Data Model

The University Package uses two datatypes to store structured data: Global Datatypes, and Page Datafolders.

Organisational Structure

Although all academic institutions have a different structure, they can often be distilled down to something more generic:

People, Groups and Teams

Institutions have senior staff, and these are linked from the top level organisation datatype:

Academic departments have a Faculty Leader and a Senior Administrator, with all other staff included in sub-group and teams:

Groups have a Group Leader, Senior Administrator and Group Members, with teams linked below. Each team has a Team Leader, Senior Administrator and multiple Team Members:

Courses, Subjects and Modules

Courses are made up of one or two subjects, each of which contains a list of modules:

Collectively, these are the programmes of study.

Courses are grouped by StartDate, CourseLevel (Global Datatype BaileyWeb.University.EducationLevels), then listed alphabetically by the CourseCode field. This allows variations in entry requirements, application methods, and even fee bands, according to the time of year that the course starts.

Subjects are grouped by SubjectLevel (Global Datatype BaileyWeb.University.EducationLevels), then listed alphabetically by the SubjectCode field. There is no StartDate field for subjects, so if you wish to introduce variations in the subject according to its start date, prefix the SubjectCode and SubjectName field with a year or date value.

Modules are also grouped by ModuleLevel (Global Datatype BaileyWeb.University.EducationLevels), then listed alphabetically by the ModuleCode field. Again there is no StartDate field for modules, so if you wish to introduce variations in the module according to its start date, prefix the ModuleCode and ModuleName fields with a year or date value.

CMA Guidance

In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued guidance (Higher Education: consumer law advice for providers) to help institutions understand their responsibilities under consumer protection law when dealing with students. This is particularly important in relation to courses, subjects and modules, as well as fees (see below), where the student must be made aware of any changes made to them between initial enquiry, application, registration and enrolment, and onward until graduation.

The presence of the StartDate field in the data model for courses facilitates this, especially when combined with your institution's own course management and workflow processes.

Course and Module Fees

To keep things as simple as possible, the University Package uses fee bands to separate currency values from the course and module data. Courses and modules can each be given a fee band, and each fee band's currency value can change year-on-year. This lets applicants view how the fees have risen historically, and see how much a programme will cost if they defer entry. It also lets your institution market courses and modules individually, possibly creating new income streams.

You can hide fee bands for some years by changing the Display field value in the Global Datatype BaileyWeb.University.AcademicYear.

Subjects do not have fee bands, as they are added when you create a course entry for the subject.

Course and Module Entry Profiles

Programmes have a list of entry requirements, many of which are standardised and common to multiple programmes. Therefore, we have datatypes for these entry profiles:

Because some entry profiles may be common across courses and modules, we don't need to have separate datatypes for them as with fee bands and costs.

Subjects do not have entry profiles, as they are added when you create a course entry for the subject.

Equivalent Qualification Frameworks

For institutions in the UK, this allows you to display qualification equivalents from the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), alongside international qualifications from National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).

Projects, Case Studies and Publications

For research output, we detail the research project itself, the people conducting it, the outcomes, and related case studies that help to promote the research outcome.

Collections and Campaigns

Collections allow institutions to gather together all information about a specific topic in one place. The location of the the data doesn't change, but the campaign page acts as a hub linking the different pieces together in a coherent way.

Campaigns are similar to collections in that they group certain information together, but rather than being passive, they are designed to elicit a response from the website user.

News and Events

The news and event pages describe what's going on at the institution. Once again they link off to related data elsewhere in the website.

Locations and Buildings

These two datatypes provide information about the campuses, and the buildings, lecture theatres or venues they contain.

Updated: 27 February 2022