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Difference between Curriculum and Syllabus

The phrases "curriculum" and "syllabus" are ones that every student has heard at some point throughout their academic career. The literal meaning of these two terms may suggest something similar, but their intended meaning is distinct. A syllabus includes a subject that is taught throughout the course of one term or semester, as well as a detailed description of the subject's topics.

Difference between Curriculum and Syllabus

It might be a bit difficult to understand a curriculum totally. Simply described, a curriculum is the fundamental structure of all educational material. The curriculum is prescriptive, while the syllabus is descriptive. What does that indicate? It specifies the goals of an educational system, and the syllabus outlines how to get there.

Only education has no connection to the curriculum. A curriculum might also include all of the academic material plus a few extracurricular activities. However, it is dependent on the governing authority.

The syllabus is focused on a certain subject and its topics, which is the only minor variation between the two; Curriculum & Syllabus. The curriculum is simultaneously focused on the bigger picture, including all of the disciplines and extracurricular activities included in an academic course (if any).


A syllabus is a written list of a subject and the things that pertain to it. The syllabus is created by the institution if a student is enrolled in an independent school. Otherwise, the examination board develops the syllabus with assistance from the instructors.

The standard is set by the instructors. In the end, the students' respective universities make it accessible to them. Syllabi are now created in both hard copy and electronic versions.

Some may wonder what use the syllabus serves, given the existence of the curriculum. The students may use the syllabus as a reference to gain an understanding of the subjects. Additionally, it includes the anticipated projects, exams, assignments, general guidelines, and failure-related consequences.

As a result, the syllabus provides comprehensive instructions and subject-specific material.

What is the Syllabus's Purpose?

  1. The sharing of knowledge of the subjects between students and teachers.
  2. Establishing realistic expectations for the ideas that must be understood and learned while keeping an end in mind
  3. Giving a comprehensive explanation of the training institute's route map
  4. Gaining knowledge by studying various topics
  5. Satisfying student expectations based on their age.


The curriculum serves as the blueprint for all of the instructional chapters and materials that are included in a given program or course. Some people believe that the school or college serves the curriculum, and the curriculum really serves a wider range in a practical sense.

It comprises the information, conduct, actions, attitudes, and abilities anticipated of a student. Additionally included are the instructional strategies, brainteasers, tasks, study materials, tutorials, presentations, and learning goals.

The accrediting organisation for a particular college carefully plans and creates the curriculum. The student gains from it on a mental and physical level, and the curriculum is the only factor that determines a student's learning curve.

Curriculum Types

The curriculum comes in a variety of forms. A few are:

  1. Explicit Curriculum: A formal curriculum with detailed instructions and examples on how to execute them.
  2. Hidden Curriculum: This is a by-product of applying the explicit curriculum and does not involve any planned objectives.
  3. Excluded Curriculum: It is connected to the material that is not included in the course.

What Function Does a Curriculum Serve?

The goal of the curriculum, according to experts, is to develop today's pupils into assets for the future. Some of the curriculum's main goals and objectives are as follows;

  1. Helps in building excitement and drives pupils to become successful learners. Students should be able to think creatively and independently.
  2. Helps students foster self-respect and a sound sense of their physical and emotional well-being. Students should practice self-awareness and live a responsible, healthy lifestyle.
  3. Makes students responsible citizens that respect others. Also, motivates them to participate actively in political, social, economic, and cultural life as soon as possible or as conditions demand. They ought to gain knowledge of the outside world, as well as various ideologies and social conventions.
  4. Helps develop them into effective communicators. Ensuring their ability to operate both alone and in groups. They need to be able to communicate and adapt to various environments.

Syllabus and Curriculum Relationship | Curriculum and Syllabus Similarities

  1. The principle of teaching is connected with both the curriculum and the syllabus.
  2. Both the curriculum and the syllabus provide clear instructions.
    • The first gives a summary of the whole course.
    • The second gives information on the rules for a certain topic that is mentioned in the curriculum.
  3. Both are highly significant to a student's overall growth.

Difference between Syllabus and Curriculum

Syllabus Curriculum
The syllabus is a component of the curriculum, and it focuses more on a certain topic and contains information about it. A well-designed syllabus enables a student to have a deeper understanding of the subject matter and better prepare for tests. The whole subject matter of a course of study over a certain period of time is included in the curriculum. It comprises of a wide range of system-related items, and it is addressed to both professors and students.
The curriculum offers the fundamental framework of a course, while the syllabus focuses entirely on outlining the subjects, making it often prescriptive. The test regulating board chooses a course's curriculum. Typically, either the state or the federal government is responsible for this control. The curriculum is also created with the assistance of qualified institution academics.
Changes to the syllabus are common and do not need any complicated labour. It is updated throughout time to reflect new themes and courses. Although the governing bodies also carry out this duty, instructors are often in control of it at autonomous institutions. Changes to the curriculum must be made from the ground up since it covers a broad range of subjects. This may be a very time-consuming process, and only those in positions of authority have access to this scope.
The course or semester syllabus is set in stone. When a course expires, a syllabus also does. Another aspect that differs between these two is accessibility. The curriculum is often out of reach for the children, and the syllabus of an active course is the only one that students may access. Teachers typically have access to the curriculum and the syllabus; however, there are rare exceptions.
From student to student and from teacher to teacher, the syllabus varies. It is obvious that the syllabus will vary since no two-course participants study the same topics, and no two teachers teach the same subjects. For the curriculum, though, things are different. Every instructor and student will experience the same thing for the duration of the course.

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