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Quality assurance

The University has in place a quality framework that allows us to manage, oversee and review our undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes. As a Faculty, we work closely with the University to ensure that this quality framework is applied to all of our teaching activities so that students can benefit from the best learning experience.

See below for how our quality framework is applied within FSE.

Programme Development and Review

New programme approval

To create a new programme, there are two stages that must be completed:

  1. The programme proposer(s) must gain approval in principle to develop a new programme from the Department.
  2.  The programme proposer(s) must work with the Department to detail and develop the programme’s structure and content.

To start the new programme request process, the programme proposer(s) should complete and submit a new programme proposal form. This should be submitted as early as possible to allow for the full development, approval and marketing of the programme.

In stage one, the programme proposer(s) should complete sections A-F of the new programme proposal form, which puts forward the business case for the programme. This should demonstrate how the proposed programme fits in strategically with the Department, the Faculty and the University.  Approval should be gained in the Department and School before being sent for approval at a Faculty level. It is finally approved by the Vice Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students (or delegated Associate Dean). 

The second stage is detailing the development and approval of the programme's structure and content. The programme proposer(s) should complete sections G-I of the new programme proposal form.

Further information about proposing a new programme, the approval process and programme design can be found on the Teaching, Learning and Student Development website.

If you need specific Faculty guidance please contact Freddie Gent.

Programme amendments

Amendments are split into two categories based on their significance and effect. Major amendments require approval by the Faculty, School and Department, while Minor amendments are approved by the School Head of Education and Department. To help you decide what type of amendment is required, you should follow the FSE interim amendment matrix.


A completed amendment form signed by the Department (Head of Department and Discipline Head of Education) along with supporting documentation (e.g. updated unit specification) should be submitted to your School Curriculum & Programmes team. SLATE records must also be updated as part of the programme amendment process. Please consult the process maps below for further guidance.

 


For Undergraduate and PGT with ATAS programmes, paperwork and supporting documentation should be submitted by 1st March preceding the academic year that the amendment is due to come into effect (e.g. 1st March 2024 for September 2024 implementation). The deadline for all other PGT programmes is 29th April preceding the academic year that the amendment is due to come into effect.

 

 

Please note: if amendments are for a later student intake but require approval before the start of the next recruitment cycle, you should submit for the deadlines of the upcoming academic year (e.g. 1st March 2024 for September 2025 undergraduate intake).

 

Late programme amendments

Late amendments are unlikely to be accepted and should only occur in the case of unforeseen circumstances that will significantly impact a programme. For late major amendments, special dispensation may need to be sought from the University and the Department will need to prove that they have considered all possible options before deciding that a major amendment is unavoidable.


Despite the need for urgency, late amendments are still subject to the full amendment process. This includes consultation with students.

Programme withdrawals and suspensions

The withdrawal or suspension of a programme requires completion of a Programme Withdrawal Form. The form highlights important stakeholders to consult during the process and, alongside the School Head of Education, must be signed by both the Discipline Head of Education and Head of Department.

For all withdrawals and suspensions, please consult the Faculty Planning and Special Projects Team (fiona.lynch@manchester.ac.uk) before submitting the withdrawal form. If the withdrawal affects students to whom offers have been made, it is crucial that you additionally seek advice from the Directorate of Legal Affairs. Please append the outcomes of your discussions with Planning and/or Legal Affairs to the completed programme withdrawal form.

Completed documentation should be submitted to your School’s Curriculum and Programmes team by the same deadlines provided above for programme amendments. The team will liaise with the Faculty to seek feedback and required approval(s). Once withdrawal or suspension of a programme is confirmed, the Faculty TLSE team will report to the University’s Teaching and Learning Delivery team, for onwards reporting to the Directorate of Legal Affairs and the OfS.

Further information is available via the University’s Withdrawal of a Programme webpages. If you require advice on any stage of the process, please contact Freddie Gent.

Annual monitoring and review

Departmental annual review

The University requires each Department to complete an annual review. It is the Faculty’s responsibility to ensure that annual monitoring is carried out effectively. It is expected that continuous monitoring will take place within the established programme-level committees throughout the year, and the Department annual review is the culmination of this exercise. The Faculty will subsequently provide a summary report of the reviews to the University.

Please also see the University's annual monitoring guidance.

