The Curriculum Development (CD) process encompasses the design and development of integrated plans for learning, the design of implementation of the plans, and of the evaluation of the plans, their implementation and the outcomes of the learning experience.

Curriculum design is a process of critical questioning to frame learning and teaching. The main purpose of the process is to translate broad statements of intent into specific plans and actions. The intention is to ensure, as far as possible, alignment between the three states of curriculum: the planned curriculum, the delivered curriculum and the experienced curriculum [from the students' point of view].

The three states of the curriculum (see Prideaux, 2003)
The three states of the curriculum (see Prideaux, 2003)

The curriculum design process at course level sets the context for topic design and topic design sets the context for each learning experience. Topics need to be designed to come together in structured combinations to form coherent major and minor sequences and courses. Parts of the process especially at the course and topic levels overlap and ideally should occur interactively with course design informing and influencing topic design and topic design informing and influencing course design.

Interactions of levels of curriculum development
Interactions of levels of curriculum development

The fundamental purpose of curriculum development is to ensure that students receive integrated, coherent learning experiences that contribute towards their personal, academic and professional learning and development.