Academic Manual


Section 1: Introduction

Published for 2023-24

1.1 Purposes1.3 Key to Abbreviations
1.2 Reference Points 

1.The University College London Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) defines the underpinning structures of all Programmes leading to taught and research Qualifications at UCL. 
2.All UCL Qualifications and Programmes of Study must be aligned with the Qualifications and Credit Framework. 
3.The QCF is a constituent part of the UCL Academic Manual which forms the basis of the contract between students and UCL. 

1.1 Purposes

1.The main purposes of the QCF are:
 i)To promote a shared and common understanding of UCL Qualifications
 ii)To promote consistency in the use of Qualifications and credit across UCL faculties and departments
 iii)To provide a reference point for setting and assessing academic standards when designing, approving, monitoring and reviewing Programmes of Study and Modules
 iv)To ensure that UCL Qualifications are of an academic standard at least consistent with the standards referred to in the UK Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
 v)To communicate to employers, schools, parents, prospective students, Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) and other stakeholders the achievements represented by the Qualifications of UCL
 iv)To inform international comparability of academic standards. 

1.2 Reference Points 

1.The Qualifications and Credit Framework is drafted with reference to the following:
 i)The Office for Students regulatory framework for higher education in England.
 ii)The UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
 iii)The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (FHEQ)
 iv)The Higher Education Credit Framework for England: Guidance on Academic Credit Arrangements in Higher Education in England 
 v)The Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (FQ-EHEA) 
 vi)The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) under the Bologna Declaration
 vii)The QAA Degree characteristics statements, including the Doctoral Degree Characteristics, the Masters Degree Characteristics and the Foundation Degree Characteristics
 viii)The requirements of Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) associated with particular Programmes of Study, some of which grant a licence to practise.

1.3 Key to Abbreviations

Key to Abbreviations


Accredited Prior Learning


European Credit Transfer System


Experiential Prior Learning


Further Education


The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies


Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area


Full Time Equivalent


Higher Education


Higher Education Institution


Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body


Quality Assurance Agency


Qualifications and Credit Framework


Qualified Teacher Status


The Recognition of Prior Learning

 See also Section 2: The Qualifications of UCL for Qualification abbreviations.