Embedding Evidence-based Course Design Principles in Curriculum Design in a UK and Egyptian University


  • Angela Green Leeds Beckett University
  • Susan Smith Leeds Beckett University
  • Ian Richards Leeds Beckett University
  • Ibrahim Hussein Assuit university




Curriculum, Cross Cultural, Course Design, International Collaboration


Curriculum design has received considerable critical attention in the Global North and much research has been published around the key principles of good curriculum design (Meyer & Land, 2003; Gibbs, 2010; Baume, 2009). However, much of the research has focused on the application of those principles to British higher education. To date, there has been little discussion around the appropriateness and relevance of applying the principles to countries in the Middle East and North Africa and in particular, the Egyptian higher education system. This paper reviews research about curriculum design and how this informed the development of the course design principles at Leeds Beckett University (LBU). It explores, as a case study, how these principles have been embedded within the Sport Marketing undergraduate (UG) degree course at LBU and then specifically focuses on the challenges of using five principles as a framework for curricular change at Assiut University in Egypt to enhance their specialist provision.

LBU was invited to assist the Faculty of Physical Education at Assiut University to develop the first Sport Marketing degree programme as part of the International Inspirations sport legacy programme from London 2012, delivered by the British Council (British Council, 2014). The case study of this project reflects on the challenges of developing a curriculum within the confines of existing institutional regulations and national frameworks as well as the challenges of a cross-cultural shared understanding and cooperation. It will be of relevance to academics who are designing new programmes or who are considering how existing programmes can be adapted to meet the needs of other international institutions.

Author Biographies

Angela Green, Leeds Beckett University

Angela Green is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Marketing at Leeds Beckett University in the UK.  It is there that she championed the idea and wrote the UK’s first Sport Marketing and Public Relations undergraduate degree programme. Currently her research interests focus on the internet and new digital marketing, relationship marketing and sport branding.

Susan Smith, Leeds Beckett University

Dr Susan Smith is Head of Curriculum Development and Review at Leeds Beckett University. She works in the Centre for Learning and Teaching. Her research and academic interests focus on institutional curricular change, interprofessional education and the support of writing groups. She has published widely in books and journals.

Ian Richards, Leeds Beckett University

Dr Ian Richards is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Management in the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University. His research interests include the economic impacts of sports stadia and professional sports clubs and the evaluation of sports for development initiatives. He has undertaken development work in Ethiopia and Trinidad.

Ibrahim Hussein, Assuit university

Dr Ibrahim Hussain is the Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Physical Education, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt. His teaching and research interests are in sport recreation management and professional football coaching and management.


Altbach,P., and Knight, J. (2007).The Internationalization of Higher Education: Motivations and Realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11, 290-305.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1028315307303542

Ash, M., & Green, A. (2009). Bringing Market Research to Life - engaging undergraduate students. In Conference proceedings of The Academy of Marketing International Conference, Leeds, UK.

Ashford Rowe, K., Herrington, J., & Brown,C.(2014). Establishing the critical elements that determine authentic assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education,39,(2), 205-222.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2013.819566

Assiut University, Faculty of Physical Education (2004). Internal Bylaw of Faculty of Physical Education. Ministerial Resolution, No. 1917 on 12- 09- 2004. As for the issuance of an internal bylaw for Faculty of Physical Education (Boy- Girls), Assiut University.

Baume, D. (2009). Course design for increased student satisfaction. Leeds: Leeds Met Press. Retrieved 14 October, 2015, from http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/staff/files/restricted/040110.36637.LoRes.pdf

Beard, C. (2010).The Experiential Learning tool kit: Blending Practice with concepts. London, UK: Kogan Page.

Biggs, J. (1999).Teaching for Quality Learning at University. SHRE and Open University Press.

Bloom, B. S. Engelhart, M. D. Furst, E. J. Hill, W. H. Krathwohl, D. R. (1956).Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company. Retrieved 25 September, 2015, from htttp://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/bloomtax.htm

Bloxham, S., & Boyd, P. (2007).Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education – a practical guide. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

British Council (2014).International Inspiration. Retrieved 17 April, 2015, from http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/sport/current-programmes/international-inspiration

Clark, J., & White, G. (2010). Experiential Learning: A Definitive Edge In The Job Market. American Journal Of Business Education, 3(2), 115-118.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.19030/ajbe.v3i2.390

Collignon, H., Sultan, N., & Santander, C. (2011).The Sports Market, Major trends and challenges in an industry full of passion, Retrieved 18 July, 2015 from http://www.atkearney.com/news-media/news-releases/news-release/-/asset_publisher/00OIL7Jc67KL/content/id/5273085

Cousin, G. (2006). An introduction to threshold concepts. Planet 17, 4-5. Retrieved 7 October, 2015, from http://journals.heaacademy.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.11120/plan.2006.00170004

Dennis, J. (2014). The Marketing Review, 14(1),49-66. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/146934714X13948909473185

European Commission (2010). Higher Education in Egypt. RetrievedOctober 8, 2015, from http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/

European Commission (2013).Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe. Retrieved 8 August, 2015, from http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/reports/modernisation_en.pdf

Gibbs, G.(2010). Using assessment to support student learning. Leeds, UK: Leeds Metropolitan University Press. Retrieved 10 October, 2015, from http://portal.uea.ac.uk/documents/6207125/8551351/using-assessment-to-support-student-learning-by-professor-graham-gibbs.pdf/a9d4209f-4bcb-4a59-adf4-a085d0a138a7

Green, A. (2012). Asking is the beginning of receiving: can a question creation task lead to enhanced performance on a strategic marketing module? In North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) 27th Annual conference, Seattle, USA.

Hargreaves, E. (1997). The Diploma Disease in Egypt: learning, teaching, and the monster of the secondary leaving certificate. Assessment in Education.,4 (1), 164-5.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969594970040111

Herrington ,J.A., & Herrington, A. J. (2006). Authentic conditions for authentic assessment: aligning task and assessment. In Bunker, A. & Vardi, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2006 Annual International Conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Inc. (HERDSA): Critical Visions: Thinking, learning and researching in Higher Education; Research and Development in Higher Education, 29,141-51,NSW, HERDSA.

Houghton, W. (2004).Engineering Subject Centre Guide: Learning and Teaching Theory for Engineering Academics. Loughborough: Higher Education Academy.

Killick, D. (2006).Cross-Cultural Capability and Global Perspectives: Guidelines for Curriculum Review. Leeds, UK: LBU. Retrieved14 October, 2014, from http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/staff/files/restricted/Cross_Cultural_Capability_Guide lines.pdf

Kolb, D. A.(1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs: NJ, Prentice Hall.

Kuh, G. D. (2009). What student affairs professionals need to know about student engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 50(6), 683-706

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/csd.0.0099

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815355

Leeds Beckett University (LBU) (2014). Course Design Principles. Retrieved13 August, 2015, from http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/partners/course-development-principles.htm

Leeds Beckett University (LBU) (2015).Undergraduate Taxonomy of Assessment Domains. Retrieved 25 September, 2015, from http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/staff/taxonomy-assessment-domains.htm

Lund, J. (1997). Authentic Assessment: Its Development and Applications. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 68 (7), 25–28.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07303084.1997.10604979

Meyer, J. H. F., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (1): Linkages to ways of thinking and practicing. In Rust, C. (Ed.) Improving Student Learning- ten years on. Oxford, UK: OCSLD.

Mueller, J. (2014). Authentic Assessment toolbox. Retrieved 1 October, 2015, from http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/whatisit.htm

Newmann, F. M., Marks, H. M., & Gamoran, A.(1996). Authentic Pedagogy and Student Performance. American Journal of Education, 104 (4), 280–312.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/444136

Nicol, D., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.

doi; http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075070600572090

QAA (2014) Higher Education Review: A handbook for QAA subscribers and providers with access to funding from HEFCE undergoing review in 2014-15. Retrieved 9 September, 2015, from http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/HER-handbook-14.pdf

Race, P. (2009). Engage in Assessment, What can different methods of assessment do for you and your students? Retrieved 9 September, 2015, from http://www.reading.ac.uk/engageinassessment/different-ways-to-assess/eia-what-can-different-assessment-methods-do.aspx

Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to Teach in Higher Education. London, UK: Routledge.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203413937

Wiggins, G. P. (1990). The case for authentic assessment. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 2(2). Retrieved 10 October, 2015, from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=2&n=2






Case Studies