedback/comments made by the panel


Initial work undertaken on the unit – no systems checks are undertaken so not all mandatory fields have to be completed


Unit Administrator (either MIPS or FQA)


Unit Co-ordinator


Work Completed


Work in Progress – all mandatory fields complete but further work needs to be undertaken


General information and on-screen guidance


Help boxes


On-screen help and guidance on the completion of fields within the proformas is available by hovering over field labels.


This indicates a mandatory field


% wildcard


Where indicated, the % character may be used in the Unit Search section to substitute a character or digit as a stand in for any code, word or phrase.  For example, 47% in the unit code section will allow the user to search for any unit in the system belonging to department 47. 


No of characters per field


The on-screen help will provide details of the number of characters permitted in a specific field, where this is specified.  Spaces and return characters within the text are included in the total number. 


Cut and paste from other documents


Text in the free text boxes can be cut from existing documents and copied into the relevant box in the database.  The system does not have a spell check facility so you may wish to draft your text in a word document before inserting into the specification.



When logged into the database, the unit details will be viewed in the html format and printouts from the database will be of variable quality with no formatting.

A formatted unit specification report is accessible in TARDIS


To select more than one option from a drop down list eg selecting more than one Learning Outcome from a list of available options, use one of the following:

If you are using a PC

Hold down the ctrl key whilst using the cursor to click on each of your selections.

If you are using an Apple Mac

Hold down the command button whilst using the cursor to click on each of your selections.

If your machine does not clearly identify a command button – it will be the button next to the space bar with a picture of an apple in the left hand corner and a square/circle symbol in the right hand corner.

You can also use the above key strokes to de-select an option

Unit outline

Both the UA and UC have editing rights to this section – please ensure that you keep each other informed if you make any changes to this section, particularly in relation to the Unit Title

Unit title
This is the approved title for the unit and should accurately reflect its content.  At the initial development stage the unit may be allocated a provisional working title which can be changed prior to the approval by the External Examiner.

 Maximum: 200 characters

This is a short acronym that will be used when text-messaging students about changes to the Unit. Using initials for units often works well.  The text message to students will also include the Unit Code.

Maximum: 15 characters

This is an optional field used to provide a list of key works that best reflect the content of the unit.

Maximum: 100 characters

Unit Details

HESA academic cost centre

Most academic departments at MMU are assigned to a single HESA academic cost centre and this will be automatically filled in for you. Where a department is split into further organisational units or sub-departments, it is necessary to select the cost centre for that sub-department. A list of MMU departments and their associated HESA academic cost centres is maintained by Strategic Planning and Management Information. Any queries should be directed to Faculty Management Services in the first instance.

Unit description

Brief summary
The brief summary should be suitable to go into prospectus information if needed. It is very brief so is just an opportunity to add a little more detail to the unit title. 

Maximum: 140 characters

Indicative content
The indicative content should include key themes of the unit curriculum, with an indication of their relative priority.  It should be used to give an overview of what the unit team intends to achieve in the unit and will probably include a mixture of aims, content and approaches to learning and teaching

Maximum: 4000 characters

Only one JACS code can be selected and that should be of the prominent subject being covered by the unit. A list of JACS codes in subject areas covered by MMU can be found on the SPMI intranet. If you cannot find an appropriate JACS code for a unit please contact Faculty Management Services.

External Examiner
Each unit will be allocated to an External Examiner.  This information is not mandatory at set-up but must be input at a subsequent stage and be confirmed before the unit is delivered.

Assessment Board

Each unit will be allocated to an Assessment Board.  This information is not mandatory at set-up but must be input at a subsequent stage and be confirmed before the unit is delivered.
Learning outcomes

No more than 5 learning outcomes are permissible for each undergraduate unit.

Each learning outcome should:

  • •be written so that it follows on from the statement: On successful completion of this Unit, the Student will be able to...;
  • •relate to the overall programme learning outcomes;
  • •be simply and clearly expressed, and capable of appropriate demonstration of achievement; and
  • •be directly linked to the specific elements of summative assessment that test them.


In addition you are required to map unit learning outcomes to MMU graduate learning outcomes that are part of the Employability Curriculum Framework (ECF). There is no need to include all of the MMU graduate outcomes for each unit; they should all be addressed across the programme, and flagging the appropriate ones here makes it easier for the team to overview the whole programme.

Guidance on writing learning outcomes can be found on the CELT webpage:

Maximum: 250 characters for each learning outcome..


30 credit units should have one or two elements of assessment; 60 credit units should have two or three elements of assessment; and 15 credit units should have just one element of assessment.

