What is the process for making a Minor Changes to an existing Module/Programme?

Michael Cleary-Gaffney
Michael Cleary-Gaffney
  • Updated


Module Lecturers should use Minor Change Request Form to capture details of Minor Changes being proposed to individual modules whose learning outcomes, indicative curriculum content and assessment methodology and weightings have already been validated by QQI/approved by a Professional Body.


When can a Minor Change request be made?

A) Preferably during NCI’s Annual Programme Monitoring (APM) Process. This takes place once per annum and involves Programme Committees reviewing how programmes have performed in the previous academic year. The Committee is tasked with agreeing any changes – minor or major - to enhance the quality of modules within the programme. Such changes, if approved, will take effect the following academic year.

B) Outside of the Annual Programme Monitoring Process: module lecturers can propose a minor change to a module outside of the APM process, if it is deemed necessary that the change takes effect from the next semester and this semester will begin before the APM process has completed.

Deadline: The general rule is that a Minor Change Request must be approved by the Programme Director and received by the Quality Office (email: qie@ncirl.ie) no later than 4 weeks before the first day of teaching in the semester in which the module will be offered to learners.

This deadline is set to provide adequate time for necessary adjustments to Module Descriptors, the Coursebuilder online curriculum repository and to Programme Handbooks/Course Materials for students and staff.

In these cases, the Module Lecturer and Programme Director(s) are responsible for ensuring that the next iteration of the Annual Programme Report includes reference to the minor change that was approved and implemented. This will ensure that all changes to programmes are recorded, and that the accuracy of the curriculum can be safeguarded on a year-by-year basis.


Minor modifications to a module - Guidelines for Staff

The Minor Change Request Form should be used to propose minor modifications only.

Minor modifications are changes that will enhance the module but do not impact on the validated Minimum Intended Module Learning Outcomes (MIMLOs) for learners. This is the fundamental check to perform when considering whether a proposed change is minor: will this change impact on the stated module learning outcomes or on learners’ opportunity to achieve one or more of the learning outcomes? If in doubt, lecturers should seek advice from colleagues and from the Director of Quality; email qie@ncirl.ie

Minor changes would typically comprise one of the following:

  • The introduction of new topics into a module syllabus or the removal of outdated material or less important topics.

A proposed syllabus/content change should not alter more than 20% of the total validated content at any one time since anything greater than this is likely to impact on the validated Module Learning Outcomes (MIMLOs).  The Annual Programme Monitoring (APM) process should help to prevent multiple content changes occurring over the validated lifetime of the module (normally validated for a five-year period), since the cumulative impact may amount to a Major Change to the originally validated module and this will require QQI approval.

  • Replacement of one of the assessment instruments within a specific module with another assessment instrument e.g., the introduction of an essay or a report-based assignment instead of a time-controlled class test.
  • A small change i.e,. less than 20%, to the assessment weighting of one summative assessment instrument with corresponding adjustment in assessment weighting of the remaining assessment instruments.  
  • A change in the balance of how Class Contact hours are delivered, between lectures/tutorials/practicals/laboratories/other scheduled learning activities (including Directed E-Learning)
  • Changes to a Reading list.

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