Non Credit-bearing Courses
For some time there has been some confusion over the difference between short courses and non-credit bearing courses. UWE used to run both long and short courses, but now courses are either credit bearing or non-credit bearing. From this point on this document will refer to all short courses that do not contain credit as Non-Credit Bearing courses or NCB courses.
The University is required by HESA to return details in terms of the amount of contact hours that students undertake during NCB courses at UWE. The definition of a NCB course is, “any educational course which is not credit bearing and, as such, does not lead to a qualification or institutional credit”. In addition, the NCB return should include a record of students who are studying on credit-bearing programmes, but on a not-for-credit basis.
NCB courses must involve the provision of education to people who are registered students of the institution in a teaching/learning situation, with the institution providing the resources for the teaching input, and for which tuition fees are payable (or waived).
Identifying NCB courses
- To qualify as an NCB course it must be identified that the attendees are registered as students of the university. Therefore, students' personal information should have been collected via an enrolment form (not necessarily the standard UWE form) and tuition fees collected from the students (unless fees are waived for the course).
- All NCB activity returned to HESA must have been undertaken in the name of UWE, either solely or jointly with other bodies. Any course run by an individual and not in the name of UWE should not be included.
- Where short programmes of study lead to certificates of, for example, "competence/proficiency" or "attendance" it is for the institution to decide whether these students appear in the NCB return or individualised student return.
- In-house courses run by institutions for their own employees can be included provided that the attendee staff members are registered as students at the reporting institution.
The following should not be included in an NCB return:
- Consultancy work
- Secondments from industry
- Taster days for sixth formers
- The production and sale of computer assisted learning packages (without individual support of the student by a member of staff)
- Programmes of study aimed at young people under 18 and still in full-time education
- Programmes of study of other institutions validated by the reporting institution
- Students on programmes of study run outside of the UK
Use of Blackboard (for delivering NCB learning material)
Provisions have been put in place within Blackboard to allow faculties to place learning materials relevant to NCB courses within Blackboard. In order to meet its licensing agreement with Blackboard the university must ensure that the students attached to a Blackboard course are fee paying students and do not contravene the licensing agreement.
In order to ensure this a new process has been established with the Finance department to ensure that an appropriate budget code is set up for the NCB course and fees are obtained for those students. If the budget code has not been set up and approved by Finance department then the group will be rejected.
In order to successfully complete and set up an NCB course within ISIS and have an associated student group within Blackboard then the following actions will need to be completed:
- Obtain the Non-Credit Bearing Course Record – NCB form from Steven Gardiner, Student Systems and Administration (SSA), Walscourt House, Bristol Business Park.
- Complete the Non-Credit Bearing Course Record – NCB form (parts 1&2) and return the form to Management Accounting, Finance Department, Walscourt House, Bristol Business Park, providing budget details for the course.
- Receive notification of budget code from Management Accounting, Finance Department.
- Complete Non-credit Bearing Course Record – NCB form (parts 3&4) and return form to The Administrative Officer, Academic Registry.
Apply for approval of the ISIS Student Group
- Complete the online student group application form for Blackboard. In the field 'Type of Group' select Non-Credit Bearing Course. This will bring up two new fields which will need to be completed: 'Cost Code' and 'Contact Hours'. The budget code as approved by Management Account will also need to be provided at this stage.
- Receive notification of student group application (in the form of an e-mail).
- Receive notification of student group approval (in the form of an e-mail).
Set up the student group in ISIS
- Once the group has been approved within Blackboard then set up the student group within ISIS. Note: The details of the student group should be set up identically to the details provided in the approval e-mail ensuring that the ISIS group type is of type Non-Credit Bearing Course (Plus), this is to allow the feed between ISIS and Blackboard to pick up the required information.
- Having set up the student group then students and staff can be attached to the group. If the student attending the NCB course has not been set up within ISIS, then a new student record will need to be completed prior to attaching the student to the group.
Note: If Blackboard is not required as part of the NCB course then the above process can be followed for steps 1-4 only