Each element of assessment will only have 1 of 2 types of assessment: Coursework and Examination.

Learning Outcomes
Please indicate which of the learning outcomes relate to each element of assessment.  All learning outcomes must be met in one or more elements of assessment. It is preferable for each learning outcome to be summatively assessed only once, but there may be situations where the team prefer to offer students multiple opportunities or where it is difficult to dissociate learning outcomes. Learning outcomes can and should be formatively assessed more than once in the unit.

To choose more than one Learning Outcome from the list of available entries, use one of the following:

If you are using a PC

Hold down the ctrl key whilst using the cursor to click on each of your selections.

If you are using an Apple Mac

Hold down the command button whilst using the cursor to click on each of your selections.

If your machine does not clearly identify a command button – it will be the button next to the space bar with a picture of an apple in the left hand corner and a square/circle symbol in the right hand corner.

You can also use the above key strokes to de-select an option

Each element of assessment must be weighted in order that the information within the unit specification can be used to inform the Assessment Database.  The combined total of assessment weightings must equal 100%

Only one element of assessment should be identified as Final. It is important for the University to know which of the assignment tasks is the last one to be submitted by students on the unit, as we are required by HEFCE to ensure that they have done this. Please indicate this by ticking the box headed ‘final’ next to ONE of the assignment tasks for the unit.

Employability and Sustainability Outcomes
For further details on the Employability and Sustainability outcomes please refer to the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CeLT) guidance

Method of Assessment
Select the type of assignment from the drop-down list. If you cannot find the assignment type you want in the use the Override box.

Please see the guidance on assessment tasks provided on the CeLT website at for details on some common tasks. If none of these tasks is suitable and you would like more detailed guidance on your chosen task, please contact Rachel Forsyth

Both method of assessment and override are marked as mandatory fields.  However, you need only complete one of these fields, so you either choose one of the options from the drop down list under method of assessment or insert your own statement in the override box.

Maximum: 250 characters

Min Pass Mark
The minimum pass mark is usually 40% for a unit at levels 3-6 so you should leave  this field blank unless your programme has an approved variation to the University’s Regulations.

In this section you are required to provide further detail on the assessment methods used within the element to assess whether the students achieve each of the intended learning outcomes.  In particular indicate the prime element of assessment and if, appropriate, any components to this assessment, eg where a presentation is used a critique may also be required.  Please note, however, that even if an element of assessment comprises more than one component, it must all be submitted and marked as one piece of work. If you are using a portfolio, please check the guidance on their use at

You should also provide details of diagnostic or formative assessment which supports or prepares students and what feedback they will receive on their work.  Outline the unit assessment criteria used to determine how well the students achieve the unit’s intended learning outcomes.

Assessment criteria should clearly specify how different levels of performance are distinguished and rewarded, and form the basis of the unit’s marking scheme and feedback comments.

Maximum: 4000 characters
Learning activities

Please give a breakdown of the 300 (30 credit unit), 600 (60 credit unit) or  150 (15 credit unit) hours of student learning activity.  The information should provide students with a reasonable indication of the amount of learning activity they will experience and allow them to estimate the approximate time they must commit to assessment tasks (summative assessment) , directed study and independent study (student-centred).  Contact and support times will vary depending on the nature of the activity and the level of study; however students must be allocated a minimum of 25% of their time to the preparation of summative assessments.

The recommendation is that students should spend 25% of their time on directed study, 25% on work directly related to the assessment tasks, and the remaining 50% working independently (‘student-centred learning’). If you need guidance on these elements, please contact CeLT.

Mandatory requirements
This box can be left blank for most MMU units. It should only be used to specify mandatory requirements for the completion of the unit, eg some units may require students to undertake X hours of work-based activity before they are deemed to have completed the unit.

aximum: 4000 characters

Learning resources

There are five free text boxes under the Learning Resources heading, the first three of which relate to what might previously have been considered reading list items. The new reading/resource list strategy proposes that for clarity all resource lists should in future be structured as follows:

Items (essential reading) recommended for purchase by students
This section will normally* comprise a maximum of three reasonably-priced items which students are recommended to purchase. These are the items to be entered in the box headed Books recommended for purchase by students. The Library will normally purchase a limited number of print or e-copies of these titles as a matter of course, so these items should not be duplicated in the sections below.

Maximum: 4000 characters

Essential Reading/Resources available via the Library or Online
This section will normally* comprise a maximum of ten items which should ideally be available electronically. These should be agreed in advance with library staff and can be made up of a mix of e-books, e-journal articles, digitised chapters and articles, streamed off-air recordings, websites, etc. Recommending electronic resources will aid remote, 24/7 access, and make it easier to support large cohorts of students. Where suitable electronic material is not already available and cannot be sourced by Library staff, who are of course happy to help, multiple copies of texts etc will be provided within the constraints of funding and space. Thus, up to ten items in electronic format will normally be entered into the box headed Essential Reading/Resources available via the Library or Online

Maximum: 4000 characters

Further Reading/Resources
This section will normally* comprise a maximum of 20 items to allow students to explore a subject in greater depth. As far as possible these should already be available electronically or in stock in MMU libraries, or should be freely available on the web. Providing access to essential material electronically will create a more level playing field for students and will help reduce pressure on print resources. By prioritising electronic format over print, the library should be able to continue to provide a good range of background reading.  In the initial stages of the creation of lists in the new format, it is unlikely that library staff will be able to check this section; furthermore, in the longer term academic staff will be able to update the further reading section of lists dynamically, publishing updated versions themselves via the portal/VLE. The Further Reading/Resources section will therefore include a note, when finally published, warning students that not all items in this section may be available via Library Services, but that library staff are always happy to advise them on searching for background information. Thus, up to 20 items will normally be entered into the box headed Further Reading/Resources.

Maximum: 4000 characters

The other two boxes relate to hardware or software that are considered to be essential requirements for successful running of the unit. In the same way as there needs to be liaison with Library Services staff over resources that traditionally the library has provided or information or other learning resources you want to recommend your students to use, there needs to be articulation and discussion with local ICTS managers of other IT and AV resources required to allow the unit to run:

*  It is recognised that there are a small number of units for which these proposals/limits are inappropriate, e.g. literature-based and art and design courses, which continue to rely on print to underpin teaching and learning. In such instances, following discussions with the relevant Library Services Manager and subsequent agreement with the Head of Library Services, there may be exemption from the norm, but otherwise units are expected to conform to the new format/limits. In case of disagreement about exceptions, there will be wider discussions with the Heads of CeLT and CASQE.

ICT Requirements
Please enter here any specialist hardware or software required. You are strongly advised to discuss these requirements in advance with your local ICTS manager.

Maximum: 4000 characters

Additional Requirements
Please enter here the details of any other kit required and who will provide/lend. This might, for example, be cameras or digital voice recorders needed by students for the completion of assignments, and you need to indicate whether you expect this will be provided by your department/faculty, or by ICTS, or by another department/faculty. Please also identify any specialist teaching/learning spaces needed. You are strongly advised to discuss these requirements in advance with your local ICTS manager

Maximum: 4000 characters

inally, please note that Library Services in conjunction with LRT is introducing some new software, Talis Aspire, which will make the creation and maintenance of reading/resource lists much easier. In due course this software will be integrated with the unit proforma, to reduce duplication of effort.

Saving data


It is not necessary to input all the unit details in any one attempt – the system permits the user to save the unit details in the following status categories:

TEMP you do not need to complete all mandatory fields and no systems checks are undertaken (please remember however that through all of the stages of completion your comments will be viewable by all registered users.
WIP you must complete all mandatory fields to save the unit – system checks will confirm that all of the relevant fields have been completed and will not permit the unit to be saved in this status if any mandatory data is missing.
WCT you are satisfied that the all the details have been correctly input

Once the unit has been saved as WCT, an email will be sent to the FQA advising them that the unit content has been marked as completed and that the unit is now ready for approval via the University’s quality assurance systems.  The unit will be locked as WCT.

The FQA will then process the unit sending it to the external examiner and standing panel for approval.  If further work is required on the unit, the unit will be transferred to WIP status, either:

EWIP to address external examiner feedback/comments; or
PWIP to address panel feedback/comments made by the panel

If your unit is transferred back to WIP status for further work please ensure that you save it as WCT when you have undertaken the required amendments

When logged into the database, the unit details will be viewed in the html format and printouts from the database will be of variable quality with no formatting.

Unit specification reports for external examiners are accessible from TARDIS:

The report code is: BIPEQAL 1300

If you do not have a TARDIS account please complete the registration form available from the Online Unit Specification home page.

If you are unfamiliar with the TARDIS system you may wish to follow the steps outlined below:

  • Click on Student Records
  • Enter your TARDIS log in details (these will differ from your MMU ID log-in) and choose Submit
  • Choose the BI Publisher Reports (to left hand side of the screen)
  • Click here to view the reports
  • Select BIP EQAL
  • Select MMU Unit Specification Report
  • Enter the full unit code or partial unit code with wildcard and choose Submit
  • The report will be produced in PDF format
Print or save the file as you require