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Course & subject coordinator leadership

Course coordinator leadership

The UTS Academic leadership program for course/program and course major coordinators is designed to support curriculum renewal at UTS and strengthening of the UTS model of learning. The program is one of the capability development initiatives within the UTS leadership capability development framework.


The program supports participants to:
• Develop leadership capabilities necessary to lead subject co-ordinators in curriculum renewal eg getting buy in, influencing, developing a sense of authority in the role
• Develop the practical knowledge and skills necessary for being a course co-ordinator and participating in curriculum review and accreditation
• Develop understandings of curriculum design and innovation relevant to curriculum renewal at UTS
• Interpret and apply the UTS model of learning in the context of their course
• Become members of a learning community and future network that can provide support and create opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration


Faculties are invited to nominate participants for this program.  The roles of ‘course co-ordinators’ or ‘program directors’ in curriculum renewal vary a lot across Faculties and courses. In some cases the Associate Dean may co-ordinate a major course reaccreditation or renewal process. In other cases, academics who have roles such as major or year co-ordinators might have responsibility for renewing a major course component. Overall, participants in this leadership program are expected to:
• Have responsibility for co-ordinating a course or substantial component of a course, such as a year or major (or future responsibility for a new course that is under development)
• Have responsibility for leading a group of subject co-ordinators in this activity
• Have current involvement in developing or implementing new or renewed curricula and/or curriculum accreditation/reaccreditation
• Possibly be fairly new in the role, or new to curriculum renewal at UTS
• Have potential for ongoing leadership in learning and teaching

The program

The program involves:
• Participants undertaking an action learning project related to curriculum renewal, based on something that they are already undertaking. Projects could relate to curriculum review, reaccreditation, implementation of a new course/major etc
• A set of group workshops that support participants in achieving the above aims, doing their projects and engaging with others in a learning community.  Workshops include focuses on leadership capability development, strategic priorities and curriculum renewal and the practicalities of course accreditation, course quality monitoring and quality enhancement.
• Mentoring/advising from peers, IML faculty liaison academics and/or experienced Faculty colleagues

Action learning projects

It’s expected that participants would use the program to undertake an ‘action learning project’ that has two focuses:
1. Undertaking a curriculum renewal activity that they are leading and need to complete or make substantial progress on over the program timeframe. This could include planning for course reaccreditation, leading implementation of a recently reaccredited course, leading review and refinement of groups of subjects etc. 
2. Developing or strengthening an aspect of their leadership capability as a course/major coordinator

The program uses a leadership framework that has been developed for course coordinators through an ALTC project at UniSA and used extensively at Curtin and other universities – the Integrated Competing Values Framework (Vilkinas & Cartan, 2006). It is based on the task and people roles of course coordination, and the need for course coordinators to negotiate and reflect on these competing roles and learn from experience.  Participants have the opportunity to engage in 360 feedback using this framework.

The program is designed to encourage participants to choose an aspect of their leadership capability to focus on as they undertake your curriculum renewal activity. A small amount of funding is available to support project activities.


At the beginning of the program – within the first month - participants submit a short (1 page) project plan outlining curriculum and leadership goals and key. At the end of the program, participants submit a short (1-2 page) report of activities and achievements and give a short presentation to the program group and colleagues.


Jo McKenzie or Peter Kandlbinder


Vilkinas, T. & Cartan, G (2006) The integrated competing values framework: its spatial configuration, Journal of Management Development, 25 (6), 505 – 521.


Subject coordinator leadership

The UTS subject coordinator leadership initiative recognises the roles that coordinators play in leading teaching teams and subject initiatives. The program is one of the capability development initiatives within the UTS leadership capability development framework. It was first developed and offered in 2010 as part of the ALTC leadership project Coordinators Leading Advancement of Sessional Staff (CLASS) led from the University of Wollongong, in which UTS is a partner with the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University.