Approval Phase

Programme Scrutiny

Once the Proposal Document is completed, reviewed and approved within the College/School by the College/School Learning & Teaching Committee and submitted, it will be subject to initial scrutiny by Academic Quality Services prior to submission to the Programme Approval Committee (PAC). Only complete proposals deemed to meet the University’s standards will be put to the Committee for review. Those proposals deemed to be incomplete will be returned to the College/School and will not be submitted onto the approval stage.

This process takes time, so the Programme Delivery Plan which sets the schedule for development will require final submission at least four weeks prior to your assigned Programme Approval Committee meeting. By taking this approach, Academic Quality Services can ensure that a programme proposal stand the best chance of successful approval, and can ensure that the Committee, Lead Reviewer, Student members, Employers and the External Subject Specialist receive proposals with sufficient time to properly review and scrutinise. This is deemed to be at least two weeks.

Programme Approval

Once the proposal passes initial scrutiny by Academic Quality Services, the Programme Approval Committee (including the External Subject Specialist, Employers and Students), guided by the Lead Reviewer and External Subject Specialist’s Report will review the proposal. The date of the specific Programme Approval Committee meeting will be set in the Programme Delivery Plan and will not normally be changed without sufficient justification and notice. The Proposing Team will be invited to attend to provide any further clarity needed on the programme proposal (the time and venue will be provided via email beforehand).


The Programme Approval Committee can identify conditions of approval where issues identified mean that the proposal is inadequate for immediate approval of the programme, which must be addressed within one month of decision. Alternatively, where the Committee is convinced that issues are being addressed, it can elect to implement affirmations on approval, which do not delay approval, but must be addressed by the Proposing Team within the deadline set and normally before the programme is delivered. The Committee will also identify recommendations for further enhancement, and any areas of effective practice, which will be collated and shared with SALT. In rare cases, where programme proposals do not meet the required standards, the Committee will not approve the proposal, which will be returned to the College/School for further development.

The Approval Phase of the process is aligned to Guiding Principle 6 for Course Design and Development set out in in the Advice and Guidance associated with to QAA UK Quality Code.

Actions Required:
  • Attend Programme Approval Committee Meeting
  • Provide Response to Conditions/Affirmations/Recommendations by the deadline set
  • Make any required amendments to the proposal identified within Conditions/Affirmations by the deadline set and resubmit proposal

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