Additional Activities / Resources

The Department of Academic Quality and Development is involved in and offers support to a range of university wide activities including the following:

Advanced Higher Hub Evaluation

‌Despite recent attempts to widen participation to Higher Education (HE), figures show that 18-year olds from Scotland’s 20% least deprived communities are more than four times as likely to enter university as those from the 20% most deprived communities (Commission on Widening Access, 2016). In Scotland, transition to Higher Education, has therefore taken on a new prominence and is linked largely to the movement into university of the most disadvantaged students: represented in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Providing fair access to Advanced Higher qualifications is central objective of the Scottish Government’s policy, recently outlined in, ‘A Blueprint for Fairness’ which makes a number of recommendations to support the achievement of the key target that by 2030, 20% of entrants to higher education must come from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland (Commission on Widening Access, 2016).

The following report from Karen MacFarlane summarise the impact of one initiative established to address this issue. The report summarises the outcomes of a research study which sought to examine the experiences of former pupils of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Advanced Higher Hub in terms of their transition to Higher Education. In-depth one-to-one interviews were carried out with a total of 30 former Advanced Higher pupils who had progressed to university. The focus of the research and of the report is the learner perspective of studying HE level qualifications (Advanced Highers) within a university environment. Project findings are discussed with reference the theoretical perspective of capability approach and conclusions are drawn in terms of the policy implications for delivering HE level qualifications within a university environment prior to entry and the subsequent impact on transitions.

Report: Evaluation of the Advanced Higher Hub: The Learner Perspective

Author: Karen MacFarlane, Research Fellow

Assessment and Feedback

You can access assessment and feedback policies, guidance and resources here (opens externally to a new window).

Focus On: Technology Enhanced Learning (QAA Resource Hub)

Focus On: Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Resource Hub

The QAA Focus On: TEL Resource Hub has expanded! TEL has become particularly relevant as the sector manages its response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Full of practice and tips on using technology in learning and teaching, this updated version of the Resource Hub features a suite of practical resources, guidance, training materials and media on topics including:



Internationalisation is at the centre of the university’s vision for the future.  It is our long-term aspiration to embed it across all university activities which includes our approaches to learning and teaching.

All our students, home-based as well as international, will benefit from an education that prepares them for global citizenship and successful employment in today’s global labour market.

GCU’s Internationalisation Strategy and our new Strategy for Learning emphasize the importance of “global learning” as an integral part of the student learning experience. Research shows that embedding it in the taught curriculum is the most effective way of widening our students’ international horizons.

What does ‘internationalisation of the curriculum’ mean?

There are many different views of what it means. The following definition by Betty Leask (2009) is the one of the most cited.

“(An internationalised curriculum) will engage students with internationally informed research and cultural and linguistic diversity. It will purposefully develop their international and intercultural perspectives as global professionals and citizens”.

The Global Perspectives Project

The Global Perspectives Project supports staff from all subject disciplines in internationalising their curriculum. The project

  • explores what internationalisation of the curriculum means in practice
  • identifies the best mechanisms for embedding it in all schools
  • provides tools and resources for staff
  • delivers CPD workshops to enhance intercultural awareness

The project team works in collaboration with academic staff, student representatives and relevant support services.

Recognition of Prior Learning


Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) recognises that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a wide range of learning experiences, both formal and informal. Students at GCU should enter a programme at a level appropriate to their prior learning and qualifications. The University therefore encourages the Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning, or credit transfer, and the Recognition of Prior informal Learning as a means of providing entry to, or credit within, all of its programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Such recognition will take place within the context of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). The University will support Schools in the implementation of RPL processes in all subject areas.
RPL is an important means of supporting the University’s vision ‘to be a successful international university delivering access and excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good’. RPL is an integral component of the University’s Widening Access Strategy through supporting the provision of flexible routes into and through programmes at GCU for all learners with the potential to benefit from higher education regardless of background. RPL supports flexible delivery such as work-based learning and part-time provision. Effective systems for RPL also support the University’s strategies in relation to learning, teaching and assessment; internationalisation; employability and graduate attributes. The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at GCU‌ forms part of the GCU Admissions Policy.
Strategy for Learning 2015-2020

1. The new Strategy for Learning (SfL) has been developed through a consultative process with staff, students, college partners and employers and is informed by international and national developments and effective practice in learning, teaching and assessment.

2. The SfL is inspired by the University’s mission and its vision to be a successful international university, delivering access and excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good and providing an outstanding, inclusive learning environment underpinned by curiosity-driven research.

3. The development of the SfL has been driven by a changing HE landscape in terms of the external and internal environment; the changing needs of employers, the economy and society and the changing demands and expectations of our students.

4. The SfL will create successful graduates who are global citizens and who will contribute economically and socially to the communities we serve.

5. This will be achieved by enabling students to deal with complex global challenges through developing divergent, creative, responsible and entrepreneurial thinking applied to real-world problems. The SfL will also develop attributes linked to employability, career development and the motivation to continue to learn throughout professional and personal lives.

6. The SfL recognizes and embraces the diversity of GCU students, current and potential, and the University’s commitment to the participation, progression and success of all students regardless of background.

7. The SfL highlights the importance of:

  • A transformative approach to learning
  • Flexible learning pathways and partnerships, particularly with colleges
  • Digital learning
  • Learning and teaching excellence

and is centred on a single goal: to develop graduates who will be

Proficient in their discipline, enterprising, responsible and capable of fulfilling leadership roles in different organisational and cultural contexts.

8. In order to achieve this goal, the SfL focuses on a distinctive approach to learning,teaching and assessment. This is based on engagement- led learning and real world problem solving, coupled with inter and multi-disciplinary curricula with opportunities for personalisation.

9. This approach is underpinned by a GCU model comprised of ten design principles and a set of enablers. These design principles will be embedded across all programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.