4. Course approval criteria

  • 4.1 Before the FAESC or FAESC sub-group confers an approval decision, programme approval panels must gain evidence - from the documentation submitted and during discussions with the programme team - that the criteria set out in 4.2-4.8 below (reproduced separately in G6.1 for ease of reference) have been met, or may be met within a reasonable period from the panel event, such that conditional approval may be given.

    4.2 Consultation

    The approval process should establish that the team have taken account of the outcomes of internal and external consultation and engaged with relevant reference points, including:

    Internal reference points External reference points
    University Regulations SEEC Credit Level Descriptors
    Strategy for Enhancing the Student Experience (SESE) Any relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements
    Assessment Compact Equality legislation and guidance

    4.3 Curriculum

    The approval process should confirm that the curriculum presented for approval:

    • Articulates an educational rationale, aims and intended learning outcomes which are appropriate to the level of the course;
    • Is designed so as to enable the students to meet the aims and learning outcomes;
    • Incorporates the requirements of the University’s regulatory framework and of any relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs);
    • Is being taught by staff with appropriate experience and expertise, and is informed where relevant by research and scholarship and/or current developments in professional practice;
    • Demonstrates a commitment to inclusive practice

    4.4 Recruitment and admissions

    The approval process should ensure that the admissions criteria are consistent with the programme’s aims, learning outcomes and level, taking account of the University’s standard admissions requirements, target market and the requirements of any PSRB requirements or relevant legislation. It should also consider the means by which the team intend to assess candidates against the admissions criteria.

    4.5 Learning, teaching and assessment

    The approval process should confirm that the team’s strategy for learning, teaching and assessment:

    • Is consistent with the stated aims of the course.
    • Validly and reliably assesses the achievement of all the programme's intended learning outcomes.
    • Complies with University policies, and engages with OCSLD guidance, relating to learning, teaching and assessment, in particular the Assessment Compact.
    • Reflects good practice in teaching and learning, with arrangements in place to assure and enhance the quality of teaching.
    • Demonstrates a commitment to the provision of an excellent learning experience, as set out in the Strategy for Enhancing the Student Experience.
    • Provides accessible opportunities for all students, including those with additional needs, to meet the learning outcomes.

    4.6 Programme management

    The approval process should establish that the programme management structures, including those concerned with academic and pastoral support for students, will meet the needs of the expected students, including the provision of support for students with disabilities. The approval process should also confirm that appropriate quality management arrangements are in place for assuring the academic standards and enhancing the quality of the provision, including systems for seeking and responding to feedback from students.

    4.7 Learning resources

    The approval process should confirm that sufficient resources (including teaching staff) are in place, or are planned, so that the delivery team may provide appropriate learning opportunities to enable students to achieve the programme learning outcomes. Systems should also be in place, or planned, to provide reasonable adjustments for students with additional needs.

    4.8 For programmes being delivered by distance or e-learning

    The approval process must confirm that the proposal fulfils the expectations set out in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education and meets the expectations of the University, in respect of the security and reliability of the delivery and assessment systems, assuring the quality of study materials, the skills and expertise of the staff delivering on the programme, and the mechanisms for providing timely academic support and feedback.