University and Faculty annual review

The University considers each annual evaluation report prepared by the Faculty Teaching, Learning and Student Development team at a special annual Teaching and Learning Group (TLG) meeting each November or December. Annual themes are developed from the Faculty reports as part of the review process.

Following this meeting, the University produces a report summarising the discussion which records examples of innovative practice, and sets agreed actions in an action plan. The Teaching and Learning Group monitors how these actions are implemented across the University.

Periodic review

Periodic review is carried out once every five-to-six years by Departments with their collaborative partners (where applicable). The periodic review is based on dialogue between peers and should take learnings from the past, combined with an analysis of the current state of affairs and produce actions for the future.

Periodic review complements the ongoing nature of annual monitoring so there is a continual process of reflection and action planning.

The University is currently evaluating periodic reviews and as a result this activity is paused. Updates on this process will be published via our news section as soon as they are available.

Examination Boards

Moderation

Below is the approved practice to be followed with regard to Moderation Boards which will take place after each examination period.

 

External examiners

External examiners are appointed by the University based on recommendations made by the Departments. Appointing external examiners allows us to maintain nationally and internationally comparable standards in our undergraduate and postgraduate taught degree programmes.

See below for more information about external examiners:

* Further Information

Nomination Form - Note where it states 'Head of School' signature, this should be signed off by the Head of Department. Also note, you should complete the nomination form up to (but not including) 'Faculty Vice Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students) or nominee' signature; upon submission of your form and the nominee's CV the Faculty TLSE team will seek an Associate Dean's signature on your behalf.

Industrial Action

This guidance refers to actions that should be taken in the event of industrial action and/or action short of a strike. It does not overrule the University’s Degree Regulations and Teaching, Learning & Student Experience Policies.

Faculty Exam Board

FEBs will continue to operate during academic year 2023-2024. The University Examination Board will continue to ratify all outcomes that come via the FEB.

The Faculty Examination Board (FEB) has overall authority and responsibility within in relation to all teaching and learning, assessment, examination processes and ensuring that student support and communications have been carried out effectively. The FEB has authority to determine student grades for that academic year and determine all other matters relating to the progression and award, or non-award, of degrees. 

The FEB seeks assurances that Schools have identified and applied appropriate mitigation for any periods of industrial action during the academic year, completed all quality control checks and ensured that students have been treated fairly across assessment and progression activity. Schools will raise any concerns for the FEB’s attention and recommendations, along with good practice.

The provisional FEB dates for 2023-2024 are:

  • Semester One – Friday 1st March
  • Semester two – Friday 28th June (Graduating Students), Friday 5th July (Progressing Students)
  • Resit Examinations – TBC
  • PGT Final Awards – TBC

Other Guidance

Export Controls

Export controls are measures implemented by the UK and other governments to regulate the transfer of certain items across borders. The University and individual staff who undertake any export that falls under export controls legislation must be compliant with export controls requirements.

The University’s Regulatory Compliance Team must be notified in advance of such an export to ensure that Export Control Legislation and all applicable conditions are fully complied with. Please refer to the University Export Controls webpages for detailed information regarding export controls and the processes that need to be followed, noting the requirement to submit queries via an online form to the Regulatory team instead of using email.

Teaching material or the tools used to deliver teaching may be governed by national or international export control laws. Breaches of these laws may have serious consequences including unlimited fines and imprisonment. In some instances, individuals may be personally liable. Please refer to the University’s Teaching and Learning Export Control webpages and Export Control Guidance for Teaching and Learning to understand your responsibilities and obligations with respect to this legislation, both as an individual and as an employee of the University.

Colleagues should take particular care to note the recent changes to the Export Controls Order 2008 and ensure that this does not impact their teaching. FSE have also produced Export Controls Individual and Group Projects guidance regarding undergraduate and postgraduate taught individual and group projects.

Student interruptions

We assume, as a University, that students will complete their programme of study in one go, without interruptions. However, some students encounter difficulties during their studies which may require them to take time away from their course. Where it becomes clear that a student can’t continue with their studies, a temporary interruption may be granted by the Department.

You can find more information on the policies for the interruption of studies through the following links:

We are currently reviewing Faculty guidance. As soon as there are updates, we will change this page accordingly. If you have any questions in the interim, please contact Anest Williams.