Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

Section 1 - Introduction and Typology

An introduction to the Quality Assurance of Taught Collaborative Provision is provided in this section, along with a typology, to explain the different types of provision and arrangements.

  • Introduction
  • Description
  • Transnational Education Opportunities


The University is responsible for the academic standards of awards made in its name, irrespective of whether it delivers the programme itself or whether this is done in whole or part by another institution, i.e. through collaborative provision.   Collaborative provision may be defined as all arrangements in which the University makes an award (solely or jointly) or gives credit towards an award on the basis of education provided by another institution or institution in the UK or overseas.  Any collaborative activity that results in an award of the University of Manchester is subject to Institutional Approval by the Vice-President (Teaching, Learning and Students) for taught provision and the Vice-President (Research) for research provision.

The University acknowledges that there are a number of different arrangements all of which have different implications for the respective responsibilities of the University and the partner institution in relation to recruitment and selection, student registration and regulation, programme design and approval, programme delivery, the quality of the student learning experience, the standards of the credits/award, and for financial matters.  

The University will only consider collaboration with partner institutions which have:

  • An the overall academic standing of the prospective partner institution and Research standing for postgraduate research links;
  • A robustness of its overall quality control and assurance procedures at the institutional level;
  • A soundness of its quality management at all levels;
  • An adequacy of its overall administrative support for quality assurance at the institutional level;
  • An adequacy of its overall provision for academic and pastoral support and guidance and supervision arrangements for research students;
  • An adequacy of the overall learning support and infrastructure in relation to the ability to meet requirements for awards;
  • An adequacy of overall staffing in relation to the ability to meet requirements for awards;
  • Experience of delivering comparable programmes at a similar level, or is capable to delivering programmes at that level;
  • Where appropriate, it has an acceptable record of partnership with other institutions;
  • The prospective partner institution is financially stable;
  • The prospective partner institution can contract legally with it.

And, in the case of proposed overseas partnerships, the rationale for these must align with the University’s Internationalisation Strategy and follow the principles set out in the procedure and guidance for Transnational Education as well as:

  • The prospective partner institution has an understanding of the current practices of UK HE, e.g. in connection with external examining, assessment arrangements, and quality assurance arrangements;
  • Has the capacity to address differences in cultures and expectations between HE systems in such a way as to ensure that the requirements of the arrangement can be met;
  • That, if instruction and assessment is to be in a language other than English, it has the capacity to provide translation facilities to an appropriate standard.  For research degrees, the PhD thesis has to be submitted in English.

In addition, the University will only approve programmes taught in whole or partially in partner institutions which meet appropriate academic standards and which offer the learning opportunities and experiences necessary for students to attain those standards, negotiate arrangements for collaboration with partner institutions which will enable it to effectively discharge its responsibilities for the academic standards of awards.  The University also requires that these arrangements should be set out in the form of a legally binding agreement or contract, that will be monitored and reviewed periodically.  The University reserves the right to terminate the collaboration subject to safeguards for students.

In addition to those links that fall under the definition of collaborative activity, it is also useful to note that there may be other activities, not specifically mentioned here, that need careful consideration under this policy as there may be implied responsibility for standards.  For example the use of teaching space at another institution.

The purpose of this guidance document is to set out appropriate policies, procedures and requirements that will enable the University to fulfil its responsibilities for the standards of its collaborative provision.  Advice should always be sought from the Teaching and Learning Adviser (Collaborations) in the Teaching and Learning Delivery Team. 

Description of collaborative provision models

Joint Delivery

A Joint Delivery arrangement is one where one (or more) partner institutions provide teaching towards an award of the University of Manchester.  In such cases, the provision (or intellectual property) is owned by the University.

A jointly-delivered programme usually arises when the proposed partner does not have degree awarding powers.  The final award in this type of arrangement is an award of the University of Manchester and the University is accountable for the quality and standards of the provision.  The University will also be responsible for administering admissions, registration and other student related processes including the production of the final transcript and degree certificates.

The student experience in the partner institution should be, as far as possible, equivalent to that of a student undertaking the programme on the University of Manchester campus.  Policies and practices will be, and be promoted as being, the same as for Manchester-based students and students will be registered students of the University and the University rules and regulations will apply.

The extent of the partner involvement may vary considerably ranging from Marketing and recruitment, provision of student support and learning and teaching accommodation (including laboratories and workshops).

As the final award is a University of Manchester award, the University remains responsible for ensuring that output standards are equivalent to those for the same or a similar award for its own programmes.  

Joint Awards

A joint award is a programme of study (usually at PG level) which has been jointly developed by two (or more) international universities.  The two (or more) Degree-awarding institutions will collaborate to teach a programme, and the student may study in one or more of them. The student receives one award and one certificate, which carries the crests/logos of all participating universities.

In terms of the division of responsibilities, these arrangements are subject to individual negotiation.  However there has to be clarity in terms of responsibilities for recruitment and selection, the registration of the student, the regulations governing the student including complaints and appeals procedures, the approval of programme design and arrangements for delivery, responsibility for the quality of the student learning experience, and financial matters.

Appendix 3 to this guidance provides a checklist of items for consideration during the development of joint awards. 

Flying Faculty

The process by which the delivery of provision is usually solely by University of Manchester staff at a partner institution either in the UK or overseas.  ‘Flying faculty’ arrangements often require a level of support or services/facilities to be provided for students, by the partner institution, especially when University staff are not present at the delivery location. 

Such input from a partner institution needs to be carefully defined from the outset to determine the specific nature of the arrangement and what, if any, approval processes may be required in relation to local support and delivery arrangements.  The type of support required for ‘flying faculty’ delivery of University of Manchester provision may involve a partner institution making a contribution to teaching and assessment of students. 

