Accessibility statement

Module aims and outcomes

The module aims should succinctly articulate the purpose of the module and what it is trying to achieve. This statement of broad goals should then be followed by a set of module learning outcomes (MLOs). Once the aims and objectives are clearly defined, the module assessment and activities can be designed to align well.

MLOs should:

  • succinctly and accurately capture the specific learning that results from engaging with the module and should align with module aims;
  • not be limited to the knowledge gained from the module, but should also include skills developed by engaging with the module;
  • normally contribute towards the development of programme learning outcomes, unless the module is a stand-alone module. 
  • be pitched towards the threshold level of learning (what is required to pass the module), with the purpose of assessment criteria to then ascertain how well outcomes have been achieved. 
  • be realistic in number. There is no fixed expectation of how many learning outcomes; a typical module would have between three and six;
  • be written in a way that ensures they are assessable.
  • be appropriate to the scope of the module and the credit level of learning at which the module occurs.

You may find the guidance on developing programme learning outcomes useful when developing your module learning outcomes.  For existing modules, aims and outcomes should be regularly reviewed to ensure they continue to be valid and aligned with programme learning outcomes.  As with all elements of module and programme design, this can be made more effective by providing opportunities for students to work with you as partners in the development and review process. 


Once the aims and objectives are clearly defined, the module assessment and activities can be designed to guide and motivate students towards achievement of the outcomes, and to appropriately judge the level to which they have been achieved by each individual student.

Aligning these elements clearly to the aims and outcomes and then making this alignment clear to students will also bring meaning to the learning activities and assessments, setting clear expectations about the value of the activity to students’ learning for the module.