Recent Changes to the Academic Manual 2017-18


New Core Programme Information for 2018-19

The Core Programme Information for 2018-19 has now been published. It provides guidelines for Departments when drafting student handbooks, Moodle sites etc.

In addition, two documents explaining assessment and feedback and the UK honours degree system have been developed by the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs). Departments are invited to include these in their student handbooks, Moodle sites etc. in their preferred format. The documents highlight where Departments might want to tailor the material to local practice.

Please note: The Academic Manual will be migrated to Drupal over the next few weeks in readiness for the 2018-19 academic session. As a result web addresses may be subject to change. The following documents are therefore being published without hyperlinks/ URLs so that Departments can get to work on their handbooks etc. As soon as the new web addresses are published, a fully-linked version will be made available.

If you have any questions about the Core Programme Information please contact

New Staff Guidance on Ramadan 2018

Ramadan falls during the main UCL examination and assessment periods in 2017 to 2019. Student Support and Wellbeing have published guidance for students and the UCL Religion and Belief Equality Policy also provides more information. The following is provided as additional guidance for staff on related regulatory matters:

Staff Guidance on Ramadan 2018

Changes to the Academic Manual 2017-18

Please also refer to the separate Late Summer Assessment Period briefing for information on the new regulations. Further information to help prepare for the new sitting will be published over the coming months.

The 2017-18 Academic Manual applies to all new and continuing UG, PGT and PGR students enrolling on the 2017-18 academic session (please note that the 2016-17 academic session for many Masters programmes extends beyond September 2017 - the 2016-17 Academic Manual will continue to apply to these students until they graduate or, for 2-year programmes, re-enrol on the 2017-18 academic session). 

This page summarises all of the key changes which have been made, including:

If you have any questions about the new regulations please contact the Academic Regulations team:

Suspensions of Regulations

Please note that all requests for Suspensions of Regulations or regulations which require a higher level of approval should be submitted to UCL Academic Policy and Quality Assurance at the following address:

Chapter 1: Admissions, Registration and Student Conduct Framework

1. New Deadlines for Module Selection (Section 4.7)

The process and deadlines by which students select and verify their module choices have been updated. Due to previous problems with examination timetable delays, students must now select all of their modules for their current academic year at the start of term 1, and verify these choices by the end of term 1. The examination timetable will be produced based on data at the end of term 1, so failure to adhere to the new deadlines will result in an incorrect timetable for candidates. For 2017/18 the deadlines will be as follows:

  • For September starters: 13 October for student module selection, 27 October for departmental approval, 6 December for student module verification, and 15 December for departments to make amendments in Portico.
  • For January starters: 15 January for student module selection, and 22 January for departmental approval.

Chapter 2: Qualifications and Credit Framework

The following substantive changes have been made:

  1. Addition of Master of Landscape Architecture qualification.
  2. Addition of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) as a sub-set of the Postgraduate Diploma.
  3. Addition of International Pre-Masters qualification.
  4. Discontinuation of the Diploma in Education Interim Qualification (PGCE programmes)
  5. ‘Calendar Year’ amended to 48 weeks x 37.5 hours = 1800 hours
  6. Clarification of Module and Course Unit definitions

Chapter 3: Programme and Module Approval Framework

There are no substantive changes for 2017/18. However, the Chapter has been updated to better reflect practice and provide clarification and further detail. Changes worth noting include:

  1. More scheduled meetings of PMAP in 2017/18 (3 per term rather than 2).
  2. Forms renamed to reflect their purpose (e.g. the PIQ1 is now an Outline Programme Proposal and UPCam/GPCam is now a Module Amendment Form) – see Section 10: Forms.
  3. New Section 11: Further Guidance created incorporating guidance which may be of use to staff proposing new programmes/modules and/or amendments.
  4. Recommended timeline for approvals added (see Section 11: Further Guidance).

Chapter 4: Assessment Framework for Taught Programmes

The following substantive changes have been made in response to feedback from staff, students and external examiners:

1.    New Late Summer Assessment Period

Please refer to the separate Late Summer Assessment Period briefing for information on the new regulations. Further information to help prepare for the new sitting will be published over the coming months.

