How might the content and outcomes of tertiary education programmes be described and analysed in order to understand how they are structured and function? To address this question we develop a framework for modelling graduate competencies linked to tertiary degree programmes in the computing disciplines. While the focus of our work is computing the framework is applicable to education more broadly.

The work presented here draws upon the pioneering curricular document for information technology (IT2017), curricular competency frameworks, other related documents such as the software engineering competency model (SWECOM), the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), current research in competency models, and elicitation workshop results from recent computing conferences.

The aim is to inform the ongoing Computing Curricula (CC2020) project, an endeavour supported by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society. We develop the Competency Learning Framework (CoLeaF), providing an internationally relevant tool for describing competencies. We argue that this competency based approach is well suited for constructing learning environments and assists degree programme architects in dealing with the challenge of developing, describing and including competencies relevant to computer and IT professionals.

In this paper we demonstrate how the CoLeaF competency framework can be applied in practice, and though a series of case studies demonstrate its effectiveness and analytical power as a tool for describing and comparing degree programmes in the international higher education landscape.

Publication Date


Journal Title

ITiCSE 2018 Companion: Proceedings Companion of the 23rd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding