Subject Benchmark Statements

Academic Services contact for initial enquiries - Sandra Hinton

Subject benchmark statements describe the attributes, skills and capabilities that a graduate with an honours degree in a specific subject might be expected to have. Each statement has been written by a group of academics and other specialists (such as representatives from professional bodies, industry and commerce) from the subject area. The benchmark statements help to ensure that the standards of degree programmes across the UK meet an agreed level. Benchmark statements are not a national curriculum in a subject but are intended to make it easier to understand the broad standard required for a qualification in a specific programme of study.

For more information on subject benchmark statements please see the QAA website.

UCL uses these statements in a number of ways, including as a reference for writing programme specifications and for internal quality assurance purposes. When new benchmark statements are published, these are circulated by Officers to relevant academic staff for information. When benchmark statements are revised and drafts are issued for consultation, these are circulated to relevant academic staff for comment and discussion. Comments are then fed back to the QAA to inform the development of the final version.

In view of the variety and specialised nature of taught Masters programmes, QAA has not attempted to produce subject benchmark statements for postgraduate programmes except for Business and Management / MBAs. Instead, for the majority of Masters programmes, QAA has limited itself to issuing a generic 'Masters' descriptor' as part of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This descriptor provides a general summary of the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes that should be possessed by any holder of a Masters degree.