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Internal Academic Advisers

The Internal Academic Adviser will be a member of the Faculty in which the programme will be based and is appointed to give feedback on the academic content of the programme/pathway documentation at appropriate points in the drafting stage.

They do not necessarily have to be senior colleagues or members of the committee overseeing the approval of the programme but in the first instance all endeavours should be made to appoint from outside of the home School where the programme will reside. 

Where it is not possible for the Internal Academic Advisor to be from a different School within the Faculty, it is permissible to engage a colleague from the home School providing that they are considered sufficiently independent and objective in the process, and not be directly involved in the delivery of the programme.  For example in this circumstance, the Internal Academic Advisor should be from a different academic subject area.

The following prompts are designed to provide guidance on the areas of the proposal for which feedback is required, as appropriate to the proposal.  Any concerns or issues that would prevent the internal adviser from recommending the proposal for approval should be discussed with the proposer so that the proposal can be amended appropriately and reconsidered by the adviser.
Please note that any issues or concerns arising from this process that the internal academic adviser believes requires the reconsideration of the approval in principle, should be notified to the Chair of the UG/PGT Committee and the Faculty Administrator.
Academic issues

  • Does the programme/pathway fit with the University /Faculty/School objectives?
  • Have external requirements been taken into account?
  • Does the proposed programme/pathway demonstrate academic coherence?
  • In your opinion is the programme/pathway, including its aims and intended learning outcomes, demonstrably at or above the stated level as determined by the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications?
  • Is progression through the programme/pathway appropriate and made explicit through the programme/pathway specification?
  • Are there any intermediate awards associated with the programme?  Have appropriate aims and intended learning outcomes been specified in the programme specification?
  • Is the structure of the programme consistent with the University of Manchester credit framework (multiples of 10 credits for UG and 15 credits for PGT; 15 or 20 credits for UMW PGT programmes)?

Teaching, learning and assessment

  • Are plans for the student learning experience and contact hours appropriate?
  • Is there sufficient diversity of teaching and learning methodology?
  • Are the explicit links between learning outcomes, teaching and learning methods and assessment made clear in the programme/pathway specification and do they match those in the course unit outlines?
  • Is the assessment regime appropriate and sufficiently diverse?  Please reflect on the assessment load across the programme.
  • Are the teaching, learning and assessment methods flexible enough that reasonable adjustments can be made to satisfy the needs of disabled students, specific learning difficulties or long term medical conditions?
  • If teaching is undertaken by staff external to the school or University, are appropriate measures in place for maintaining and supporting those members of staff and the students?
  • Have measures been taken to ensure plagiarism and impersonation are avoided?
  • Is there any eLearning in the programme?

If yes:

  • Does the proposal provide details of pilot schemes to test and revise eLearning methods?
  • Does the proposal include full details of how the programme/pathway is to be delivered?
  • Does the proposal describe adequate support mechanisms for eLearning?
  • Does the proposal consider how e-assessment will be conducted ie. be fair and avoid cheating?

If no: 

  • Are there any areas that could be developed for online learning or support?

Student Support

  • Are PDP schemes and student support systems addressed adequately?
  • Are students offered opportunities for representation regarding their programmes(s), eg on programme committees?
  • Are the needs for different types of student (part-time, disabled, overseas, distance learning) addressed (eg additional induction activities)?

Placement learning

  • Are the learning outcomes for the placement activity clearly defined, relevant to the programme and achievable within the context of a placement?
  • Are appropriate measures in place to assure the student experience and provide support whilst on placement?

Study Abroad

  • Is the study abroad integrated into the curriculum and does it enhance the overall learning experience?
  • Are the learning outcomes of the study abroad placement relevant to the programme, achievable and clearly defined in the programme specification?
  • If the period of study abroad is assessed are clear assessment strategies in place?

Programme/pathway management and student support

  • Are appropriate management structures in place?
  • Are appropriate management structures in place in any partner institutions/faculties/schools?

Good practice

  • Are there any examples of good practice and/or innovation described in the programme/pathway proposal that should be highlighted?

Further feedback
These prompts should not preclude the consideration of other issues arising from the documentation.