Why are we introducing the ProFF?

Professor Kathy Armour, PVC [Education], explains why we are introducing the ProFF

The Programme Framework for the Future (ProFF) will provide an agreed institutional framework within which the university’s degree programmes are designed and run. Our ProFF will consist of a set of programme archetype templates, which we will use to structure our education offer. It has been designed as an enabling framework. 

The ProFF will comprise 5 x programme archetype templates: 3 at UG level and 2 at PGT level (below). 

For the 2023-24 intake of students and subsequent intakes, all of our programmes will fit into one of our programme archetype templates.

UG:

  • ‘Specialist’ (single degrees, including accredited degrees);  
  • ‘Adaptive’ (joint degrees and new major/minor degrees); and 
  • ‘Discovery’ (an opportunity to expand interdisciplinary programmes). 

PGT:

  • ‘Classic’ (very similar to the current offer); and  
  • ‘Flexible’ programmes (including expanded opportunities to build stackable micro-credentials over time in support of the lifelong learning agenda). 

Each archetype supports a different type of learning, enabling us to offer a range of exciting opportunities to our students. They cover our existing programmes and make it easier/possible to offer new programme types (e.g. more multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary programmes). 

Each archetype is underpinned by an agreed and consistent structure, which enables the interoperability of modules and both module- and programme-level collaboration across subject disciplines. It also enables the easy addition of new programme pathways in the future, as and when we would like to introduce them. 

The ProFF will also provide students with more opportunities to develop future-focused skills in areas where we can see a growing demand from employers and which will help them to shape better futures for themselves and others. This links with our updated Birmingham Graduate Attributes.

All programmes need to be ‘ProFF-ready’ for September 2023, and support is available from the ProFF Delivery Team within Registry & Academic Affairs. The ProFF Delivery Team will be partnering with each of the Colleges and the associated ProFF Academic Lead.

ProFF Academic Leads:

  • College of Arts & Law – Emma Tyler
  • College of Medical & Dental Sciences – Mike Milward
  • College of Life & Environmental Sciences – Julia Myatt
  • College of Engineering & Physical Sciences – Andrew Quinn
  • College of Social Sciences – Toby Kendall
  • For Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences (LANS) and specific expertise around interdisciplinarity, contact Lloyd Jenkins, Deputy Dean for LANS

The type of support available for becoming ‘ProFF-ready’ includes guidance regarding application of ProFF archetype rules, practical support for the alignment of programmes to ProFF archetypes (including around categories of curriculum change, i.e. the programme/module development and approval forms required), and tools for embedding/engaging with Future Skills provision. The ProFF Delivery Team can also facilitate and assist with brokering of conversations for cross-College collaborations.

The ProFF Delivery Team are also collaborating with other professional services areas to coordinate other activity relating to the implementation of the ProFF. This includes: developing/drawing together the Future Skills agenda; considering ways of ‘flexing’ the University’s resourcing model; coordinating University-level market insight; making changes to University policy/legislation/processes; and mapping/enhancing the student lifecycle/experience in relation to the ProFF.

What can you do?

Consider what the ProFF might enable for the programme(s) in which you’re involved, particularly in terms of the student experience and graduate outcomes. Also, get involved! Further information about the ProFF is available via intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/proff and you can join the conversation via MS Teams: ProFF Collaboration Space. Colleagues are also encouraged to contact proff@contacts.bham.ac.uk with any comments or questions.

 Further CPD:

  1. Future Skills – embedded and ‘standalone’, the Future Skills matrix
  2. Interdisciplinary collaborations – approaches and successes/benefits

Resourcing – ‘as is’ and  what is being 'flexed’ for ProFF

FURTHER RESOURCES

Further information about the ProFF is available via intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/proff or you can get involved in the conversation via MS Teams: ProFF Collaboration Space.