What is a programme?
The Lisbon Recognition Convention has a clear and relevant definition of a programme:
- “A programme refers to a higher education curriculum leading to a degree. It has co-ordinated elements (courses). The completion of a programme provides the student with a higher education qualification.”
A detailed definition has been proposed by UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED):
- “A coherent set or sequence of educational activities designed and organized to achieve pre-determined learning objectives or accomplish a specific set of educational tasks over a sustained period. Within an educational programme, educational activities may also be grouped into sub-components variously described in national contexts as ‘courses’, ‘modules’, ‘units’, and/or ‘subjects’. A programme may have major components not normally characterized as courses, units, or modules – for example, play-based activities, periods of work experience, research projects and the preparation of dissertations.”
From both definitions it will be clear that a programme refers to teaching and learning activities.
- Council of Europe, (1997) Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region. Lisbon, p. 4.
- UNESCO. 2011. International Standard Classification of Education, p. 79. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Pages/international-standard-classification-of-education.aspx