Create a Course Instance: Learning and Teaching Activities

Staff holding the Input & Amend Course Details role will be required to set-up and maintain course instances including Learning and Teaching.

Please note that the Learning & Teaching activities details are displayed in the published Course Summary within the Course Delivery Information section, along with the Breakdown of Assessment Methods, Exam Information, Teaching Load and Course Start date. A link to the new Time tabling software is also provided there.

The guidance below is provided to assist staff in completing Learning and Teaching section:

A: Scheduled Learning and Teaching Hours:

The Learning and Teaching Hours presented should be used as a guide and are based on the average contact time a student may expect to receive on this course. 

Note: The total value is rounded to the nearest integer.

B: Placement/Study Abroad Hours:

C: Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours:

D: Additional Notes


A: Scheduled Teaching and Learning Hours

Lecture Hours

The term 'lecture' covers everything from the traditional model, where a single member of the institution's staff or an affiliate introduces concepts, data, methods of analysis, etc. to a group of students, to approaches that might be much more interactive.  It could also involve a variety of contributors, and make use of a range of media and technologies (for example podcasts for Online Distance Learning programmes.)  Lectures are assumed, in general, to involve larger groups of students than do seminars and tutorials but size will vary depending upon the nature of what is being taught, the medium, the size of the overall student cohort, and practical concerns.

Seminar/Tutorial Hours

Seminars/Tutorial Classes are defined as sessions that provide the opportunity for students to engage in discussion of a particular topic and/or to explore it in more detail than might be covered in a lecture or piece of core reading - the extent of interaction will depend on the delivery method. A typical model would involve a guided, tutor-led discussion in a small group and could be held face-to-face or for distance learning programmes the format could be synchrononous or asynchronous tutor-led discussion using Skype, discussion board, blog or twitter. The term also encompasses student or peer-led classes with a staff member or affiliate present (again either face-to-face or using an online environment). Seminars or Tutorial Classes are assumed in general to involve smaller groups of students than lectures, but size will vary depending upon the nature of what is being taught, the size of the overall student cohort the environment (e.g. on-campus or online), and practical concerns.  Tutorials may be distinguished from seminars for the stronger emphasis that they place on the role of the tutor in giving direction or feedback.

Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours

Examples of Dissertation/Project Supervision hours would typically include a meeting with a supervisor to plan, discuss and monitor work on an extended and substantial assignment (typically an Honours project or dissertation).  For Online Distance Learning programmes the Project Supervision meeting would typically be via Skype, discussion board or email.

Supervised Practical\Workshop\

Studio Hours

A session involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique.

Examples are wide ranging and could include a practical/laboratory class, recital, artifact handling/identification, language conversation, case study, sports match and so on. For distance learning programmes the format could be synchronous or asynchronous via a dedicated online space such as discussion board or blog.

Practical/laboratory classes, workshops and discussion boards/blogs might incorporate elements of teaching or guided learning, and they are likely to be supervised or observed. These sessions are more likely to take place in person but, depending on the nature of the subject, may also be conducted remotely. You should also include time in which students work independently on a project or dissertation but under supervision in a specialist environment (laboratory/studio/workshop.) This could be timetabled or take place at an ad-hoc time.

Fieldwork Hours

Practical work conducted at an external site. Examples of fieldwork might include survey work and other forms of data collection, excavations and explorations. The work might be unsupervised or supervised, and supervision could be provided by staff or appointed representatives. Some fieldwork may be conducted virtually. Fieldwork might be conducted in groups of various sizes, or by individuals, depending on the nature of the work involved.

External Visits

A visit to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study. Examples are wide ranging and could include a visit to a business or industrial site, built environment site, museum or collection, to attendance at a performance or exhibition. These visits might be unsupervised or supervised, and supervisors could include staff or appointed representatives. Site visits may be carried out in groups of varying sizes, or by individuals, depending on the nature of the visit and the location.

