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/Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee, Programme Committees are grouped together into cognate subjects within Discipline Areas.

1.2 Terms of Reference

The purpose of the Committee

The purpose of the committee is to ensure that academic standards and quality are secure, effectively maintained and enhanced and to assure the College Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee (CQAEC) of alignment and compliance with University quality assurance and enhancement policies and procedures and the requirements of regulatory and licensing bodies. These include for example, the Office for Students (OfS)[1], Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), external licensing bodies and Professional, Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB).  

The Committee is expected to undertake the following duties and responsibilities for Programmes and Awards within the remit of this Committee.

i. Assure CQAEC of the effective maintenance and enhancement of academic standards and quality at Programme level and provide assurance of ongoing alignment and compliance with the Office for Students (OfS) conditions of registration that relate to standards and quality, ESFA and Ofsted, external licencing bodies and PSRBs1 for Programmes and Awards within the remit of this

ii. Monitor and maintain effective arrangements to ensure that the standards of our awards in partnership with other organisations are credible and secure, irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them secure, irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them2.

iii. Monitor the implementation of University quality assurance and enhancement policies and procedures that relate to OfS conditions of registration (standards and quality), the QAA quality code expectations and core practices, ESFA, Ofsted, external licencing bodies and PSRBs3.

iv. To notify CQAEC of risks associated with compliance in respect to OfS conditions of registration (standards and quality), ESFA, Ofsted, external licensing bodies and PSRBs4.

v. To notify CQAEC of and monitor reportable events to the OfS relating to standards and quality.

vi. Assure CQAEC that the Committee is maintaining effective oversight and taking appropriate action in response to monitoring Module and Programme data, and evidence and ISMs, which relates to meeting the OfS conditions of registration on standards and quality, ESFA, Ofsted, external licensing bodies and PSRBs5. 

vii. To maintain and enhance the learning and teaching culture of programmes, ensuring that student views are appropriately and consistently represented in discussions about their academic experience in relation to programme provision. 

viii. To provide direction to programmes on the implementation of University strategies and frameworks relating to learning, teaching and assessment and to consider any other proposals or issues relating to learning and teaching matters.

ix. To monitor, evaluate and co-ordinate programme based responses to the University’s performance on ISMs, TEF metrics and other student outcome metrics including but not limited to, awarding gaps, non-progression and non-completion rates, degree outcomes and student employment outcomes and NSS. Progress against actions will be reported at the CQAEC.

x. To identify and embed, at programme level, best practice in learning, teaching and assessment activities which deliver a high-quality student learning and teaching experience, promoting and disseminating good practice and innovation within the College and across the wider University.

xi. Assure CQAEC that programmes and Awards are audit ready.

xii. To act in an ethical manner, and specifically, seek to ensure in its operation, respect for equality and diversity (and its promotion) and a commitment to the University’s legal obligations under the equality legislation.

[1] OfS conditions of registration that relate to standards and quality

1 in respect to: 

a) Assure CQAEC that all academic awards/courses meet the relevant national frameworks, and that our awards at the point of qualification and over time are in line with sector-recognised standards.

b) Assure CQAEC that Courses are well-designed, provide a high-quality academic experience for all students and enable a student's achievement to be reliably assessed.

c) Assure CQAEC that from admission through to completion, all students are provided with the support they need in order to succeed in and benefit from higher education. 

2 Validation and Approval

3 Continual Monitoring, External Examiners, validation and approval

4 Risk based monitoring and evaluation (including Continual Monitoring, External Examiners and Quality and Standards Assessment)

5 Qualitative and quantitative data, metrics, contextual evidence and registers

1.3 Composition


The Committee has the power to co-opt additional members as deemed necessary. Maximum of two per academic year. 

Ex Officio

Chair of College Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee, College Registrar, Head of School, a College Student Part-time Officer, Programme Student Representatives as confirmed by the Union of Students, Centre for Quality Assurance Quality Manager, Learning and Teaching Associate Professor, Student Engagement and Enhancement representative.

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.