Policy and Process for Programme and Module Approval, Amendment and Withdrawal

Introduction

Resources to support Programme and Module Development can be found in the Resources Hub.

1. The aim of this policy is to support curriculum innovation and relevance: it enables an agile response to market demands whilst also ensuring the University portfolio is coherent and meets required standards.

2. Innovation in programme development will be guided by the institutional and faculty strategic plans with new programmes in particular to be developed using a ‘co-production’ model which supports all stakeholders working together.

3. The policy also ensures that the University maintains a full and current record of its academic portfolio, including all modules and programmes, and that effective processes are in place to ensure the appropriate consideration and approval of education provision. In formulating this policy account has been taken of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (Part A: Setting and maintaining academic standards and Part B: Chapter B1 Programme design, development and approval)

4. The process by which proposals, amendments and withdrawals of programmes and modules will be managed has been developed with the following goals:

a) Support innovation and the exploration of new ideas through their testing, shaping and refinement

b) Encourage interdisciplinary

c) Establish robust, transparent, simple and clear processes

d) Enable all internal decision makers and stakeholders to be involved in the process at the relevant stage and avoid bottle-necks being created, or this important process being considered a ‘tick box’ exercise

e) Support informed decision making

f) Provide clear opportunities for external and student engagement

 5. Academic Council delegates responsibility to the Education and Student Experience Committee (ESEC) for approving:

  • new programmes
  • major programme amendments
  • programme withdrawals
  • collaborative agreements
  • exchange programmes

6. ESEC undertakes its responsibility through the operation of its Programme Business Sub-Committee (PBSC).

7. The PBSC will include members of University Learning and Teaching Committee and University Academic Quality and Standards Committee as well as Academic Registry and the Stirling Graduate School;

a) Deputy Principal (Education and Students) (Chair)

b) Dean of Teaching Quality Enhancement

c) Academic Registrar

d) Head of Academic Quality and Governance

e) A representative of the Stirling Graduate School

f)  A representative of the Student Programmes Team

g) Vice President (Education)

h) Academic Quality and Governance Coordinator (Quality) (Secretary)

8. The PBSC will meet at least four times a year and will report to the Education and Student Experience Committee on the outcomes of each meeting.

9. Responsibility for approving new modules, minor programme amendments, and module amendments is delegated by ESEC to Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees (FLTCs) as outlined below. Decisions taken by FLTCs are reported to Academic Registry (Academic Quality and Governance team).

10. The ESEC Programme Business Sub-Committee reports a summary of its activity and decisions to Academic Council on an annual basis. This information flow supports the ongoing strategic review of the academic portfolio.

Figure 1: Summary of the Overall Programme and Module Development Process

 

Timeline

11. All undergraduate programme approvals and amendments must be approved prior to the opening of UCAS applications in the year of programme launch.

12. Any and all changes to modules or programmes including minor and major amendments and withdrawals must be approved prior to the start of the academic year. All relevant dates for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and modules are provided online and can be found in the Programme Development Resource Hub. Amendments or withdrawals will only be considered ‘in-year’ in exceptional circumstances. These should be discussed with the Academic Quality and Governance team as soon as possible.

Definitive Record of Programmes

13. It is essential that the University holds a definitive record of all the programmes it currently offers and has offered in the past. This record will comprise of the programme specification, relevant module descriptors and the approval/amendment documentation as held by Academic Registry. Programme specifications are published on the University website.

Programme Outcomes

14. All programmes will be considered on the basis of their final award. All students can be eligible to achieve exit awards in line with University regulations and these do not need to be named in the programme proposal. However, if it is the intention to enable applicants to apply for and gain a named award at a lower level e.g. Diploma, Certificate, separate programme proposals for each of these must be submitted separately.

15. If a new programme type is proposed, this must be approved by Academic Council and University Court via the amendment of Ordinance 58.

Specialist Programmes

16. Specialist Programmes may be developed in two forms: those that are created as a specialist version of a programme and are fundamentally specialist in nature, and those that offer a route to a specialism from a non-specialist programme starting point.

a) A specialist programme is one that is designed entirely for the achievement of specialist learning outcomes. Such programmes require to be considered separately to any non-specialist programmes they may be associated with, through the approval process, and will be available for separate student application with a specific named award being the final outcome. For example, BA (Hons) Professional Education (Primary) Early Years

b) A programme which offers a route, or pathway, to a specialism will have a ‘common core’ or ‘structure’ for all students. It is then structured to enable students to take differing modules to develop a specialism in a specific area of study within that parent subject. These pathways would be considered part of the ‘parent programme’ and approved along with that parent programme, or as an amendment to the parent programme. Students would apply for the parent programme and at the appropriate point select their specialist pathway of study. The degree awarded would be the parent programme with the specialism e.g. MSc Environmental Management or MSc Environmental Management (Energy) or MSc Environmental Management (Conservation). 

