Academic Standards and Quality

Approval and reportingIvor Crewe Lecture theare structures

These are designed to ensure information provided by quality assurance and enhancement processes are scrutinised by the appropriate experts and representatives from across the University's staff and students, that best practice is shared, and areas for enhancement are addressed.  In this way, academic standards and quality at the University are protected.

These reporting structures apply to undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) provision for the following matters:

Partner institutions should refer to the information for partners, which sets out the relevant approval structures which apply.

Key

  • ARC:  Annual Review of Courses
  • AQSC:  Academic Quality and Standards Committee
  • EC:  Education Committee
  • FEC:  Faculty Education Committee
  • PEC:  Partnerships Education Committee
  • QUAD: Quality and Academic Development

Skills provision

Monitoring, review and approval of skills provision, such as the PG CHEP, is considered directly by AQSC to ensure cross-faculty and departmental consideration.  Where approval has been delegated to the Executive or Deputy Dean, or consideration is required by the Dean(s) in advance of committee approval (as set out in the tables below), the Deans of the faculty of Humanities will consider requests (in consultation with other Deans where they consider this to be appropriate).

Dean’s authority to approve

Where the Executive Dean has authority to approve matters on behalf of the Faculty Education Committee, the Dean may opt to refer the matter to the Faculty Education Committee for consideration.  Some tasks typically undertaken by the Dean, may be undertaken either by the Executive or Deputy Dean.

Monitoring and review

  Timing First considered by Subsequent consideration by Authority to approve recommendations Onward reporting for information Final record of decision
Schedule of Periodic Reviews Updated annually       QUAD website  
Institutional Reviews Typically every 5 years Review Panel PEC and EC Senate To Senate Senate Minutes
Periodic Reviews Typically every 5 years Review Panel FEC/PEC (1) AQSC (2) To EC and Senate AQSC Minutes
Annual Review of Courses (ARCs) Reported to autumn committees.   Submission dates:

Course ARCs:
UG – in time for autumn term FEC

PGT/R – in time for spring term   meeting

Institutional ARCs (partners only):

UG only – at the same time as the UG ARCs

UG &/or PGT/R – at the same time as PGT/R ARCs
Deputy Deans

Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education also reviews these reports.
Full reports submitted to FEC/PEC.

Deputy Deans report on key themes (trends, good practice, areas for enhancement, actions agreed).

FEC/PEC recommendations to AQSC/EC where applicable.
Summary of key themes / reported to AQSC and EC.

Approval of recommendations by AQSC and EC in line with committee terms of reference.
To EC from AQSC if applicable Committee Minutes
Student Survey data Autumn / Spring committees via ARCs Departments as part of Departmental planning and ARC preparation See ARCs     See ARCs
External Examiner Appointments (report of appointments) Autumn term (partners only)     Deputy Dean or Dean Relevant Partnership Board or Committee QUAD
External Examiner Reports Reported to Autumn (UG) / Spring (PGT/R) committees

Submission dates:
4 weeks > final Exam Board

Latest deadlines:
UG: 1 September
PG: 1 February
Deputy Deans
(also considered in ARCs)
Deputy Deans report to FEC/PEC on key themes (trends, good practice, areas for enhancement, actions agreed)

FEC/PEC recommendations to AQSC where applicable
AQSC/EC where applicable   FEC/PEC/AQSC  Minutes
Progression / retention / performance reports Autumn / Spring committees via ARCs Departments as part of Departmental planning and ARC preparation See ARCs     See ARCs
Report of awards conferred / completion data
Recruitment / entry tariff data
Employability data
Annual report on the Admissions Policy Spring or Summer committees AQSC EC Senate   Senate Minutes
External audit and review reports (including PSRBs, QAA)   Individual course accreditation / PSRB reports considered by depts., and through ARCs, periodic reviews and course approval Major audit and review reports considered by AQSC and EC Senate   Senate Minutes
  1. The full periodic review report should be submitted to the relevant FEC, or if a partner institution, then the PEC, for consideration.
  2. The paper reporting the FEC recommendation to AQSC relating to a periodic review would also contain the periodic review report, with the extract of the FEC minutes showing any additional comments made by the FEC.

Approval and reporting for new and amended courses

Please refer to the dedicated guidance for approval of courses to be offered through a partner institution.

  First considered by Subsequent consideration by Authority to approve recommendations Onward reporting for information Final record of decision
Institutional validation (new partner institution) Validation Panel PEC and EC Senate   Senate Minutes
Approval for publicity purposes for new courses (Part 1) Head of Department Deputy Dean and QUAD Executive Dean To FEC, AQSC and EC Report of Dean's decision to FEC
Approval / validation of new courses
(where relevant, initially reported subject to conditions and recommendations, and again when conditions and recommendations have been met)
Taught and Research Provision
Category 1:
Head of Department
Deputy Deans Executive Dean (1) To FEC, AQSC, EC and Senate (4) FEC Minutes
Category 2:
FEC Members of FEC given the opportunity to comment (virtually if necessary) AQSC (2) To EC and Senate (4) AQSC Minutes
Category 3:
Validation panel Members of FEC given the opportunity to comment (virtually if necessary) AQSC (3) To FEC, EC and Senate (4) AQSC Minutes
Implementation of a sub-degree framework (5) Head of Department Deputy Deans Executive Dean To FEC, AQSC, EC and Senate FEC Minutes
Introduction of named exit awards (to existing courses) Taught and Research Provision:
Head of Department Deputy Deans Award:  Executive Dean (or Deputy Dean as nominee).

Variation to the Rules of Assessment:  Executive Dean or Senate via RoA Review Group and EC) - approval route agreed during course approval process
Award:  To FEC, AQSC, EC and Senate Award:  FEC Minutes
RoA:  Senate Minutes
Change to the course title (no substantive change in content)     Taught courses: Deputy Dean
Research provision:
Executive Dean, or Deputy Dean as nominee
To FEC, AQSC, EC and Senate FEC Minutes
Change to the course structure, syllabus, learning outcomes, programme specification and module map, including change to the credit model (15/30 or 20/40)     Deputy Dean To FEC FEC Paper
Change in the mix of core, compulsory and optional modules     Deputy Dean To FEC FEC Paper
Change in mode of study or introduction of a new mode of study     Deputy Dean To FEC FEC Paper
Change to the Rules of Assessment
Contact the Assessment team for Rules of Assessment.
Contact QUAD or the PGRE team as relevant if a new course requires a variation to the Rules
Rules of Assessment Advisory Group and EC Senate   Senate minutes
Change to PGR progression requirements Contact the Assessment team for Rules of Assessment Executive Dean to recommend to EC Senate   Senate minutes
Introduction of new types of awards Contact the Assessment team for Rules of Assessment;
Contact QUAD or the PGRE team as relevant if a new course requires a variation to the Rules

Considered initially by the relevant Faculty Dean or Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education
AQSC (if part of a new course proposal), then EC Senate   Senate Minutes
Temporary suspension of a course Head of Department   Deputy Dean FEC. AQSC, EC and Senate FEC Minutes
Reinstatement of a suspended course Head of Department Deputy Dean Executive Dean FEC, AQSC, EC and Senate FEC Minutes
Discontinuation of a course Head of Department FEC AQSC EC and Senate FEC Minutes
Revisions to course entry requirements Contact the Admissions team   Chair of EC Report of Chair's Action to EC EC Papers
  1. The report of Executive Dean approval of a category 1 course would be limited to confirmation of the course title, department, first delivery date, period of approval, and a statement as to whether approval was subject to any conditions / recommendations.
  2. The report of FEC recommendation to AQSC to approve a new course would contain the extract of the FEC minutes, to include the course title, department, first delivery date, period of approval, and details of any conditions and recommendations.  The programme specification and module map would be attached to the FEC report to AQSC as an appendix.
  3. The paper to AQSC from the Validation Panel to approve a new course would include the validation report, with any additional comments made by the (virtual) consultation with members of the FEC.
  4. Reporting from AQSC to EC and on to Senate would include confirmation of the course title, department, first delivery date, period of approval, and a statement as to whether approval was subject to any conditions / recommendations.
  5. Sub-degree framework:  Where an existing award exists, introduction of lower level awards based around the same programme structures as the main award (for example introducing a DipHE, foundation degree, or CertHE where a BA/BSc already exists, or introducing a PGCert or PGDip where an MA/MSc already exists).

