Programme Directors are expected to keep their programmes and modules under continuous review, notably through the Annual Programme Review process, to ensure they continue to meet QAA Benchmark statements, deliver research-led and practise-driven teaching and meet rising student expectations.
Sometimes, more major changes are required to ensure programmes remain current, continue to recruit strongly and meet market demands, or to be recalibrated dependent on changing conditions within the institution, sector or market.
To ensure an enhancement led and proportionate approach to ongoing quality assurance of existing programmes, the University has revised the process for amending existing programmes. The previous approach, requiring approval where ‘25% of the programme has been changed’ has now been removed and replaced with an approach focusing on areas which may affect the nature of the programme itself.
In some cases, existing programmes can be used as the basis for what is otherwise a brand new programme; for example, creating an Advanced Paramedic Practice programme from an Advanced Nursing Practice programme. These major amendments may make use of aspects from both the new programmes process above and the amendments process in this section. Please speak to Academic Quality Services for more advice about this.
Existing programmes can be updated, enhanced or changed through the Amending an Existing Programme process. It is essential that all proposed changes are discussed with students during the design phase to ensure that they can help to shape enhancements to the programme.
The following aspects constitute a ‘significant’ change to a programme which usually requires University approval via the Programme Approval Committee.
University Level Approval
- Changes to the title of a programme;
- Changes to the delivery location;
- Adding a delivery Partner;
- Changes to the mode of delivery (e.g. distance, online, part time);
- Changes to the programme duration;
- Changes to the credit load;
- Changes to the programme structure;
- Adding a year or semester abroad or in industry;
- Significant changes to the Programme Learning Outcomes;
- Changes to core or compulsory modules;
- Significant overall changes to the Assessment and Feedback Strategy (e.g. shift to programme level assessment);
- Any changes to directed independent learning modules for PGT programmes;
- Adding or changing exit qualifications;
- Adding interim awards which can be applied for (e.g. Cert HE, Dip HE, PgCert, PGDip, M Phil);
- Making modules ‘stand-alone’ and which are taken as a professional learner – this is a separate approval process and managed by the Academic Partnerships Directorate;
- Conversion to a higher or degree apprenticeship;
- Adding a foundation (level 3) year.
College Level Approval
- Changes to module titles or codes;
- Changes to optional modules available;
- Changes to module learning outcomes;
- Changes to module assessment;
- Resulting changes to the curriculum map from any of the above changes;
- Resulting changes to the assessment and feedback strategy from any of the above changes;
- Wording changes to programme specifications which do not alter the fabric of the programme.
If you are unsure whether the changes you are proposing can be approved within the College/School or need University approval, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be able to guide you through the most appropriate and efficient process.
- Discuss any proposed changes with existing students.
- Determine whether the changes trigger a University level approval requirement.
- Complete the Amending an Existing Programme Form.
- Update the programme and module specifications, including changes to the curriculum map and assessment strategy.
- Seek approval from the College Learning and Teaching Committee.
- Submit to email@example.com for approval.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions on Amending Existing Programmes for further information and guidance.