Mapping programmes and courses

A guide to mapping courses in your programme to the graduate attributes.

Once you have reviewed and agreed upon a set of programme graduate attributes, courses in the programme can be mapped, either as individual components, or as part of the larger programme.

Programme mapping

In a programme map each graduate attribute is mapped against each course that constitutes the programme (including courses from outside the programme but which are prerequisites for the programme, For example, the Bachelor of Commerce core papers).

This mapping considers the extent to which the content and activities focus on aspects of the attribute, and whether or not the attribute is reflected in the summative assessment of the course.

The map of graduate attribute coverage is then reviewed by the programme team to identify any issues such as over-coverage, under-coverage, or a lack of progression within the programme between levels. This process is often best undertaken as a programme team, with an external facilitator.

Curriculum mapping

Curriculum mapping has several objectives. Firstly mapping ensures that the programme addresses all aspects of the graduate attributes.

Every student completing the programme should experience a pathway of development in each attribute as they progress through the levels of the degree.

The course progression plan is intended to ensure that students develop knowledge and skills relevant to each level of the programme, and that they have multiple opportunities to apply that knowledge or skill, receive formative feedback and consequently demonstrate an improvement over the period of their study.

Another objective is to encourage the programme team to become more aware of their own expectations and better able to communicate these with staff teaching courses that are prerequisites or students of the programme, as well as more aware of what is being taught in prerequisite courses.

Finally, it is also expected that this phase will help the programme more accurately and completely articulate the expectations and pathways in the programme, which in turn helps staff communicate to students what they can expect during the programme, and why particular courses are included and designed in the way they are.

Programme graduate attribute mapping template

The Programme Graduate Attribute Mapping Template is used to assist programme teams in analysing courses and their coverage and pathways for achievement of the attributes.

Before undertaking a team-based exercise, course coordinators may find it helpful to reflect on how an individual course contributes to the overall programme by undertaking a Programme Graduate Attribute Mapping Template.

See an example of a completed course mapping exercise for HELT 501, based on Sumsion and Goodfellow (2004).


Sumsion, J., & Goodfellow, J. (2004). Identifying generic skills through curriculum mapping: a critical evaluation.Higher Education Research and Development, 23(3), 329-346.