chapter  3
Levels and level descriptors
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In a recent survey of higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 76 per cent of the 92 HEIs that responded claimed to be using level descriptors (Johnson and Walsh, 2000). Sets of level descriptors are used at many points in the development of higher educational provision. They are used to match whole programmes to national expectations in the National Qualifications Framework (see below), to compare provision within an institution, to compare modules within a programme, and at the stage of writing appropriate learning outcomes for modules. As well as being discussed in this chapter, these and other uses of level descriptors are explored in Chapter 4.