Consortium Awards

The process by which two or more awarding institutions, collectively provide and deliver units on a programme of study.  Students are given the option to register at one of the HEIs within the consortium and on completion of the programme the student will receive an award from the HEI they chose to register with (i.e a single award from the registering Institution). 


The process by which the University judges that a programme developed and delivered by another institution is of an appropriate quality and standard to lead to a University award.

The partner institution is responsible for the recruitment and selection of students.  Students are normally registered at the partner institution and subject to its regulations in relation to discipline and complaints.  The partner institution is responsible for the design of the programme, learning resources, student support, for the quality of the student learning experience, and for financial matters.

The University is responsible for ensuring that the entry standards to the programme are fit for purpose, the design of the programme, arrangements for its delivery, and mechanisms for quality assurance and enhancement.

The University is also responsible for ensuring that the output standards of the award are equivalent to those for the same or a similar award for its own programmes.  As the University is the awarding body, students have access to its appeal procedures in the final stages, once they have exhausted the registering institution’s processes.  These students are 'associate students' of the University, registered with a partner institution and having limited access to University resources. 

Split-site and joint PhDs

A split-site PhD is one which leads to a University of Manchester award, and which involves a student undertaking a significant part of their research away from the University, at another organisation and under the supervision of a qualified member of staff at the partner institution.  A joint PhD differs from a split-site PhD in that, in addition to conducting research and receiving supervision both in the University and in a partner institution, the candidate receives a joint degree from both institutions. 

Progression (Guaranteed and Non-Guaranteed)

This is the process by which a qualification and/or credits from a programme of study undertaken at an approved partner institution is recognised as giving advanced standing for entry to programmes at the University.

The partner institution is responsible for the recruitment and selection of students; for the registration and regulation of students (including complaints and appeals procedures); for the design of the programme; for its delivery; for the quality of the student learning experience; for the standards of the credit/award; and for financial matters.

The University is responsible for ensuring that the output standards set and achieved by students are equivalent to those set and achieved by University students taking the programme and entering the same stage of their studies.

The University currently has two types of progression arrangements; the first is what is termed ‘guaranteed’ and this guarantees progression to the University and this brings with it quality and standards requirements similar to that of a validation arrangement.  The second ‘non-guaranteed’ does not guarantee progression to the University but allows the credits to be considered for advanced standing, through the usual admissions process. 


The process by which programmes of study owned by, and delivered at The University of Manchester, are made available for use by another institution or organisation for a fee, where no award is given by Manchester, and no accreditation or validation is done on behalf of Manchester.

A legal definition of licensing is; ‘the granting of permission to use intellectual property (IP) rights (such as copyright) under defined conditions.’ Licensing is different from assigning (selling). Licensing is classed by the University as commercialisation.

Licensing is ideally carried out on a non-exclusive basis, i.e. the University remains free to license the material to other parties in the future, and can continue to use the material for the University’s purposes.  UMIP (the University’s managing agent to advise on and facilitate the protection and commercialisation of IP) should be contacted and they will advise and assist with this.


It should be noted that collaborative arrangements may involve combinations of the above. So, for example, there may be a progression arrangement governing the first two years of a programme leading to a Diploma that is accepted for entry to the final year of study leading to an Honours degree. The final year may be delivered by the partner institution under an accreditation or validation agreement. In such hybrids, the responsibilities of the partners would still correspond to those described above, and be different in relation to the types of collaborative provision.

Please note that the University will not engage in the following types of collaboration nor is it currently considering the possibility of a Branch Campus:


A process by which a degree-awarding body agrees to authorise a delivery organisation to

deliver (and sometimes assess) part or all of one (or more) of its own approved programmes.

Dual/double or multiple awards

Arrangements where two or more awarding bodies together provide a single jointly delivered programme (or programmes) leading to separate awards (and separate certification) being granted by both, or all, of them.

Transnational Education Opportunities

One of the key strategies of the University’s Internationalisation Strategy is to ‘increase our off campus teaching and learning’.  It is expected that this will enhance the global reach of the University and provide quality teaching and learning to a greater proportion of the global society. However there are also potential risks to reputation inherent in some models of delivery.  TNE activity from UK HEI’s now exceeds traditional campus activity and is predicted to continue to grow at a rapid rate.  The University wishes to capitalise on this market demand and develop a substantial, sustainable revenue stream that is complementary to campus based core activities.

A major TNE opportunity for the University is to grow postgraduate provision delivered either direct or in partnership with other overseas institutions. The University is building capacity for on line programmes in partnership with Pearson with the launch of the first programmes in 2016.  However, in addition or as an extension there are opportunities for blended, off shore delivery.   


After all considerations, a proposed third target banding for TNE activity for the University is shown below and more detailed information can be provided where necessary.

Country UoM Student Recruitment Band UoM International Engagement Band British Council TNE Band
Band 1      
China 1 1 3
Malaysia 1 3 1
UAE 2 3 1
Band 2      
South Korea 2 1 2
Singapore 2 1 1
Hong Kong 2 1 1
Band 3      
Thailand 2 3 3
India 1 1 3
Brazil 3 1 4
Qatar 4 3 2
Indonesia 2 3 4
Turkey 3 3 4
Vietnam 3 3 4

 Popular Subject Areas for TNE activity

 Business and Management

  Healthcare Pharmacy Law
Engineering and Technology Computer Science Education Architecture
Medicine and Dentistry Nursing Mass Communications Biological Sciences