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Charles Darwin House 2, 107 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8TZ

Learn the fundamentals of putting together a cohesive programme.


This course will support your learning in the following areas:
  1. How to put together a coherent learning, teaching and assessment strategy for your course(s)
  2. How to write learning outcomes
  3. How to avoid pitfalls and inconsistencies
  4. How to work with the accreditation criteria for the benefit of students (e.g. types of dry project and assessment of technical skills)
  5. How to engage with best practice
  6. Use the day to produce some of your own plans and documents
  7. Defining the capstone experience
  8. Explaining criterion 6: examples of teaching creativity and enterprise

Who is this course for?

This course is most suited to those developing programmes and those in charge of bioscience programme documentation, for example, course Directors or Programme Tutors, including those new to the role. Bioscience department leads in learning and teaching will also benefit from this training, in addition to those responsible for Quality Assurance.

What will the course cover?

This course will be divided into two sessions, morning and afternoon:
  • The morning session will focus on points 1-4 (as above) and will cover examples of best, and worst (anonymised), practice from our accreditation work.
  • The afternoon session will cover the remaining points (see course overview) in a workshop format. Attendees will be able to bring along their own documents (draft programme specifications, draft module descriptors or general templates) to work through with the course tutors.

Course tutors

Professor David Coates MBE CBiol FRSA FRSB FLS

David was the Dean of Life Sciences Learning and Teaching, University of Dundee until 2017, at which point he moved to international educational projects. With a first degree in genetics from Leeds, he studied the molecular genetics of heritable traits in Linum spp. (John Innes Institute). After work on the transcriptional regulation of oncogenes in Crown Gall (Purdue University, Indiana), he moved to Oxford as a Demonstrator in Genetics, and began a long period of work in the risk assessment of genetically modified crop plants (virus resistance), in collaboration with the Institute of Virology (as was) and the Plant Health Group of the Central Science Laboratory, which continued after moving back to Leeds in 1989. These plant virology studies were complemented with collaborative work on the metalloproteases of the two early key metazoan genomes, the ‘worm' Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. These studies lead to a year working in Paris with Pr Corvol at the College de France, looking at the evolutionary history of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, and involvement in the annotation of the D.melanogaster genome at Celera Genomics.

Becoming Head of the School of Biology in Leeds changed his focus from personal research to academic leadership. Four years later he moved to Bradford as Dean, and then moved to Dundee in 2009, where he led the development and delivery of a new approach to research-led Life Sciences degrees, focussing on laboratory skills development and critical and creative thinking. This experience, coupled with his involvement in the development of the accreditation of biology degrees, naturally led to his current role as Chair of the RSB Accreditation committee and membership of the TEF Natural Sciences subject review panel. David also worked with Diabetes UK, the major national charity for those who live and work with diabetes, for whom he chaired the Governance Committee for many years.

Professor Robert Slater FRSB

Professor Robert Slater FRSB, an independent higher education management consultant, has been the RSB's Principal Accreditation Assessor for five years and has carried out 60 accreditation assessments covering approximately 200 programmes. Prior to this he had positions as Head of School of Life Sciences and Director of Academic Quality at the University of Hertfordshire. In the later role he developed university-wide strategies for teaching and learning, for example in assessment and student retention and delivered many workshops. He has run courses for the HEA, has been a QAA Institutional Auditor and has sat on many working groups for QAA and HEFC. Robert was awarded the GlaxoWellcome chair in Molecular Biology in 1998 for his services to higher education in the pharmaceutical industry.

Certification and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

A certificate of attendance will be provided after the event.
We evaluate all of our training events, to make sure that we maintain a high quality of training.

This event has been approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD and can be counted as 15 CPD points.

Professional Registers

This course supports registers competencies and has been identified as supporting competency development for: Registered Scientist (RSci).
Competency area:
  • Application of knowledge and understanding


Members - £165 + VAT
Members of Member Organisations, SCAS members - £200 + VAT
Non-members - £300 + VAT

Non-members who have completed a membership application and made payment can also benefit from the discounted member rate.


For further information about the course please contact our Training and Development Officer at or on 020 7685 2578.


Unfortunately, the Royal Society of Biology is unable to offer refunds on training courses that have been attended. We do, of course, welcome and encourage any feedback from a course and will continue to improve the service we offer.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation with over 10 working days' notice = 100% refund, less 25% admin fee
Cancellation with 5-10 working days' notice = 50% refund, less 25% admin fee
Cancellation with less than 5 working days' notice = 0% refund

The Royal Society of Biology reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a training event up to 10 working days before the event is due to take place. A full refund will be issued.

If the Royal Society of Biology is required to cancel or reschedule a training event with under 10 working days' notice due to unforeseen circumstances, a full refund will be issued and 50% of attendee prepaid travel will be compensated.

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