Programme Naming

17. The names of new programmes, or amendments to existing names should be considered within the market research for new programmes and/or in consultation with the Communications, Marketing and Public Engagement Directorate (CMPE) before being proposed. Particular attention should be paid to potential confusion between programmes from different faculties with similar names. A programme name should be presented with the Type of Degree, Classification (if required) and then the title; the use of ‘in’ is not required. E.g. BA (Hons) Descriptive Linguistics or MSc Chemical Engineering. 

Collaborative Programmes

18. The University will wish, from time to time, to develop collaborative programmes either with established partners or new emerging partners both in the UK and abroad. In the development of these programmes the following principles should be followed to ensure effective management of the programme approval process.

19. New programmes developed with INTO University of Stirling (INTOUoS) require approval of both the appropriate Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee(s) and the Joint Venture Academic Board prior to moving to Stage 2. It is recommended that the design team for the programme includes representatives from both the University and INTOUoS.

20. New programmes developed with existing international partners (i.e. building on an existing agreement) will require approval as outlined in new programme approval process (See 25 - 53). It is recommended that approval of the programme by the partner should run in parallel with Stage 2. Amendments to any memorandums or agreements should be finalised following Stage 2 approval working with the International Partnership team. More information on the development of international partnerships is in the International Collaborative Teaching Policy.

21. New programmes developed with new international partners will require approval in the following way;

a) A Memorandum of Understanding is approved in line with the International Collaborative Teaching Policy

b) Development of the partnership business case and programme approval begins

c) The partnership business case is approved in line with the International Collaborative Teaching Policy and by the relevant Faculty Executive Committee(s). Alongside this the programme can progress through Stage 1 new programme approval (See 27 -47)

d) Once the programme is approved at Stage 1 and the partnership business case has received approval, the programme can move to Stage 2 of the new programme approval process. (See 48 - 53)

e) The process of agreeing the Memorandum of Agreement or other applicable agreement(s) will take place in line with the International Collaborative Teaching Policy in parallel to, or after, the programme is approved at Stage 2

22. Existing programmes being developed for delivery with an existing international partner will be considered using the programme amendment process (See 54 - 73.) Any required amendments to memorandums or agreements as a result of this change should be finalised following approval and by working with the International Partnership team.

23. Existing programmes being developed with a new partner will be considered using the programme amendment process see (See 54 - 73.) The new partnership will require approval via the International Collaborative Teaching Policy

24. Articulation agreements provide a framework whereby all students who satisfy academic criteria on a programme at a partner university or college become eligible (on academic grounds) to be admitted with advanced standing to a subsequent part or year of a programme at the University of Stirling. Articulation Agreements’ therefore can only be created for existing programmes, and may be considered for both existing and/or new international partnerships. Approval of such agreements requires the mapping of the partner institution’s qualification learning outcomes to the learning outcomes of the UoS programme to determine the appropriate level of entry. The mapping of learning outcomes ensures the equivalency of the level of study, and assesses the preparedness of the students for the proposed level of entry. Any such arrangements should be considered in line with the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and should be reviewed and approved by the Programme Director, the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching (ADLT) and the relevant Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee and with guidance from Admissions. These agreements are documented and formally agreed via the International and/or UK Partnership team.

25. New programmes developed between two or more faculties within the institution should have a nominated ‘lead’ faculty which will be responsible for the administration of the programme (including Boards of Examiners) and its students. Both faculties must approve the programme at Stage 1, and during subsequent proposals for amendment and withdrawal.

External Accreditation

26. The achievement of external accreditation of a programme should be reported to Academic Quality and Governance. The application for external accreditation will typically be submitted after Stage 2 approval of a programme or amendment, however, programme teams should refer to the accreditor’s requirements in this regard.

Process for the Approval of New Programmes

27. The process for developing new programmes is owned by faculties and developments should be considered within the context of both the University Strategic Plan and the faculty annual plan as well as any relevant regulations or policy that guide and support the structure of degree programmes.