Approval and reporting for new and amended modules

Departments are asked to judge whether a change is major or minor.  Minor changes usually only involve a rewording, but no substantive change, or where topics are updated.

The amendments below are subject to approval by the relevant Dean, although approval may be referred to the Faculty Education Committee or another relevant post-holder or committee where there are a large number of minor changes, or where the change includes an amendment which falls under the category for approval via the Faculty Education Committee or other committee.

  Authority to approve recommendations Onward reporting for information Final record of decision
Introduction of new UG/PGT module (not contributing to an award) Deputy or Executive Dean FEC FEC Paper
Introduction of new advanced-level module (PGR) Executive Dean or Deputy Dean as nominee FEC FEC paper
Introduction of new UG/PGT module (contributing to an existing award) Deputy Dean FEC FEC paper
Change of module title
Major changes to module syllabus or learning outcomes
Significant changes to module assessment and assessment weighting or methods (within range of currently approved assessment methods), changes to the weighting of exams to coursework, and to the timing or length of exam
Changes to credit value or credit level
Changes to module status as core, compulsory or optional
Changes to co- or pre-requisites, or excluded combinations (1)
Temporary suspension of a module
Discontinuation of a module
Introduction of new assessment method
Change to the term in which a module is offered, where it affects the course structure or pre- and/or co-requisites
Minor changes to module syllabus (no impact on course structure, pre- or co-requisites, or excluded combinations) Department Via annual review process Department
Minor changes to the weighting between units of coursework assessment
Changes to the format of the exam paper
Changes to the term in which a module is offered (no impact on course structure, pre- or co-requisites, or excluded combinations (1))
Changes to the availability of optional modules in the following academic year
Changes to or implementing a maximum enrolment cap on a module PVC (Education) (after consideration by the HoD and Executive Dean) FEC FEC Minutes
  1. Excluded combinations specify where a module cannot be taken if another module has already been taken, e.g. a student cannot take Module A and B because of similarities in module content.

Student progress

  First considered by Authority to approve recommendations Onward reporting for information Final record of decision
Panel of members of Progress Committees (undergraduate only) Deputy Dean FEC   FEC Minutes
Panel of members of Academic Offences Committees Deputy Dean FEC   FEC Minutes
UG Progress Committee minutes Progress Committee Progress Committee   Progress database / file
Reports from Progress Committees for PG research students Dept / Progress Committee Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education   Student Progress team / Dept
Academic Offences Committee statistics
(also Academic appeals and complaints)
Student Progress team for reporting to AQSC Key trends and areas for enhancement reported from AQSC to EC To relevant committee in line with their terms of reference AQSC / EC Minutes

Examining

  First considered by Authority to approve recommendations Onward reporting for information Final record of decision
Nomination for appointment of External Examiners for taught UG and PG courses Dept Executive Dean in consultation with the Deputy Dean Reported to FEC QUAD
Appointment of Examiners for PG research students Dept Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education   Postgraduate Research Education team
Composition of Boards of Examiners Dept Dean   Assessment team / Board of Examiners file
Examination pass lists Exam Board Exam Board   Postgraduate Research Education team / Board of Examiners file
Reports of External Examiners for UG and PGT courses Deputy / Associate Dean

Also considered in ARCs

Deputy Dean reports to FEC/PEC on key themes (trends, good practice, areas for enhancement, actions agreed)

FEC/PEC recommendations to AQSC/EC where applicable
AQSC / EC where applicable and in line with committee terms of reference Key themes are considered by FEC and reported to AQSC / EC Committee Minutes
Reports of Examiners for PG research students Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education EC where applicable    

 

 

Page last updated: 26 June 2019