Programme Approval

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2 Programme Approval

1. New taught programmes are approved by the Education Committee under powers delegated from the Academic Board. The Education Committee is advised by the Programme and Module Approval Panel (PMAP).
2. PMAP also advises the Research Degrees Committee on the approval of taught components of new research programmes.
3. Programme approval takes place in two stages: Outline Approval, which is granted by the relevant Faculty Teaching Committees; Final Approval, which is granted by the Education Committee or Research Degrees Committee.

2.1 Approval Process

1.  The Programme Approval Diagram below describes the approval path for a new taught programme.
  Outline Approval
  Outline Approval Flow Chart
2.
Programmes may be advertised in limited way ‘subject to approval’ following Outline Approval and additional development work is undertaken to provide the documentation for the PIQ2, and new modules are developed.
  Final Approval
  Final Approval Flow Chart
3.
In the case of taught elements of research degrees, PMAP’s recommendation is forwarded to Research Degrees Committee (RDC) for approval.

2.2 Information Required

1.  The forms PIQ1, for Outline Approval, and PIQ2, for Final Approval, show the information required for programme approval. A summary of the requirements at each stage is provided below:
    PIQ1 PIQ2
  Named Roles Initiator, programme director, External Scrutineer (if known), other nominees Initiator, programme director, External Scrutineer, other nominees
  Structure

Proposed start date

Location(s), level(s), mode(s) of study

Award title(s) and interim award(s), including proposed routes/pathways

Any programme specific entry requirements

New modules proposed (indicative titles, 50 words max description per module)

Existing modules (indicative list)

Programme Definition (in format for inclusion in student handbook)

Programme Diet

New modules (UPC/GPC form)

  Description

Programme Description (c. 500 words)

Strategic fit (with UCL 2034, Education Strategy, Faculty and Department strategies, Connected Curriculum; c. 250 words)

Confirmation of enclosures and processes completed with note on changes made following PIQ1 (including responses to recommendations)

Programme Description (c. 1,000 words)

Strategic fit (with UCL 2034, Education Strategy, Faculty and Department strategies, Connected Curriculum; c. 500 words)

  Internal Partnerships Description of intent to make use of existing modules, and other internal partnerships with evidence of approaches made to module owners Documented confirmation of approval to make use of existing modules, and other internal partnerships
  External Partnerships (essential if any partnership activity envisaged) Description of any proposed Academic Partnership

Academic Partnership Proposal form

Checklists: risks and responsibilities; due diligence; site visit checklist

APRG approval (to be granted in advance of programme approval)

Draft Memorandum of Agreement with partner

  Business case

Market research

Programme income and expenditure, including fee levels

Student number projections

Note on updates following Outline Approval, if appropriate

Additional details in cases of variation from Outline Approval stage for Dean’s consideration

  Externality Statement on externality to date, and proposed externality in future development

Statement on externality used in development

External Scrutineer’s report

PSRB report, if appropriate

Note on engagement with Subject Benchmark Statements, Qualification Characteristics

  Sign-off

Department TC; Head of Department; Faculty Dean; Faculty TC

With recommendations as appropriate


Department TC; Head of Department; Faculty Dean; Faculty TC; PMAP; EdCom
2.  MRes proposals require a completed PIQ supplement form in addition to the PIQ.

2.3 Roles and Responsibilities

1. The Roles and Responsibilities chart describes the actions required by the relevant parties at Outline and Full Approval.
  Role Outline Approval
Final Approval
  Programme initiator

Produce PIQ1;

liaise with Faculty Tutor on process

Produce PIQ2 taking into account feedback from Outline Approval stage and External Scrutineer;

attend PMAP

  External Scrutineer Advise programme developer (optional, though recommended) Provide critical commentary on the proposal
  Faculty Dean

Sign-off (with/without recommendations) or reject PIQ1 on basis of: 1, proposal’s fit with Faculty strategy;

2, financial viability;

3, if proposal is in Faculty plan (confirmation required from Planning in cases where student numbers not agreed in advance)

Advise the Faculty Teaching Committee to sign-off or reject PIQ2 on the basis that proposal still valid and (as appropriate) recommendations have been acted upon
  Faculty Tutor Advise programme initiator, Dean and FTC

Advise programme initiator, Dean, FTC;

attend PMAP

  Department Teaching Committee Review proposal and confirm endorsement before forwarding to Faculty Tutor for FTC Review proposal and confirm endorsement before forwarding to Faculty Tutor for FTC
  Faculty Teaching Committee Review proposal and confirm approval before forwarding to PMAP Secretary Review proposal and confirm endorsement before forwarding to PMAP Secretary
  School Finance Director Advise the Dean to sign-off (with/without recommendations) or reject PIQ1 on basis of proposal’s financial viability Advise the Dean on the basis of updated information following Outline Approval stage (if necessary)
  Planning Team Advise Dean in cases where proposal is not already within Faculty plan No role at this stage
  PMAP Members No role at this stage Scrutinise PIQ2 and confirm that the programme approval regulations have been followed and that the programme is fit for the UCL portfolio
  PMAP Secretary Record proposals receiving Outline Approval and initiate actions with central services Record proposals receiving Final Approval on basis of PMAP recommendation and initiate actions with central services
  Central services Receive Outline Approval-confirmed proposals and initiate local actions (e.g. marketing) Receive Final Approval-confirmed proposals and initiate local actions (e.g. admissions)

2.
Faculties and Departments may adopt local practices such as the involvement of additional committees or the Vice-Dean(s) Education. However, PMAP will continue to require sign-off from the named individuals and groups as listed in the PIQ forms.
 3. Queries regarding roles and responsibilities should be directed to Academic Services (academicservices@ucl.ac.uk).

2.4 Timelines

1.  For marketing of programmes to be given the best opportunity to attract the highest quality students, and for UCL to uphold its responsibilities with respect to the Competition and Markets Authority guidance and relevant legislation, the following deadlines are essential:
  i)

For undergraduate programmes:

Outline Approval must be achieved not later than November of the calendar year two years prior to the intended start of a programme (22 months in advance of a September start).

  ii) 

For postgraduate programmes:

Outline Approval must be achieved not later than the end of June in the year prior to the intended start of a programme (15 months in advance of a September start).

  iii) 

For all programmes:

Final Approval must be secured not later than the end of February preceding the first admission of students.

2.
While these are the very latest deadlines, programme initiators should be encouraged to begin work on Outline Approval much earlier to give sufficient time for: effective competition/market appraisal (both within, to avoid cannibalisation, and outside of UCL); development and approval of the business case; obtaining Faculty approval.
 3. