Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University: >Guidelines for completing DCU Module descriptors on Coursebuilder

Guidelines for completing DCU Module descriptors on Coursebuilder

NQAI definitions of 'Knowledge'; 'Know-how and Skill'; and 'Competence'


Knowledge is the cognitive representation of ideas, events or happenings. It can be derived from practical or professional experience as well as from formal instruction or study. It can comprise description, memory, understanding, thinking, analysis, synthesis, debate and research.

Know-how and Skill

The exercise of a skill is the performance of a task that in some way responds to or manipulates the physical, informational or social environment of the person. Know-how underpins skill but is not identical to skill. Know-how, or savoir faire, is the procedural knowledge required to carry out a task. 


Competence is the effective and creative demonstration and deployment of knowledge and skill in human situations. Such situations could comprise general social and civic ones, as well as specific occupational ones. Competence draws on attitudes, emotions, values and sense of self-efficacy of the learner, as well as on declarative and procedural knowledge.

Source: NQAI, 2006