A key aspect of the College’s internal quality assurance and enhancement framework is the course (programme) and module (course unit) approval process. The College must ensure effective processes for the design, development and validation of courses and modules in line with its responsibilities for setting and maintaining academic standards as set out in the Expectations for Standards within the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) UK Quality Code.
These responsibilities also include meeting the Expectations for Quality by ensuring that ‘Courses (ie Programmes) are well-designed, provide a high-quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievement to be reliably assessed’ (QAA UK Quality Code, Course Design and Development Theme).
Failure to meet these standards will put the College’s registration with the Office for Students (OfS) at risk, and could result in a fine or deregistration, which would mean the College is unable to operate. The College operates different processes and deadlines for the submission of proposals for the introduction of new courses and for amendments to existing courses and modules as shown below.
Full details on the various types of validation processes listed below and the forms required for each type are outlined in the College’s Academic Quality and Policy Manual.
You can find all of the templates you need for validation on our Templates and Forms page.
An overview of the current Course and Module Validations Timeline can be found here.
DEADLINES FOR NEW COURSES (PROGRAMMES) AND TITLES, REVALIDATIONS, CLOSURE AND SUSPENSION OF RECRUITMENT FOR 2021-22:
The following changes need approval from the Academic Portfolio and Partnerships Committee (APPC) prior to the Academic Quality and Policy Office appointing a panel to validate the course or to action the change:
- Validation of new programmes
- Introduction of new programme pathways, including addition of a ‘year in industry’, ‘international year’
- Programme closures and temporary suspension of recruitment.
The following changes need to be forwarded for noting by the Academic Portfolio and Partnerships Committee (APPC):
- Revalidation of existing programmes
- Programme title changes
The relevant Academic Portfolio and Partnerships Committee meetings for the 2020-21 recruitment cycle are:
18 September 2019,
14 November 2019,
11 December 2019,
21 January 2020 (deadline for consideration of new undergraduate courses and notifications of revalidations of existing undergraduate courses for 2021-22),
18 March 2020,
15 April 2020,
19 May 2020,
17 June 2020 (deadline for consideration of new postgraduate courses and notification of revalidations of existing postgraduate courses for 2021-22)
* Please note, paperwork for Academic Portfolio and Partnerships Committee (APPC) must be submitted at least one week prior to the date of the Committee's meeting.*
DEADLINES FOR AMENDMENTS TO COURSES (PROGRAMMES) AND MODULES (COURSE UNITS)
Chairs of School Education Committees will set internal deadlines for submission of paperwork to them for consideration. You will need to meet this internal deadline.
The deadline for Chairs of School Education Committees to send final approved paperwork for course (programme) amendments, new modules (course units) and amendments to existing modules to AQPO is 31 January 2020.
Please note that the following changes constitute significant changes. The College is obliged to inform applicants of such changes:
- Minor course (programme) amendments, e.g. the introduction of a new mandatory module (course unit) or the withdrawal of a mandatory modules (course unit), change in status of a module (course unit), eg mandatory to optional or vice versa;
- Withdrawal or addition of different assessment types on mandatory modules (course units), e.g. replacing 100% exam with 50% coursework and 50% exam;
- Significant change to the fieldwork requirement on a mandatory module (course unit), e.g removing or adding a fieldwork component;
- Changes to location of delivery, e.g. Egham or Central London;
- Changes to mode of delivery, e.g. block mode, only evening teaching, weekend;
- Change in accreditation status of a course (programme), e.g. decision to allow accreditation to lapse/ not apply for re-accreditation, loss or gaining of accreditation. Note – this has to be reported to the Office for Students as well;
- Suspension or closure/ withdrawal of a course (programme);
- Change to a course (programme) title;
- Changes to the assessment balance, which impact on over 120 credits of a UG course (programme) of study and over 80 credits of a PGT course (programme) of study*, e.g. changes to assessment methods; changes to assessment lengths which could lead students making a reasonable claim that they would have made different module choices had they been aware;
- Change to the structure of a course (programme) which impacts on over 120 credits of a UG course (programme) of study and over 80 credits of a PGT course (programme) *, e.g. the change of balance between mandatory and optional modules, significant reduction in optional modules;
- Any change to the College’s academic regulations or individual course (programme) requirements which impact significantly on progression or award requirements, e.g. a change in the College’s Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught regulations in terms of what students need to take and pass to qualify for an (exit) award, particularly where this has implications for accreditation or a change to a course (programme) specific regulation which impacts on progression and/ or award, e.g. designating modules as not being available for resits, fails not being condoned;
- Any other minor course (programme) amendment, e.g the splitting of a mandatory module (course) into two where the content remains the same.
*The 120 credits could be mandatory modules or a combination of mandatory modules and a selection of optional modules. A change to only optional modules would not necessarily be seen as significant.
The following changes to costs (not requiring validation approval but deemed significant):
- The addition of extra costs of £100 or more where no extra costs currently exist;
- An addition of one or more items which add £100 or more to the existing extra costs.
The following changes are not deemed to be significant:
- Introduction of a new elective;
- Withdrawal of an existing elective;
- Proposals for minor changes to summative assessment, e.g. change of weighting; or number of summative assessments;
- Other minor changes;
- Change to module (course) title only.