Suspending or Withdrawing a Programme

A College/School’s programme portfolio is reviewed at least annually at University level through the Annual Portfolio Review process, to ensure that they are viable. However, Colleges/Schools may also wish to suspend or withdraw programmes for other reasons, including changes to staff expertise, limited recruitment of challenges with managing the programme to deliver on student expectations.

The Programme Approval and Management (PAM) system is used to submit requests for the suspension and withdrawal of programmes, which are then submitted to the Programme Management Board for approval.

The system will identify whether there are any students enrolled on the programme, or any applicants/offers pending, although it is advisable to check with the Admissions Team.

Where there are students enrolled, you must complete and submit a Student Experience Management Plan to ensure the student experience will be maintained throughout the duration of the programme’s suspension or, if it is being withdrawn, that there is no loss of resource or motivation to deliver an excellent student experience as the programme closes.

Please Note: Withdrawing a programme is final, and once withdrawn, programmes cannot be ‘unwithdrawn’. If you wished to re-establish a withdrawn programme, you must follow the New Programme Development process.

If you require further information or clarification, please contact

Actions Required:
  • Complete and submit request form on PAM system
  • Complete and upload student experience management plan where students remain of programme(s) affected

Managing a Suspended Programme

Programmes can only be suspended for one session at a time to prevent them from languishing in the portfolio without recruiting students. All suspended programmes are considered an annual basis through both the Annual Portfolio Review (for viability) and Annual Programme Review (for academic quality) processes to ensure the portfolio remains current. Any programme suspended for more than two consecutive academic sessions will be identified by the Programme Management Board and raised with Colleges/Schools as recommended for either re-activation (where appropriate) or withdrawal.

In order to extend the suspension of a programme for more than one academic session, Colleges/Schools and/or Programme Directors will be required to provide a rationale for maintaining the suspension through the Annual Portfolio Review process. Normally, two academic sessions will be the maximum permissible duration for a programme suspension, as the programme could  be significantly out of date. 

Re-activating a Suspended Programme

Programmes which are suspended for one session can be reactivated through the Annual Portfolio Review and/or Annual Programme Review process. Where a programme requires re-activation, ensure that this is noted in the College/School response to the Annual Portfolio Review, and that the relevant programme has been specifically referenced and reviewed for re-activation in the Annual Programme Review.

Actions Required:
  • Ensure programme identified for reactivation is noted in College/School Annual Portfolio Review Response.
  • Complete Annual Programme Review process.
  • Update Programme Specification and complete amendments to existing programme form (where relevant) and submit to Programme Approval Committee for review (for programmes suspended for two or more years).


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