2.    Second Marking

  1. Sampling regulations (7.6) clarified– individual student marks must not be changed unless the marks for all students in the assessment have been checked/ reviewed.
  2. Options for second-marking (7.6) clarified to avoid any ambiguity.

3.    Other Changes to the Assessment Regulations

  1. Chapter re-ordered to make it clearer and easier to use. Includes new sections for 2 Assessment Information for Students, 3 Module Assessment and 12 Interim Qualifications.
  2. Late Submission regulations (3.11) clarified to avoid any ambiguity.
  3. Examination Timetable regulations (4.2) amended to reflect new module selection and verification deadlines, helping UCL to improve the accuracy of the Exam Timetable.
  4. Special Examination Arrangements (4.3) deadlines added (approved by EdCom earlier in year for 2016-17 examination period).
  5. Smart Watches added to list of items prohibited in examination halls (4.5).
  6. British Sign Language added as an option under the Modern Foreign Language Requirements (9.3)
  7. Status of heritage languages in Modern Foreign Language Requirements (9.3) clarified.
  8. Interim Qualification regulations (12) on ‘Advertised Routes’ and eligibility for classification clarified.
  9. Alternate fields of study (12.3) clarified (only requires approval by the Vice-Provost (ES&A) if the field of study has not been used before).
  10. Reinstated Annex on Guidelines for e-Assessment (Annex 4.5.1).

Chapter 6: Quality Review Framework

1.    Revised Internal Quality Review procedures 

Last session, changes to the IQR process were approved by the Quality Review Sub-Committee (of Education Committee). Changes have been now made to the 2017-18 IQR Guidance to reflect the fact that (1) IQR now incorporates an element of curriculum review and so necessitates the additional involvement of an external subject specialist (2) the review will be run over 1.5 days instead of one as previously (3) Teams will be led by Vice-Deans (Education), Vice-Provosts, Pro-Provosts or Heads of Department and (4) the (greatly enhanced) summary of key findings, which is sent to the Department within fifteen working days, will now replace the previous, much longer, IQR report. Annexes 6.2.2 to 6.2.7 have also been amended to incorporate these key changes.

2.    External Examiner Updates 

  1. Criteria for Appointment - Link to HR Immigration webpage included to assist colleagues when arranging a Tier 5 visa / Permitted Paid Engagement letter.
  2. Nomination and Appointment (Further Guidance) – Academic Services is asking for some additional information to speed up the processing of nominations. Please provide the following about your proposed External Examiner: Title / Forename / Surname / Date of Birth / Email address / Title and code of Board / Faculty / Board Administrator’s name / Name of outgoing External Examiner / Start date (academic year).
  3. External Examiner expenses – Clarification added on the information required from departments submitting Inter Departmental Transfers through MyFinance, which should include: PG/UG Board / Board code / External Examiner’s UPI. Supporting documentation or receipts should be included.
  4. Annex 6.3.1 Main steps – Response to External Examiners’ Reports and Annex 6.3.2 Overview of External Examining Reporting Process - Please note the new deadline of one month for Exam Board Chairs to respond to the entire report on Portico.
  5. Annex 6.3.4 External Examiner Fee Payment and Expenses Claim Form - Includes a new section for External Examiner’s payment details and revised maximum limits for expenses claims.

3.    Enhanced Peer Dialogue Scheme 

The Peer Dialogue scheme has been enhanced to include a third option enabling staff to reflect on their educational practice through dialogue with students from outside of their programmes. The duty for departments to keep a simple record of peer dialogue engagements has also been clarified. This record should note the participants’ names, date(s) and option chosen and should be reported to the FTC (though they will not be used to monitor or report on staff performance, only to help FTCs gauge participation in the scheme).

