Understanding IRP Student – Curriculum Management

Understanding IRP Student – Curriculum Management

March 30, 2022

The Integrated Renewal Program – Student (IRP Student) has numerous focus areas – following the student journey from application to graduation.  This series aims to explain each area, its unique requirements, and our designed solutions in terms you, our UBC community, will understand.    

Workday Student will replace UBC’s Student Information System (SIS). It will be the foundation for the renewed student information ecosystem, integrating with external systems - both existing and new - that are required to conduct operations at UBC.  

The renewed system will support the setup and structure of Academic Units, academic cycles (soon to be referred to as Academic Calendars), and learning opportunities, such as programs, pathways, and courses.  

Currently, the term Curriculum Management often refers to the curriculum proposal and approval process, from creation by the faculties through Senate approval. Curriculum Management in the IRP Student program is the foundation for the creation and management of academic years, academic units, courses, and programs of study.

- Erin Shannon, IRP Student Senior Business Lead - Student Records and Advising

Curriculum Management encompasses the Workday Academic Foundation which includes three major capabilities and processes in the new system: 

  1. Organizational Structure Management 
    Workday Student is set up to represent UBC’s Academic Units (i.e., faculties, departments), the campus they are located on, whether they are able to offer courses and programs, and at which Academic Level (Graduate, Undergraduate, etc.) these programs can be offered. Programs and courses are tied to the appropriate Academic Units in order to facilitate student-related business processes and instructor assignments.  
  2. Academic Cycle Setup  
    This process initiates and maintains UBC-wide key dates and time periods, such as academic years, sessions, and terms. 
  3. Learning Opportunity Setup 
    This process maintains components of UBC's curriculum, including programs, pathways, and courses. In the current SIS, credentials (e.g., B.A., B.S.c.) are always tied to a program of study. In the future system, programs of study will be more modular and credentials separated out from programs of study.  

Below is an example of what a Program of Study for a Bachelor of Science Undergraduate degree could look like in Workday Student: 


More about the Change: 

In Workday Student every student must be in a program of study. The name and duration of the program will be set as per the UBC Academic Calendar and the Academic Level based on UBC’s three Academic Levels (described below). 

Programs of Study – Addable programs: 

In Workday Student, UBC must configure what combinations of programs are possible, which programs can be added to another, which programs cannot be added to another, and in which order programs can be added (for example, if a student must have a major before declaring a minor). This configuration will control whether students and staff can see and/or select a program when using the “Add Program of Study” feature on a student’s academic record. This will guide students in selecting programs of study that are relevant to their existing program. 

Academic Levels:

All programs of study are assigned an Academic Level. There are three Academic Levels: 

  • Undergraduate (Baccalaureate degrees, post-baccalaureate degrees), and undergraduate-level diplomas and certificates,  
  • Graduate (Graduate diplomas and certificates, Masters and research-based Doctoral programs) or  
  • Academic Level Not Applicable (Programs and classifications that PAIR/OPAIR (Okanagan planning and institutional research) reports on separately from Undergrad/Grad or does not need to report on.)  


For the most part, course information in Workday Student will be quite similar to courses in the SIS. The Course Definition, which is the administrative view of the course information in Workday Student, will include components that are currently found in the Curriculum Management and Faculty Course Management systems. 

There are two significant changes to courses to be aware of: 

  1. Equivalencies – courses that are listed as equivalent in Workday will need to be the same course. This will ensure that the functionality in Workday for equivalencies is properly applied to UBC courses. 
  2. Prerequisites (which, in Workday Student, will be part of Course Eligibility Rules) - course prerequisites in Workday Student are always enforced. Students who have not successfully completed the necessary prerequisites before registration will not be able to register for the course. Currently, there is an option to ‘soft check’ prerequisites which allows a student to register in a course without the listed prerequisites and gives the opportunity for prerequisites to be checked and enforced manually following registration. 

The IRP Student team, along with the Office of the Senate, will be working together to identify those courses with equivalencies and prerequisites and will reach out to the appropriate units to review the courses and provide options in preparation for configuring the course in Workday. 

*Reflecting on our experience so far in working with Workday and seeing how our design is shaping up, we realize that we have to embrace change and be confident in our ability to adapt. Workday Student, along with IRP Student’s functional requirements, are evolving quickly and this could mean that we may have to adapt our approach throughout the project timeline.