Online Activities

This category captures learning and teaching activities that take place in virtual environments rather than face-to-face. The types of activity captured here could be synchronous or asynchronous and would be the interactions or on-line participation a student may be required to undertake or participate in such as blogs, wikis, discussion groups, pebble pad, Second Life etc. the activity should be supported/monitored by members of staff (hours to be counted as the amount of staff time allocated to supporting the activity.)  


This category captures time set aside for feedforward and feedback sessions on the students’ learning. These can take place in a variety of settings, scheduled one-to-one sessions, group setting, online via discussion boards or blogs or via email. The feedback could be delivered by the tutor, lecturer, students' peers or external agents such as clinical tutors or placement supervisors.

Formative Assessment Hours

This category captures formal scheduled time for formative assessment (these are most likely to be “low-stakes” assignments, practice exercises or test which is assessed but does not necessarily directly contribute to a student’s overall mark or grade.) Examples of these activities are class exam, multiple choice test, oral presentation, peer/self-assessment, and quiz. If the assessment activity takes place within the students’ own time (e.g. writing of an essay) then this would be included under "Directed Learning and independent Learning Hours ”.

Summative Assessment Hours

SCQF states that “one credit point represents the amount of learning achieved through a notional 10 hours of learning time which includes everything a learner has to do to achieve the outcomes in a qualification including the assessment procedures” and therefore examinations and assessments have been included in the capture of scheduled learning activity.  It must be a scheduled timed activity to formally assess the learning outcomes of the course; most common examples will be the degree examination, other examples could be presentations, language oral or the time allocated to present and/or exhibit work for assessment.  Other forms of summative assessment which are completed in the students own time will be covered under “Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours”.

Scheduled Revision Sessions

Formal time for revision sessions may be organised to provide a forum for students to consolidate and revise material prior to examinations. They could take place in scheduled ‘one-to-one’ sessions or in a group session.

Other Study

This category provides an option for any other scheduled teaching and learning activity not covered under the previous categories.  Examples could be learning skills sessions, research skills or library and IT inductions.

Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours

This is a fixed value and calculated as 2 hours per 10 credits. This category ensures that time spent on programme-wide activities is fully recognised. The types of activities captured under this category are innovative learning week, personal tutor meetings, office hours, induction week activities, study skills and training activities.

B: Placement/Study Abroad Hours

Placement/Study Abroad Hours

The term covers any learning that takes place through an organised work or placement opportunity, rather than in a university or college setting, and includes managed placements and clinical attachments. Supervision or monitoring should be involved, and may be carried out either by a member of staff or a mentor within the host organisation. Students might undertake placements individually or in groups, depending on the nature of the workplace and the learning involved.  Where the total number of hours on placement exceeds 10 hours per credit, the total number of hours should be capped at 10 hours per credit.    Study Abroad should capture any study that occurs overseas (whether for all or part of a year.)  Where only part of the year is studied abroad it should be weighted accordingly in determining the scheduled learning activities for the year.

C: Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours

Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours

Scheduled teaching and learning hours typically feature alongside time in which students are expected to study independently and this is captured in this category of “Directed Learning and Independent Learning”.  Directed learning might include preparation for scheduled teaching and learning activities e.g. completion of assessment activities, further reading and consolidation, follow-up work, revision etc. which may in itself be “guided”.  Students at Edinburgh are also expected to be independent learners and with the appropriate support, be responsible for their own learning and this is recognised within this category also. Given that the time in scheduled learning and teaching activities is more likely to be accurately measured, it is expected that the proportion of “directed learning and independent learning” hours will be derived as the number of hours remaining after taking into account the hours spent on placement and scheduled learning and teaching activities.

D: Additional Notes

Additional Notes

Additional Notes can be used as free text to provide further clarification for Learning and Teaching Activities. 

Additional Notes are mandatory when 'Other Study Hours' have been inputted. The field is limited to 100 characters.