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6. There are three key stages in the approval process:

  1. Programme Proposal
  2. Programme Development
  3. Approval

Programme Development sequence

6.1 Programme Proposal. An initial discussion should take place with the Faculty / Institute Executive team, to explore suggestions for new programmes. Agreement should be sought on the alignment of the programme to the portfolio of the Faculty / Insitute, the Faculty / Institute strategy for growth and University strategies including the Learning and Teaching Strategy and Employability Strategy.

6.2 The proposer of the programme should liaise with the relevant Quality and Standards Manager to begin the programme proposal process. This will enable the proposer to complete the online New Programme Proposal process in e:Vision, which results in the production of a proposal document which includes information about the programme learning outcomes and aims, award type, collaborative partnership (if applicable), information about market research and student consultations. This information provides the basis for the development of programme teaching and learning strategies via an Initial Programme Design workshop with CTESS. The proposal is subject to approval from key professional services and recieves feedback on its teaching, learning and assessment strategies from CTESS before approval from FADC / IADC. 

6.4 The programme development stage is when the proposal is developed into a full programme. The information provided in the proposal can be developed further and embedded into the overal design of the programme. This process will be faciliated by Programme Design Intensives, run by CTESS, in which the development team can work with each other and specialist teams in the university to design the programme.

6.4. Approval: All programmes progress through Faculty / Institute ADC level approval, ADC approval and finally Academic Board. No programme may commence delivery until Academic Board has recieved notification of the approval.

6.5. Timelines for Programme Approval

i) Undergraduate Programmes:  approval must have been given by Academic Board in July in the year prior to the year in which delivery begins (for September starts). This means for example that a programme beginning delivery in September 2023 would need to have completed approvals (including notification to Academic Board) in July 2022. An indicative timetable is available to guide plans for programme development. 

ii) Postgraduate Programmes: Postgraduate programmes should follow the same timeline as undergraduate programmes.

iii) Fast Track Programme Approval: Subject to approval by the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee (QAEC), programmes may be developed using a shorter timeline. This route may only be followed where there is a clear rationale relating to one or more of the following:

  • University / Faculty / Institute strategic plan
  • Income generation
  • Market opportunity

Academic Board must have received notification of the programme approval prior to delivery commencing. Programmes following this route will not recieve a full window of recruitment and the effect of this on student numbers and therefore projected financial income and alignment with Faculty / Institute growth strategies must be carefully considered.

The proposal form for Fast Track programmes is available here: 

Fast Track Approval Form.docx

It should be completed in consultation with your Associate Dean for Student Experience and Quality and Standards Manager.

iv) Collaborative Programmes: The timeline for developing Collaborative Programmes is considerably more flexible than for on-campus provision. Any proposals for collaborative provision should be dicussed with the Quality Standards Manager for Collaborative Provision, to develop an appropriate timescale. Academic Board notification must have been confirmed before collaborative provision programmes can commence delivery.

6.6 Programme Approval Documentation

There are three documents that are utlimately submitted to the Panel Event for approval:

  1. Programme Approval Document (template TBC)

  2. Student Handbook (including Programme Specification template.docx)

  3. Module Outline template.docx

6.7 Guidance for Initial Proposal Workshops & Programme Design Intensives

Guidance is being developed and will be available shortly.