Further information: UCL Arena:

4.    New Student Academic Representation policy 

The Student Academic Representation Steering Group has agreed a number of changes to Student Academic Representative and Staff Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) practices. A new section of Chapter 6 includes the following key changes:

  1. End of the StARS acronym - staff and student feedback suggested that the acronym caused some confusion and was off-putting to some students. This has been replaced by Student Academic Representatives.
  2. Introduction of Lead Department Representative role – a new leadership role to co-chair the SSCC and attend Departmental Teaching Committee meetings.
  3. Other levels of student representatives include Course Representatives for individual programmes of study and Research Student Representatives for PGR students.
  4. The Faculty StARs will now be known as Faculty Representatives and faculties should consider inviting them to membership of the Faculty Teaching Committee (FTC).
  5. There will be a single appointment round in October each year.
  6. SSCCs are now expected to meet at least three times a year and departments will be expected to have one SSCC - although a separate SSCC for PGT and/or PGR students may be established where the membership of the departmental SSCC would otherwise be too large.
  7. SSCCs will now be co-chaired by one student (the Lead Departmental Representative) and one staff member, responsible for agreeing each meeting’s agenda.

Further information: Simon To, UCLU Representation and Campaigns Manager:

5.    Revised Core Programme Information

The Core Programme Information for student handbooks, Moodle sites etc. has been updated for 2017-18.

URLs to the rest of the UCL website will be re-directed where necessary.

Chapter 7: Academic Partnerships Framework

The Framework has been updated to better reflect the nature of academic partnership activities and best practice that has been tested and implemented in the 2016/17 academic year. Key updates include:

  1. Section 2.2 New and updated definitions of the types of academic partnerships at UCL (including an updated Annex 7.1: Table Summarising Forms of Academic Partnerships at UCL).
  2. Section 2.6.6 – Confirmation on UCL’s decision not to engage with validating and franchising (incl. endorsing and accrediting) other institutions’ degree programmes.
  3. Section 2.3 Split-Site PhD – Definition updated and guidance provided (a Split-Site PhD is an arrangement whereby a PhD student’s subsidiary supervisor comes from an institution other than UCL and the student spends time working on their research at that institution).
  4. Sections 4.2-4.4 – Updated academic partnerships approval process to reflect current best practice, including updates on approval paperwork required for each proposal, clarification on when programme approval is required and an updated list of issues to consider when developing new academic partnerships.
  5. Section 4.5 – Clarification on the authorised signatories for UCL Memoranda of Agreement for academic partnerships.
  6. Section 4.6New and updated guidance on the ongoing monitoring, management and renewal of academic partnerships, including the main responsibilities of Academic Programme Directors for partnership programmes.
  7. Six new annexes added to formalise the principles under which i) placements (Annex 11), ii) study abroad and student exchange (Annex 12) and iii) intercollegiate activity (Annex 13) are managed at UCL. New forms have also been introduced for proposing a Split-Site PhD arrangement (Annex 10) and for the renewal of an academic partnership (Annex 7). An indicative sample agenda for Joint Management Committees (Annex 9) is also now available for Academic Programme Directors who are responsible for partnership programmes that require such a Committee.

Chapter 8: Derogations and Variations

The following derogations and variations have been updated for the new Late Summer Assessment Period:

  1. LLB and LLM
  2. Fine Art
  3. English
  4. Pharmacy
  5. MRes

The following derogations have been updated:

  1. MBBS students must be awarded an iBSc in order to progress to Year 4 of the MBBS.
  2. The Bartlett derogations on Non-Condonable modules and PhD Upgrade Panels have been updated.
  3. The IOE derogations have been rationalised into fewer documents to make them easier to use; there are new policies for Fitness to Practise and Professional Practice Panels; the marking scale for Graduate Certificates and Diplomas has been clarified and the MPhil/PhD word count has been aligned with the rest of UCL.

New Student Recruitment Section

A new Student Recruitment section has been added to the Academic Manual homepage. This includes a range of policies relating to the recruitment of students to UCL’s degree and affiliate programmes.

Research Degrees Guidance

A new Research Degrees Guidance link has been added to the Academic Manual homepage, and the section navigation has been improved.