28. All joint programmes are owned by one nominated faculty and this faculty should be identified prior to starting Stage 1. The programme will require approval by both or all involved faculties when developing the concept and at stage 1 to ensure full consideration of the partnership.

a) The ‘owning’ faculty will be responsible for: the operation of the boards of examiners for the joint programme, submission of any future amendments or withdrawal of the programme, convening of the Student Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC) and other relevant committees and appointment of the Programme Director

29. Postgraduate programmes must be discussed with Stirling Graduate School (SGS) as the concept is developed.

 

Developing an Idea

30. The pre-development stage supports the development of ideas, curriculum innovation and collaboration and may be built upon research outputs, student/market demand, employer insights and/or academic interest.

 a) Faculties determine how best to manage this stage within the context of their organisational structure and subject disciplines however it is suggested that opportunities are created to enable colleagues to share, discuss, critique and support the development of new ideas in an informal way. This may be through the use of an ‘incubator’ programme, a new programme ‘sandpit’ or roadshow development sessions during annual planning rounds

b) Students should be engaged at this stage through the established SSCC structures and/or Faculty Officers

31. The programme concept should be reviewed by the ADLT in consultation with the Dean of Faculty and the Faculty Executive Group (or equivalent) in line with the processes developed by the Faculty (see a.) Whilst a full proposal is not required at this point it is important that initial consideration of the following items is consistently undertaken.

a) What is the overall aim of the Programme?

i) Does this concept support the achievement of the faculty annual plan?

ii) Does this concept support the achievement of the University strategic plan?

b)Does the programme build on existing teaching or research potential, or support the development of a new area(s) of focus?

c) Has a clear target market for this programme been identified? If not, how will this be developed?1

d) Will this require additional teaching resource either due to expertise requirements or time allocations?

e) Does this complement rather than overlap the existing portfolio?

f) Have student views been taken into account?

g) Have external views, e.g. those of employers or external examiners been taken into account?

h) If the programme is Postgraduate has the SGS been engaged in the development of the concept?

i) If the proposal includes innovations in areas such as delivery model or approaches to employability or teaching tools have relevant stakeholders been engaged in the development of the concept?

j) These areas are not exclusive and further areas of consideration may be identified by the ADLT and/or faculty

32. ADLTs coordinate with other ADLTs across the institution to identify potential synergies and overlaps in existing portfolios or approval pipelines.

33. The following decisions are available to the ADLT on consideration of the programme concept/idea:

a) Approve – the proposal moves to test and create step of Stage 1

b) Suggest amendments – the proposal requires further information or development and will be reviewed again on an agreed date

c) Reject – the proposal will not be considered further at that time

1Market Research at this stage is based within the Faculty, when the proposal moves to Stage 1 development support can be requested from Communications, Marketing and Public Engagement (CMPE) Please see the Resource Hub for more information.

 

Stage 1

Test and Create

34. This stage provides the opportunity to lay a solid foundation on which the new programme will be built. The design team2 will begin to fully develop the proposal by working with a range of co-producers who will engage with, and support, the development process.

35. The design team is encouraged to use the Programme Development Resource Hub to support the development of the programme.

36. Forms for the new programme approval process are available here (forms ARO 034a, ARO 034b and ARO003a3).

37. The final proposal must include:

a) A full description of the background, context and rationale for the proposal, clearly outlining the need for this programme, supported by market research3, and alignment with the faculty annual plan and University’s Strategic Plan

b) A full outline of the proposed programme including programme learning outcomes, module selection and relevant module learning outcomes (Form ARO 034a). If new modules are proposed these should be included and approved at faculty level alongside the programme, (only the programme progresses to Stage 2, modules only need be approved at faculty level)

c) Any information regarding relevant accreditations either required to launch the programme and/or desired to market the programme and an outline of how will these accreditations be gained and used

d) Information regarding relevant rankings/surveys and their impact on the programme or the impact of the launch of the programme on the ranking/survey

e) Consideration of the resource implications of the proposal including teaching resource, finances, technical requirements and space

f) Evidence of the involvement of students in the development of the proposal

g) Evidence of the involvement of external experts and advisors in the development of the proposal

h) Consideration of the recruitment channels and admissions requirements for the programme

38. Successful partnership between the design team and co-producers is a requirement that supports the development of a complete, comprehensive and robust proposal at Stage 1. Information provided by the co-producers will enable those responsible for programme approval to make an informed decision that facilitates the institution to respond to market demand, act on academic innovation effectively and efficiently whilst also meeting the minimum expectations of academic quality practice and enabling the institution to meet its obligations in the management of the academic portfolio.

39. Co-producers, as identified below, will all provide information during the development of Stage 1 documentation. Information is available to support this process on the Programme Development Resource Hub including the role of the co-producer, key questions to support programme development and contact details.

  

40. Engaging students in the development of programmes is a requirement that supports the development of the student learning experience. Students may be engaged in a variety of different ways, either as members of the design team or through membership of SSCC that discuss the proposals, or via Faculty Officers who are members of FLTCs.

