Academic Manual


Section 4: Approval of Short Courses

Published for 2021-22

4.1 Approval of new non-credit-bearing Short Courses4.2 Approval of new credit-bearing Short Courses

4.1 Approval of new non-credit-bearing Short Courses


All proposed new non-credit-bearing short courses (i.e. short courses, professional development (CPD) and executive education) must be submitted for approval by the relevant Department/Division and Faculty if either of the following apply:

i. The course is to require payment of a fee by participants; 
ii. The course is to result in the award of a UCL Certificate of Participation.

 New non-credit bearing Short Courses
2.Proposals for new non-credit-bearing Short Courses must be submitted using the Course Initiation Questionnaire (CIQ) accessed via Portico. The CIQ is located within the Curriculum Planner container, accessed via the 'Curricular Management' link on the Portico staff screen, and is available by selecting the ‘Create short course’ option.

Prior to completing a CIQ, course initiators should also discuss learning resource requirements with the library.

i. Course initiators of blended or fully online courses should also contact the UCLeXtend team in Digital Education (extend@ucl.ac.uk) or for advice and support read the UCL Short Course Resource Hub.
ii. Course initiators are also advised to consult the Library Teaching & Learning Support Section (library-tlss@ucl.ac.uk) for guidance regarding copyright and licensing issues. 

4.Course initiators should have considered and discussed the business case for the new proposed course or activity with their Head of Department.
5.Proposals for non-credit-bearing Short Courses that involve online or blended learning offerings on UCLeXtend will need to be reviewed by the UCL quality assurance peer-review team and signed off from a functional, educational, technological and legal perspective prior to going live. This review is also necessary to check that there are not any issues around unlicensed/copyright material.
6.Proposals should therefore be submitted in good time (i.e. at least four weeks prior to the go live date) to allow sufficient lead time for this review. NB Further information regarding the review process can be found in the UCLeXtend documentation.
7.Proposals for new non-credit-bearing Short Courses must be reviewed and approved at Departmental/Divisional and Faculty level. The online CIQ facilitates this process and allows comments and queries to be raised at all stages of the approval process.
8.Once a CIQ has been submitted, the record is locked and cannot be edited as it is now in the approval process. The relevant Head of Department/Division will receive an email informing them that a CIQ has been submitted and is awaiting their review and approval. Once Departmental/Division approval is granted, then approval by the relevant Faculty Tutor is required.
9.Heads of Department/Division and Faculty Tutors should aim to review and reach a decision on proposals for new non-credit-bearing Short Course and within 72 hours of submission of the CIQ. 
10.If the proposal is rejected at any stage, the course initiator will be notified and informed to make changes for resubmission.Once approved at Departmental/Divisional and Faculty level, the proposal will be moved from a planning record to a live short course in Portico.

Step 1: 
CIQ proposal submitted by course initiator

Step 2: 
Departmental/Division approval required

Step 3: 
Faculty approval required

Step 4: 
4.1: CIQ approved and course initiator is notified by email
4.2: CIQ is rejected and course initiator needs to act on the approvers comments for the CIQ to be approved
4.3: Blended and online courses will be notified of the next stage for UCLeXtend

 Information for approvers
 Approvers should:
11.Check if the business case (which includes both the market analysis and costing/pricing form) described in the CIQ proposal is feasible and sustainable. As a minimum, desk research into the market should be completed.
12.Ensure the CIQ proposal aligns with the wider remit of the institutional and Department/Division/Faculty’s agenda and strategic plans.
13.Evaluate the proposal in relation to the other related in the department/faculty and encourage a coordinated, collaborative and interdisciplinary environment around the related Short Courses in their faculty. Understand where this course fits into the faculty portfolio.
14.Ensure the course or activity design is well thought through, learning outcomes align with tasks, and that there are arrangements for obtaining learner feedback.
 Amendments to non-credit-bearing Short Courses

Amendments to any of the following details for non-credit-bearing Short Courses previously submitted and approved via the CIQ process will need to be submitted for Departmental/Divisional and Faculty approval: 

  • the parent Department/Faculty of the course or activity;
  • the course code;
  • the number of learning hours involved.

Amendments to the title of the course or activity which do not otherwise involve changes to any of the details listed above do not require Departmental/Divisional and Faculty approval. Course initiators should check if the new title is unique within UCL.


To make amendments to any previously approved non-credit-bearing Short Courses:

login to Portico
go to the ‘Curriculum Planner’ area and select ‘Amend Module or Short Course’ (third item).

17.Amendments will be considered for approval by the relevant Head of Department/Division and Faculty Tutor.

4.2 Approval of new credit-bearing Short Courses 


Credit-bearing Short Courses can be separated into the following categories:

i. Seats/places on modules forming part of existing UCL programmes that are ‘unbundled’ and offered as short course options, with or without assessment, for Short Course Learners to attend alongside UCL Students and UCL Affiliates;
ii. Standalone short courses that are either bespoke or derived from modules from UCL programmes and offered independently and exclusively to Short Course Learners outside the UCL teaching timetable. 

2.For new credit-bearing Short Courses falling into the category of 4.2.1.i above, it will not be necessary for the activity to be approved through the CIQ process, provided that approval of the module in question has already been confirmed through the process for approval of new programmes and modules described in Chapter 3 of the UCL Academic Manual: Programme and Module Approval Framework.
3.The CIQ for credit-bearing Short Courses is currently in development. This will in due course provide for the development and approval of new credit-bearing Short Courses falling into the category of 4.2.1.ii above.