The changing concept of competence and categorisation of learning outcomes in Europe: Implications for the design of higher education radiography curricula at the European level

Joseph Castillo, Carmel J. Caruana, David Wainwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Bologna process has made the qualifications framework of the European Higher Educational Area based on three cycles and on learning outcomes central to curriculum development in higher education in Europe. The Tuning Educational Structures in Europe project recommended that learning outcomes be expressed in terms of competences. The expression of educational programme learning outcomes as inventories of competences has since become the norm at the European level. However, the more recent European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning utilises a tripartite set of categories of learning outcomes, namely, knowledge, skills and competence. In addition, the definition of competence used though overlapping with that used by Tuning, is however not identical. This article reviews and discusses the changing definition of the concept of competence and changes in categorisation of learning outcomes in Europe and their potential impact on curriculum development in radiography at the European level. It is proposed that the shift in the definition of competence and in the categorisation of learning outcomes should be taken into account in the formulation of new European curricula or the updating of present ones so that they may reference in a more direct manner to the levels of the European Qualifications Framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Early online date1 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Competence
  • Competency
  • Curriculum development
  • Learning outcomes
  • Qualification frameworks
  • Radiography competences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this