41. Engaging external advisors such as employers, alumni and external examiners can support the development of both the initial ideas for programmes and the development of the full proposals. Faculties may wish to engage with their Advisory Boards as the key link to these external advisors. External examiners are a valuable network who can provide advice and guidance regarding the development of new programmes in both the context of Stirling’s current portfolio and the broader academic context.

42. Faculties are asked to consider how best to engage with external advisors within their own contexts and the goals. How external engagement has been included and the outcomes of the engagement should be outlined in the proposal documentation.

2This term is used as a collective noun for the group responsible for developing the programme, this team is typically based in a faculty or division and may be led by the intended programme director of the new programme along with other academic or staff colleagues as required for the development of the programme.

3Market Research Request form ARO003a3

 

Concept Approval

43. Once fully developed the design team will submit the proposal for consideration by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee (FLTC). A proposal is considered complete when:

a) All co-producers have provided the information necessary for consideration of the proposal

b) All required documentation has been prepared and is complete

c) If resource is not currently available a complete proposal will outline where it is intended that the resource will come from and how this will be achieved

d) The Faculty Executive (FE) has approved the proposal from a business planning point of view

44. When considering a new programme proposal the FE needs to be satisfied that:

a) Due consideration has been given to the financial, estate and staff resource planning to enable a successful launch

b) There is evidence of an adequate market and sufficient time has been given to launch the programme successfully

Once FE approval has been received the proposal can be submitted to the FLTC.

45. When considering a new programme proposal the FLTC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The programme design is robust with appropriate programme/module learning outcomes

b) The programme (and modules) have been appropriately credit rated against the SCQF and/or external accreditation requirements

c) The programme design meets the requirements of the University for the type of degree proposed. For example undergraduate programmes (with the exception of LLB and Nursing programmes) support students to take a broad curricula of study in their first two years and in an honours degree it is a requirement that 80 credits are obtained in at least two subjects.

d)The use of learning technology and other resources has been considered with best practice embedded in the programme design

e) Employability and student achievement of the graduate attributes has been included in the programme design

f) Due consideration has been given to accessibility and inclusion and the programme designed accordingly

g) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been fully addressed

h) The proposal has received business case approval from the Faculty Executive

46. The following decisions are available to the FLTC on consideration of the programme proposal:

a) Approve – the proposal moves to Stage 2

b) Qualified approval – the proposal is approved at Faculty level with outstanding University level questions clearly identified

c) Referred – the proposal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the design team. The proposal will be considered again on resubmission to FLTC

d) Reject – the proposal will not be considered further at that time

Review and Develop

47. This phase will only apply if the FLTC refers their decision when considering a proposal. The design team should ensure that they provide all requested information and full responses to any questions raised prior to submission of the updated proposal to the next FLTC.

 

Stage 2

Final Concept Approval

48. Following approval or qualified approval by FLTC the proposal can be submitted to the ESEC Programme Business Sub-Committee for consideration. The proposal will be considered in the context of University priorities, strategic plan and the existing portfolio.

 

49. Any areas identified in a ‘qualified approval’ decision will be considered by the PBSC who may seek guidance from other Committees or individuals within the institution as required.

50. The inclusion of 10 credit modules will be considered by the PBSC and requires explicit approval to enable the programme to be approved.

51. When considering a new programme proposal the PBSC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The programme’s approval will support the achievement of the University’s strategic plan

b) The programme design is robust and supports the launch of a high-quality programme that will enhance the existing portfolio

c) Due consideration has been given to accessibility and inclusion, employability, learning technology and the programme designed accordingly

d) Due consideration has been given to financial, estate and staff resource planning

e) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been met

 52. The following decisions are available to the PBSC on consideration of the programme proposal:

a) Approve – the programme moves to launch

b) Referred – the proposal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the design team. The proposal will be considered again on resubmission to PBSC

c) Reject – the proposal will not be considered further at that time

53. Following approval of a new programme the lead faculty should commence the process of appointing a new External Examiner.

Process for the Approval of Programme Amendments

54. The process for amending programmes is owned by faculties and should be considered within the context of both the University Strategic Plan and the faculty annual plan as well as any relevant regulations or policy that guide and support the structure of degree programmes. However depending on the scale or nature of the amendment proposed, institutional level approval may also be required.

55. All joint programmes are owned by one nominated faculty and this faculty should lead the programme/module amendment submission. The programme/module amendments will require approval by both or all involved faculties to ensure full consideration of the partnership.

56. Major programme amendments to postgraduate programmes should be discussed with Stirling Graduate School at an early stage.

57. Forms for the programme amendment process are available here (forms ARO 034a, ARO 034c and ARO003a3).

 

Major or Minor Amendments

58. Amendments to programmes will be considered at faculty level (Stage 1 See 63 - 69) if minor, however, major amendments will require approval at both the Faculty and the University levels (Stage 2) as outlined in Sections 70 - 73. The following table sets out the definition of minor and major amendments.

