Developing Degree Programs
On this page you will find all the information related to the development, modification and modularization of degree programs.
At a 1999 conference in Bologna, the EU member states issued a joint declaration aiming to establish a unified European model of higher education. This agreement marked a paradigm shift: The Diplom and Magister programs were replaced by bachelor's and master's programs. Courses are now grouped into modules, and academic progress is tracked by means of a credit point system (ECTS). Comparability, transferability, and transparency are the primary goals of the Bologna Process.
New Degree Programs and Changes to Degree Programs Statutes
Do you - or does someone in your school or college - have an idea or maybe even a concrete plan for a new bachelor's, master's, or advanced studies master's program?
The Study and Teaching - Quality Management team advises TUM schools and colleges on drafting degree program outlines and establishing academic and examination regulations. We will guide you through the entire development process, up to and including the final stages, when you submit your outline for review by TUM administrative boards. Questions about inputting degree program information in TUMonline – in particular when your program’s academic and examination regulations diverge from the sample FPSO – should be directed as early as possible to a staff member of the TUM Center for Study and Teaching.
As your new degree program begins to take shape, it is essential that all involved parties be notified immediately. To help you meet the prerequisites, we have compiled a list of TUM contact persons and administrative boards, together with a flowchart illustrating the step-by-step procedure. (This procedure, incidentally, represents the core element of quality management at TUM.)
The manuals include guidelines for each stage of the process as well as a timeline showing the applicable deadlines: Download Section
The degree programs currently in use are not etched in stone; rather, they are continually being revised and adapted for reasons such as curriculum updates, improvements to degree program design and studiability, requests from students, and various additional external requirements.
Before you begin making changes to a degree program (e.g., by adapting or exchanging modules), please be sure to notify the person in charge of degree program administration at your school or college. The legal division of the TUM Study and Teaching Unit will advise you on updating your Program-Specific Academic and Examination Regulations (FPSOs) and assist you in preparing for the administrative board review.
Questions about inputting degree program information in TUMonline – in particular when your program’s academic and examination regulations diverge from the sample FPSO – should be directed as early as possible to a staff member of the Planning division.
In many cases, program modifications must be recorded in the Program-Specific Academic and Examination Regulations (FPSOs) and documented by means of modification statutes. These statutes, unless exceptionally complicated, are generally reviewed at TUM Senate meetings.
- General Academic and Examination Regulations (APSOs) for bachelor's and master's degree programs at Technische Universität München (in German)
- Program-Specific Academic and Examination Regulations (FPSOs) and their modification statutes, in German
- Sample statutes for use at TUM (link to the TUM Services Directory), in German
At TUM, the key information concerning a degree program is catalogued in the degree program documentation, which includes a description of the qualification profiles issued to graduates as well as an overview of the structure, thematic focal points, modularization plan, and resources required to run the program.
For assistance in compiling this documentation, please refer to our comprehensive documentation manual (in German; login at myTUM portal) which provides numerous examples.
In any event, please be sure to notify the designated TUM Study and Teaching Unit contact person for your school or department as soon as you start developing a new degree program and/or drafting the requisite documentation.
Modules: Module Descriptions, Handbook and Module Management
In connection with the Bologna Process, a new set of terms and concepts has become established at European universities, including module description, workload, ECTS (credit points), and desired learning outcome. Outcome-based module design - that is, the development of modules centered on learning outcomes - enables teaching staff to devise creative approaches to their topic areas, both didactically and in terms of academic content.
As defined by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education in Germany (KMK), modules are “thematically and chronologically related, self-contained units of study assigned with a certain number of credits and subject to assessment.
With the aim of promoting transparency, the KMK has now made module descriptions mandatory. These documents serve a dual purpose: By providing an overview of desired learning outcomes, the estimated workload, instructional and self-study methods, and key facts relating to course content and delivery, module descriptions also serve as an important basis for the assessment of academic and study qualifications with respect to their transferability.
In addition to summarizing the desired learning outcomes, module catalogs must contain detailed descriptions of the methods used to achieve these objectives. A module catalog can comprise the full set of module descriptions for a degree program, a school or college, or the entire university. For more information on the module concept as used in this context, including an explanation of the rationale behind this regulation, detailed instructions on drafting a module description, and pointers on completing each of the required sections, please refer to the following manual prepared by the TUM Center for Study and Teaching.
Degree program modularization has brought about a variety of procedural changes within TUM’s schools and departments, from the introduction of new modules to the revision or termination of current modules through to the import/export of modules from other institutions or academic units – a process requiring detailed discussion and agreement between the relevant parties.
As part of our continued efforts to support TUM’s schools and department in their module management, our module management working group has developed a handbook outlining the central processes involved in module managment (in German).
Module size and scope will generally depend on the estimated time required by students to work through the instructional materials. Since module content and didactic approach can vary widely, there are no hard and fast reference values available. For assistance in estimating the workload for your module, please refer to the manual. In the case of particularly lengthy or complex modules, rule-of-thumb values may not always be sufficient.Our Excel table will help you calculate ECTS points on the basis of student workload hours: