Programme Management

1 Programme Committees

1.1 Each programme of study will have a Programme Committee, operating with terms of reference and composition as set out 1.2 and 1.3 below. In the interests of efficient and effective operation, and with the approval of the relevant College/UDOL Quality Enhancement Committee, two or more closely related programmes may have a single Programme Committee, or a small programme be attached to a larger, cognate programme and it’s Programme Committee. Where it is compatible with the proper management of academic business, the University would encourage such economy of operation.

1.2 Terms of Reference

The primary responsibility of programme committees is to maintain oversight of the quality of student learning opportunities; they also contribute to the management of the programme(s) for which they are responsible. Programme committees ensure the implementation of Academic Board’s policies and procedures, promote the development and enhancement of programmes, and provide for their monitoring and evaluation. Programme committees are accountable to College/UDOL Quality Enhancement Committees.

Programme committees have the authority to exercise the following powers:

i. Agree arrangements for and oversee the monitoring and evaluation of their programmes, in accordance with the procedures of Academic Board;

ii. Consider and approve the programme annual monitoring reports;

They are expected to undertake the following duties and responsibilities:

i. Ensure that the policies and procedures of Academic Board are appropriately reflected in the organisation and delivery of their programmes;

ii. Advise programme leaders and other responsible managers on the effective management and operation of programmes, including any collaborative provision associated with these programmes;

iii. Monitor the delivery and assessment of individual modules within their programmes;

iv. Maintain an overview of teaching and learning strategies and promote their development;

v. Advise the Dean of College/Director of UDOL or other appropriate senior managers on the resources available to their programmes;

vi. Evaluate and make recommendations on the guidance and counselling available to students

vii. Consider and recommend improvements to their programmes, whether in accordance with the terms of their validation or by formally proposing modifications to them;

viii. Promote identification with their programmes by staff and students and an ethos of shared endeavour in their maintenance and improvement.

ix. Undertake their responsibilities in an ethical manner, and specifically, seek to ensure respect for equal opportunities and the promotion of and a commitment to the University’s legal obligations under the discrimination legislation.

x. Make External Examiners' annual reports available in full to students, with the sole exception of any confidential report made directly, and separately, to the Vice Chancellor.

1.3 Composition

The composition of a programme committee may vary, by agreement of the relevant College/UDOL Quality Enhancement Committee (QEC), according to the size and nature of the programmes. Its core members will normally be as follows:

  • Chair (normally the Programme Leader)
  • Module leaders
  • Other staff with responsibilities for the management and support of the programme. This should include members of the College support team and learning support staff.
  • A staff representative from each collaborative partner
  • All elected Student Programme Representatives
  • At least one Student Programme Representative from each collaborative partner
  • Officer

Rights of attendance:

  • The Dean of College (or nominee)
  • The College Lead in Quality Enhancement
  • The Head of Department (or nominee)

2 Programme Handbook Information for Students

2.1 Each programme will produce a Programme Handbook for students at the start of each academic year.

2.2 Core Contents:

The Programme Handbook aims to provide students with information related to their programme of study and Department/College and University facilities. It should complement the information provided in the Programme Specification. Colleges will wish to design their Programme Handbooks in a way most appropriate to the local context and so the format of the Handbook is left for Colleges to decide. It should be written in a transparent student friendly manner with any acronyms explained. However, there is a core of contents that all handbooks should provide:

i. An introduction and general welcome to the Programme, Department/College and University;

ii. The structure of the programme;

iii. Summaries of module contents or full details if not to be contained in separate Module Handbooks;

iv. Identification of and introduction to the teaching team;

v. Module assessment criteria or indication of the location of assessment criteria in, for example, module handbooks and/or assessment briefs;

vi. A link to an Assessment Schedule

vii. Programme Calendar (including key dates) and timetable;

viii. Advice and guidance relating to plagiarism and referencing

Student support and guidance arrangements (academic, pastoral and administrative) e.g. where to go for services/help;

ix. Quality assurance with particular reference to student feedback mechanisms e.g. student representatives, programme committees and evaluation;

x. Include the name, position and institution of the External Examiners in module and/or the programme handbook and make it clear that it is inappropriate for students to make direct contact with External Examiners.

xi. Clear guidance should be provided to students who are asked to meet with an External Examiner about the purpose of that meeting.

xii. Links to sources of additional information e.g. 3Rs, Student Handbook. It is vital that students’ attention is drawn to what is available elsewhere particularly regarding appeals and complaints, and the existence of central support services e.g. student services, careers etc;

xiii. Links to the Assessment Regulations appropriate to the programme i.e. HND/C, Foundation Degree, undergraduate or postgraduate framework;

xiv. The Programme Specification (as a link or as an appendix to the Programme Handbook);

xv. Response to student feedback.

Programmes will wish to agree locally on any additional content:

i. Study skills advice

ii. Arrangements for independent study;

iii. Professional body requirements;

iv. Work placement information;

v. Any other information relevant to the programme.

2.3 Provision to Students:

Colleges will wish to decide the most appropriate and efficient means of making handbooks available to students and where possible web access should be encouraged. It is important, however, to ensure that equivalence of access is provided to all students regardless of their nature and location. Consideration needs to be given therefore to students with disabilities, those on distributed learning programmes as well as those on programmes delivered wholly or in part by collaborative partners.

2.4 Programme Handbooks in collaborative provision:

The information above applies equally to Handbooks prepared by collaborative partners, whilst appreciating that these will need to be contextualised to meet local needs. Handbooks for collaborative programmes are approved by the Programme Leader/Project Manager to ensure they meet University requirements and, where there is an associate home programme, that there is appropriate comparability of content. Where handbooks are provided to students in a language other than English, then approval is still required and the necessary translation arrangement should be made in line with the requirements of the Translation Policy.