Change Minor Major
Change to, removal or addition of a start date  Y  
Add or remove a mode of attendance (e.g. part-time, full-time) Y  
Change of delivery mode (e.g. online, blended) Y  
Change to, removal or addition of location Y^  
Change to an academic pathway Y  
Removal or addition of an academic pathway   Y
Change of Programme Title   Y
Change to the ratio of Compulsory/Option modules in a semester/year   Y
Change to Compulsory Module selection   Y
Change to Option Module selection Y  
Change of collaborative arrangements   Y
Module amendment Y  

^If this change is created via the development of a new partnership this will be considered a major amendment.

59. It should be noted that where a significant number of minor amendments are made at one time, or in successive years these may amount to a major amendment and therefore require University level approval. Minor amendments would typically be considered major if three or more minor amendments are made at any one time or six or more minor amendments are made in a two year period. This is a guide only and advice should be sought if required.

60. Major amendments should be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching (ADLT) in consultation with the Dean of Faculty and the Faculty Executive Group. The following should be considered by the ADLT when reviewing the amendment;

a) What is the overall aim of the amendment?

i) Does this amendment support the achievement of the faculty annual plan?

b) Has impact of the amendment on the market for this programme/module been considered?

c) Has the Competition and Markets Authority guidance on meeting the University’s consumer legislation obligations been taken into account?

d) Will the amendment require additional teaching resource either due to expertise requirements or time allocations?

e) Does the amendment have impacts beyond the Faculty?

f) Have student views been taken into account?

g) Have external views, e.g. those of employers or external examiners been taken into account?

h) If the amendment is to postgraduate programme has the Stirling Graduate School (SGS) been engaged?

i) If the amendment includes innovations in areas such as delivery model or approaches to employability or teaching tools have relevant stakeholders been engaged in the development of the concept?

j) These areas are not exhaustive and further areas of consideration may be identified by the ADLT and/or faculty

61. ADLTs should coordinate with other ADLTs across the institution to identify potential synergies and overlaps in existing portfolios or approval pipelines.

62. The following decisions are available to the ADLT on consideration of the amendment:

a) Approve – the amendment moves to Stage 1

b) Suggest amendments – the amendment requires further information or development and will be reviewed again on an agreed date

c) Reject – the amendment will not be considered further at that time

 

Stage 1

63. The design team is encouraged to use the Programme Development Resource Hub to support the development of the amendment.

64. The final amendment proposal must include:

a) A full description of the background, context and rationale for the amendment, clearly outlining the need for this amendment, supported by market research and alignment with the faculty annual plan and University strategic plan

b) A full outline of the proposed amendment including updated programme or module descriptors

c) Any information regarding relevant accreditations impacted by the amendment and how this will be managed

d) Information regarding relevant rankings/surveys impacted by the amendment

e) Consideration of the resource implications of the amendment including teaching resource, finances, technical requirements and space

f) Evidence of the involvement of students in the development of the amendment

g) Evidence of the involvement of external experts and advisors in the development of the amendment

65. Engagement with a range of co-producers will support the development of a complete, comprehensive and robust amendment. This will support those responsible for amendment approval to make an informed decision. (See 36 - 39)

66. Once fully developed the design team will submit the amendment for consideration by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee (FLTC).

67. When considering an amendment the FLTC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The amendment is robust with appropriate updates to programme/module learning outcomes and/or external accreditation requirements

b) The use of learning technology and other resources has been considered

c) Employability and student achievement of the graduate attributes has been considered

d) Due consideration has been given to accessibility and inclusion and the amendment is designed accordingly

e) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been addressed.

f) The amendment has received business case approval from the Faculty Executive (if there are resource implications only)

68. The following decisions are available to the FLTC on consideration of the amendment:

a) Approve – for minor amendments move to implementation, for major amendments move to Stage 2

b) Qualified approval – the amendment is approved at Faculty level with outstanding University level questions clearly identified

c) Referred – the amendment is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the design team. The amendment will be considered again on resubmission to FLTC

d) Reject – the amendment will not be considered further at that time

Review and Develop

69. This phase will only apply if the FLTC refers their decision when considering an amendment. The design team should ensure that they provide all requested information and full responses to any questions raised prior to submission of the updated amendment to the next FLTC.

 

 

Stage 2

70. Following approval or qualified approval by FLTC major amendments can be submitted to PBSC for consideration. The amendment will be considered in the context of University priorities, strategic plan and the existing portfolio.

