The modifications process and guidance
This page outlines key guidance, information and, forms for staff who wish to make a modification to a programme for implementation in the next academic year. Please note key summary points below.
- A modification is the process by which changes can be proposed to either an existing programme or module(s) which were validated as part of that programme.
- There are two type of modifications. Firstly, modifications at programme level and secondly, modifications at module level.
- The modifications process and timescales applies to all undergraduate postgraduate, collaborative, summer school, and credit-bearing short courses.
- Modifications are formally approved based on an academic and or pedagogical rationale by the relevant Faculty/Institute Academic Development Committee following a process of consultation with key stakeholders.
- All staff are encouraged to read the following guidance which has been produced in consultation with colleagues and has been formally recorded as a standard operating process (SOP).
- All proposed modifications must be completed inline withe the approved modifications process.
Useful quick overview of modifications process.
The detailed guidance below outlines the steps for preparation, submission, and approval of all proposed modification.
Types of modifications
Modifications are usually made in response to feedback from key stakeholders, changes within professional body requirements, or as a result of developments within the academic discipline. Proposals are based on an academic rationale. This is separate to operational requests made directly to relevant professional and or adminstrative teams. Modifications can either be at programme level or at module level.
- Programme level modifications result in changes to the programme specification published to key stakeholders such as current and prospective students.
- Module level modifications mainly result in changes to module learning outcomes and assessments detailed in a module outline.
Please note that depending on the type of modification being proposed, a new programe, course, or assessment record needs to be allocated on SITS. Subject to approval, modifications initiate an operational workflow to update programme and module records on various IT platforms. It is therefore essential that the relevant key stakeholders are consulted at the proposal stage to ensure that the proposed changes can be supported and is completed in good time ahead of the start of the next academic year.
Examples of programme modifications
Examples of programme modifications include:
- changes to programme learning outcomes and associated curriculum content
- changes to programme mode of study (e.g. full-time or part-time)
- change or introduction of programme start dates (e.g. introduction of January start)
- changes to pProgramme mode of delivery (e.g. online or blended learning)
- changes to programme specific regulations (normally as a result of PSRB requirements)
- changes to the status of module from core to optional or vice versa
- the introduction, withdrawal, or replacement of core and or optional modules. This includes new, existing and cross-validated/ shared modules.
- changes to the credit value or level of module(s)
- change of module titles
- change to the semester of delivery.
Examples of module modifications
Examples of module modifications include:
- changes to module learning outcomes and associate curriculum content
- changes to module assessment methods, assessment weightings, assessment type(s) or assessment criteria
- changes to the module mode of delivery of a module (e.g. from face to face to distance learning mode)
- changes to a module pre/de and or co-requisites.
Consultation with key stakeholders
All modifications involve a process of consultation supported by clear communication with key the relevant stakeholders. These include colleagues from Estates and Facilities (Timetabling), Finance, Library Services, TEL, and IT and led by the academic colleague who is proposing the change.
To assist with the process of consultation and obtaining signatures, key stakeholder meetings can be convened to discuss proposed modification(s) with colleagues and obtain the required signatures in time for formal approval from the relevant Faculty/Institutes Academic Development Committee by St Mary's modifications deadline of 28th February.
Upon request to the Quality and Standards team and availability of staff, assistance with facilitating a key stakeholders meeting can be planned ahead of the University's modification deadline.
Please note, if you are not able to submit your completed modification proposal in time for any planned key stakeholder meetings, then you must contact the relevant colleagues from Estates and Facilities (Timetabling), Finance, Library Services, TEL, and IT to obtain their signatures separately.
You can then submit the completed proposal with these signatures and other supporting documents to the Chair and Committee Secretary for the relevant Faculty/Institute Academic Development Committee by the paper deadline for that meeting.
Modification forms and templates
Please complete the following form for all proposed modifications and return with supporting documents:
Please look at our programme specifications for copies of the last approved programme specifications. For copies of the last approved module outlines, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org stating the module title and SITS module code.
Proposed changes must be incorporated as tracked changes to the last approved programme specification and or module outline.
Key dates and deadlines
The University's modification deadline is 28th February and approved proposals comes into effect from September 2023/24.
The deadline has passed for proposed changes for the 2022/23 academic session.
Please be advised that where late modification proposals are requested, this will be only be exceptionally considered upon recieving support from both the Head of Quality and Academic Partnerships as well as, the relevant Associate Dean of Experience. Late modification proposals and or approvals are not guaranteed.
All modification proposals are based on an academic rationale. This is separate to operational requests made directly to relevant professional and or adminstrative teams.
Publication of approved programme documentation and Consumer Marketing Authority (CMA) requirements
The modifications process has been informed by CMA guidelines, specifically in relation to access to accurately published information about a programme’s content and structure. This enables prospective and current students to make well-informed choices about their programme of study.
Approved programme specifications are available on external University programme webpages. Programme specifications are the definitive source of information about a programme's content and structure. These are produced following extensive programme design and development with academic colleagues and underpins a variety of operational processes related to both the student and quality lifecycles.
To maintain version control, programme specifications are also checked on an annual basis to ensure these are in line with CMA requirements.
Further information and queries
For further guidance, please email the Quality and Standards Office email@example.com who will be able to advise on any aspect of the modifications process.