Curriculum Design in Surgical Education

Subject MEDS90009 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Hawthorn - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 09-Feb-2015 to 08-May-2015
Assessment Period End 29-May-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 26-Feb-2015
Census Date 06-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 24-Apr-2015

Semester 2, Hawthorn - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

The program is delivered part-time, with students expected to enrol in 2 subjects each semester. However, it is possible to undertake just one subject per semester. All subjects (with the exception of the Minor Thesis) will be taught using multiple delivery modes. This will include one full day (8 hours) workshop plus self-paced learning activities (e.g. webinars, moderated interactive discussions, and tutorials) spread over 13-week semesters. The self-paced learning activities will be accessed through an online learning management system. Students should expect to commit approximately 8 - 10 hours per week to each subject. This includes formal learning activities, reading and private study.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (Intensive Delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject.


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in GC-SURGED, GD-SURGED or MC-SURGED. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Prof Debra Nestel


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Award Programs Team

Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes

Phone - +61 3 9810 3253


Subject Overview:

This subject draws together essential elements of curriculum design – planning, resourcing, recruitment, selection, development, implementation, assessment and evaluation. Participants will review existing programs with respect to theoretical underpinning, educational methods and structure. Participants will be expected to design a component of a surgical training program using best educational practice.
The overall aims of the subject are:
• To identify best practice in curriculum design
• To apply sound curriculum design principles in a surgical training program
• To explore basic principles of assessment

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

    1. Identify key elements of curriculum design including planning, resourcing, recruitment, selection, educational materials, delivery modes, assessment and evaluation
    2. Design and implement elements of curricula
    3. Describe current approaches to curricula design (e.g. competency based)
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of core curricula, electives and options as they relate to surgical training
    5. Describe basic principles of assessment
    6. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of assessment methods in surgical education
    • Essay (Educational program design for surgical training) 2000 words (mid semester) 50%. The aim of this assessment is to progress knowledge of skills assessed in subject 2. That is, this assessment moves away from reporting and reflecting on the ‘micro’ teaching session plan (Subject 2) to the higher-level of the program/curriculum. Students are encouraged to design curriculum aligned with their actual practice.
    • Reflective writing (Hurdle assessment) 1500 words (mid semester), Students are expected to reflect on an existing curriculum highlighting strengths and areas for development by drawing on the theoretical materials presented in the subject.
    • Essay – 2000 words (end of semester) 50%. The aim of this assessment is to explore in detail an element of assessment in surgical education. This is a critical element of professional educational activity and will enable participants to develop a deep understanding of at least one facet of high stakes assessment. Assessment in the context of surgical practice has high stakes for not only the surgical trainee but for patients too. It is essential that surgical educators have a deep understanding of assessment methods for those seeking to work in a high risk environment such as surgery.
    Prescribed Texts:

    Reading materials online

    Breadth Options:

    This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

    Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
    Generic Skills:
    • Understand how assessment is used to complement curriculum design
    • Be able to develop basic curriculum
    • Study skills related to a range of educational methods
    • Academic reading skills
    • Academic writing
    • Applying theory to practice
    • Reference manager skills
    • Work effectively within a small group
    • Learn independently
    Links to further information:

    IT requirements:

    Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

    Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

    Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

    • MS Word
    • MS Powerpoint

    All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

    Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Surgical Education
    Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
    Master of Surgical Education

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