71. Any areas identified in a ‘qualified approval’ decision will be considered by the PBSC who may seek guidance from other Committees or individuals within the institution as required.

72. When considering an amendment the PBSC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The amendment will support the achievement of the University’s strategic plan

b) The amendment is robust and supports the continued delivery of a high-quality programme that will continue to enhance the portfolio

c) Due consideration has been given to the impact of the amendment on current and future students

d) Due consideration has been given to accessibility and inclusion, employability, learning technology and the amendment designed accordingly

e) Due consideration has been given to financial, estate and staff resource planning (if necessary)

f) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been met

73. The following decisions are available to the PBSC on consideration of an amendment:

a) Approve – the amendment moves to implementation

b) Referred – the amendment is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the design team. The amendment will be considered again on resubmission to PBSC

c) Reject – the amendment will not be considered further at that time.

Process for the Approval of a Programme Withdrawal

74. The withdrawal of a programme should be considered within the context of both the University Strategic Plan and the faculty annual plan as well as any relevant regulations or policy that guide and support the withdrawal of degree programmes.

75. The student experience, the interests of current students and/or applicants, as well as the University’s legal obligations in relation to consumer legislation are also essential points of consideration.

76. All joint programmes are owned by one nominated faculty and this faculty should lead the programme withdrawal submission. Any subsequent programme amendments will require approval by both or all involved faculties to ensure full consideration of the partnership.

77. Engagement with a range of co-producers will support the development of a complete, comprehensive and robust proposal. This will support those responsible for withdrawal approval to make an informed decision. (See 38 - 41)

78. The withdrawal of postgraduate programmes should be discussed with Stirling Graduate School at an early stage of consideration.

79. Forms for the programme amendment process are available here (forms ARO 034a, ARO 034d).

80. A programme withdrawal should be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching (ADLT) in consultation with the Dean of Faculty and the Faculty Executive. The following should be considered by the ADLT when reviewing the withdrawal;

a) What is the overall aim of the withdrawal?

i) Would the withdrawal support the achievement of the faculty annual plan?

b) Has impact of the withdrawal on current students been considered?

c) Has the impact of withdrawal on offer holders/applicants been considered?

d) Has the Competition and Markets Authority Guidance on meeting the University’s consumer legislation obligations been taken into account?

e) Could the withdrawal have impacts in the University beyond the Faculty?

f) Have student views been taken into account?

g) Have collaborative partners, including INTOUoS been consulted and informed of the proposal?

h) Have external views, e.g. those of employers or external examiners been taken into account?

i) If the proposed withdrawal is of a postgraduate programme, has the Stirling Graduate School (SGS) been engaged?

 These areas are not exhaustive and further areas of consideration may be identified by the ADLT and/or faculty.

81. ADLTs should coordinate with other ADLTs across the institution to identify potential impact to the portfolio or approval pipelines.

82. The following decisions are available to the ADLT on consideration of the withdrawal:

a) Approve – the withdrawal moves to Stage 1

b) Referred – the withdrawal requires further information or development and will be reviewed again on an agreed date

c) Reject – the withdrawal will not be considered further at that time

 

Stage 1

83. The final withdrawal proposal must include:

a) A full description of the background, context and rationale for the withdrawal, clearly outlining the need for this amendment, supported by market research and alignment with the faculty annual plan and University strategic plan

b) An outline of the impact on current students, applicants or offer holders and how the impact of the withdrawal of the programme will be ameliorated

c) Any information regarding relevant accreditations impacted by the withdrawal and how this will be managed

d) Information regarding relevant rankings/surveys impacted by the withdrawal

e) Consideration of the resource implications of the withdrawal including teaching resource, and finances

f) Evidence of the involvement of students in the development of the withdrawal

g) Evidence of the involvement of external experts and advisors in the development of the withdrawal

84. Once fully developed the programme team should submit the withdrawal for consideration by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee (FLTC).

85. When considering a proposed withdrawal the FLTC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The rationale for the withdrawal is robust with appropriate arrangements are proposed to effectively manage the impact on remaining programmes/modules and/or current students/applicants/offer holders

b) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been fully addressed.

c) The withdrawal has received business case approval from the Faculty Executive (if there are resource implications)

86. The following decisions are available to the FLTC on consideration of the programme withdrawal:

a) Approve – move to Stage 2

b) Qualified approval – the withdrawal is approved at Faculty level with outstanding University level questions clearly identified

c) Referred – the withdrawal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the programme team. The withdrawal will be considered again on resubmission to FLTC

d) Reject – the withdrawal will not be considered further at that time

 

Review and Develop

87. This stage will only apply if the FLTC refers their decision when considering a withdrawal. The programme team should ensure that they provide all requested information and full responses to any questions raised prior to submission of the updated withdrawal to the next FLTC.

