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Modules are the building blocks of a programme of study (PoS); they represent the subjects that a student will study as part of the PoS. A module can be mandatory; all students that are enrolled on the PoS must take the module. Or, modules can be optional; the student can choose which modules they wish to take, usually within a framework of rules that is designed to ensure that each student has a well-rounded programme.

For example, a student might be in the first year of study, on a Civil Engineering programme. All students on that programme must attend the Design for Function module. So, that module is mandatory. Another module, called The Aesthetics of Design, is an option on the programme. The student must accumulate a specified number of credits by selecting appropriate optional modules to study alongside the mandatory modules.

Modules and programmes of study have a many-to-many relationship. The same module can be part of many programmes of study. A module can be mandatory for some programmes and an option for others.

Some institutions allow students to take modules that are outside of their chosen PoS. For example, an Engineering student might be allowed to study a foreign language, if classes for that subject do not clash with those associated with his programme of study. Such a module is termed an elective module for the student. The Enterprise Course Planner model does not define elective modules, or define modules as elective for a specified PoS. You can regard a module as elective with respect to a student if they are taking the module even though it is not associated with their PoS.

Note: In practice the rules may be more complex than the example described above. For example, some modules might be:

  • Mutually required. If the student studies Module A, they must also study Module B.
  • Mutually exclusive. The student must study either Module A or Module B; they cannot study both.
  • Grouped together. The student must accumulate x credits by selecting modules from Group 1, and accumulate y credits from Group 2.

Enterprise Course Planner is not designed to enforce these types of rule; it accepts the module choice information that it is given. You can use Scientia Student Allocator to define and enforce such rules.