4.1 Scope of the chapter

  • 1.1 Chapter 4 aims to be an accessible and comprehensive guide to the periodic review of taught programmes leading to Oxford Brookes awards, in particular for:

    • staff responsible for the quality management of academic provision;
    • regulatory and professional bodies, and other external quality agencies with an interest in the quality and standards of the University’s academic provision.

    1.2 This chapter sets out the procedures to be followed for the periodic review of home programmes: i.e. programmes of study which are delivered by Brookes staff, either on-campus or by distance learning, and for the periodic review of collaborative arrangements (programmes delivered by ‘flying faculty’ should be reviewed under the procedures for collaborative provision, as they require a submission to LPAG for permission to renew). The basic process is similar for the periodic review of home and collaborative provision; however, there are some key differences [see section 4], and colleagues planning periodic reviews of collaborative arrangements should also refer to Chapter 5 of the Quality & Standards Handbook.

    1.3 The periodic review process complements the University’s annual programme review exercise, which is described in Chapter 3 of the Quality & Standards Handbook, reflecting the sector expectation articulated in the UK Quality Code (and the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance) that higher education institutions should periodically undertake a broader review of the continuing validity and relevance of the programmes they offer. It is expected that detailed modifications to existing provision to ensure programmes remain up to date will be made on an on-going basis, as part of the normal annual review cycle, rather than through the periodic review process, enabling periodic review panels to focus on the broader issues relating to the quality, and enhancement, of learning and teaching.

    1.4 Periodic review is not a mechanism for the full re-validation of programmes, which should be dealt with through the process described in Quality & Standards Handbook chapter 2, on Programme design and approval. However, the self-evaluation document should include some reflection on whether any of the programmes within the scope of the review will require re-validation in the near future, to assist with future scheduling of programme approval activity in the Faculties.

    1.5 If any of the programmes in the Subject group under review are in the process of being closed, the periodic review panel should ensure that appropriate action is being taken by the School/Department to protect the interests of the remaining students while they complete their studies. The programme closure process is set out in section 5 of chapter 2 of the Quality & Standards Handbook.