 

Stage 2

88. Following approval or qualified approval by FLTC programme withdrawal can be submitted to the ESEC PBSC for consideration. The proposed withdrawal will be considered in the context of University priorities, strategic plan and the existing portfolio.

89. Any areas identified in a ‘qualified approval’ decision will be considered by the PBSC who may seek guidance from other Committees or individuals within the institution as required.

90. When considering a withdrawal the PBSC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The withdrawal will not negatively impact the achievement of the University’s strategic plan

b) The rationale for the withdrawal is robust and does not negatively impact the continued delivery of a high-quality portfolio

c) Due consideration has been given to the impact of the withdrawal on current students and applicants and how this will be managed appropriately

d) Due consideration has been given to financial, estate and staff resource planning (if necessary)

e) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been fully met

91. The following decisions are available to the PBSC on consideration of an amendment:

a) Approve – the withdrawal moves to implementation within the agreed timescale

b) Referred – the withdrawal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the design team. The withdrawal will be considered again on resubmission to PBSC

c) Reject – the withdrawal will not be considered further at that time

92. Withdrawal of a programme will not automatically lead to the withdrawal of all associated modules, the withdrawal of associated modules should be taken forward as outlined in Section 103-116.

Process for the Approval of New Modules and Module Amendments in Existing Programmes

93. New modules (and module amendments) are approved by the relevant FLTC4 for incorporation into previously approved programmes of study upon completion of the following process.

94. New module proposal and module amendment forms are available here (new modules: ARO 035b, module amendment: ARO 035c) and a module descriptor (ARO 035a). A module descriptor along with the either a new module form or a module amendment form should be completed by the module coordinator.

95.The module coordinator is encouraged to liaise with colleagues in relevant departments to ensure the module is developed to support best practice in assessment, careers and employability and accessibility and inclusion. Further information about this can be found at the Programme Development Resource Hub. Engagement with a range of co-producers will support the development of a complete, comprehensive and robust proposal. This will support those responsible for the approval of new and amended modules to make an informed decision. (See 38 - 42)

96. The module proposal/amendment forms and module descriptors should be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching (ADLT). The following should be considered by the ADLT when reviewing the proposal;

a) What is the overall aim of the proposal?

i) Does this proposal support the achievement of the faculty annual plan?

b) Has impact of the proposal on current students been considered?

c) Has the impact of proposal on offer holders/applicants been considered?

d) Has the Competition and Markets Authority Guidance been taken into account, particularly in relation to module amendments?

e) Have any impacts beyond the Faculty been fully discussed and considered?

f) Have student views been taken into account?

g) Have external views, e.g. those of employers or external examiners been taken into account?

h) If the proposal relates to a postgraduate programme has the Stirling Graduate School (SGS) been engaged?

These areas are not exclusive and further areas of consideration may be identified by the ADLT and/or faculty.

97. ADLT’s are to coordinate with other ADLT’s across the institution to identify potential impact to the portfolio.

98. The following decisions are available to the ADLT on consideration of the proposal:

a) Approve – the proposal moves to Stage 1

b) Suggest amendments – the proposal requires further information or development and will be reviewed again on an agreed date

c) Reject – the proposal will not be considered further at that time

4 Where modules are designed to be delivered independently of a programme, for example as a CPD programme Stage 2 approval is required.

 

Stage 1

99. When considering a new/amended module proposal the FLTC needs to be satisfied that the proposed module is and/or continues to be:

a) Designed robustly with appropriate learning outcomes that are mapped against SCQF and/or external accreditation requirements, suitability for the programme, methods for delivery and assessment

b) The use of learning technology and other resources has been considered with best practice embedded in the module design

c) Employability and student achievement of the graduate attributes has been included in the module design (where appropriate)

d) work-based learning meets the requirements of UKBA. In order to comply with UKBA requirements, a programme should contain no more than 50% work based learning (except where there are specific professional body requirements)

e) academic staff and other resources are available

f) Due consideration has been given to accessibility and inclusion and the module designed accordingly

100. The following decisions are available to the FLTC on consideration of the module proposal:

a) Approve

b) Referred – the proposal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required. The proposal will be considered again on resubmission to FLTC

c) Reject – the proposal will not be considered further at that time

 

Review and Develop

101. This phase will only apply if the FLTC refers their decision when considering a new module/amendment. The programme team should ensure that they provide all requested information and full responses to any questions raised prior to submission of the updated withdrawal to the next FLTC.

102. Following approval the new module/amendment the form and module descriptor should be submitted to programmebusiness@stir.ac.uk for recording and dissemination. All updated Programme Specifications for programmes impacted by this change should be submitted alongside the new module/amendment.

Process for the Approval of a Module Withdrawal

103. The process for withdrawing modules5 is owned by faculties and should be considered within the context of both the University Strategic Plan and the faculty annual plan as well as any relevant regulations or policy that guide and support the withdrawal of degree programmes.

104. All joint modules are owned by one nominated faculty and this faculty should lead the module withdrawal submission. Any subsequent programme amendments will require approval by both or all involved faculties to ensure full consideration of the partnership.

105. Engagement with a range of co-producers will support the development of a complete, comprehensive and robust proposals. This will support those responsible for approving the module withdrawal to make an informed decision. (See 36 - 40)

106. The withdrawal of postgraduate modules should be discussed with Stirling Graduate School at an early stage of consideration.

107. Forms for the module withdrawal process are available here (forms ARO 035a, ARO 035d).

108. The module withdrawals should be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching (ADLT). The following should be considered by the ADLT when reviewing the withdrawal;

a) What is the overall aim of the withdrawal?

i) Does this withdrawal support the achievement of the faculty annual plan?

b) Has impact of the withdrawal on current students been considered?

c) Has the impact of withdrawal on offer holders/applicants been considered?

d) Has the Competition and Markets Authority Guidance been taken into account?

e) Have any impacts beyond the Faculty been fully discussed and considered?

f) Have student views been taken into account?

g) Have external views, e.g. those of employers or external examiners been taken into account?

h) If the withdrawal is to postgraduate programme has the Stirling Graduate School (SGS) been engaged?

These areas are not exclusive and further areas of consideration may be identified by the ADLT and/or faculty

109. ADLTs are to coordinate with other ADLTs across the institution to identify potential impact to the portfolio or approval pipelines.

110. The following decisions are available to the ADLT on consideration of the withdrawal:

a) Approve – the withdrawal moves to Stage 1

b) Referred – the withdrawal requires further information or development and will be reviewed again on an agreed date

c) Reject – the withdrawal will not be considered further at that time

The process for the withdrawal of a module should not be used to address short time changes to a modules availability as a result of low student sign up or changes to the academic teaching team. These changes should be referred to the Student Programmes team studentprogrammes@stir.ac.uk in the first instance.

 

Stage 1

111. The final module withdrawal proposal form must include:

a) A full description of the background, context and rationale for the module withdrawal, including alignment with the faculty annual plan and University strategic plan

b) An outline of the impact on current students, applicants or offer holders and how the impact of the withdrawal of the module will be ameliorated

c) Any information regarding relevant accreditations impacted by the withdrawal and how this will be managed

d) Information regarding relevant rankings/surveys impacted by the withdrawal

e) Consideration of the resource implications of the withdrawal including teaching resource, and finances

f) Evidence of the involvement of students in the development of the withdrawal

g) Evidence of the involvement of external experts and advisors in the development of the withdrawal

112. Once fully developed the module coordinator/Programme Director will submit the withdrawal for consideration by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee (FLTC).

113. When considering a proposed withdrawal the FLTC needs to be satisfied that:

a) The rationale for the withdrawal is robust with appropriate arrangements in place to reduce the impact on remaining programmes/modules and/or current students/applicants/offer holders

b) Quality, systems and regulatory requirements have been addressed

c)The withdrawal has received business case approval from the Faculty Executive (if there are resource implications)

114. The following decisions are available to the FLTC on consideration of the programme withdrawal:

a) Approve

b) Referred – the withdrawal is not approved and specific questions/amendments are asked, or required, of the programme team. The withdrawal will be considered again on resubmission to FLTC

c) Reject – the withdrawal will not be considered further at that time

 

Review and Develop

115. This stage will only apply if the FLTC refers their decision when considering a withdrawal. The programme team should ensure that they provide all requested information and full responses to any questions raised prior to submission of the updated withdrawal to the next FLTC.

116. Following approval the withdrawn module form should be submitted to programmebusiness@stir.ac.uk for recording and dissemination. All updated Programme Specifications for programmes impacted by this change should be submitted alongside the approved withdrawal.

Programme Monitoring and Review

117. All programmes are monitored and reviewed in line with the University’s institution-led review arrangements to ensure appropriate quality assurance and enhancement. More information about institution-led review can be found here.

118. On an annual basis, faculties and the University review the portfolio of taught programmes in relation to their performance within the portfolio. This review considers areas such as recruitment, admissions, progression and graduation of students. In particular new taught postgraduate programmes are reviewed by SGS three years following approval.  Where a programme is not demonstrating its required contribution within the University’s academic portfolio, institutional consideration may be given to its withdrawal.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon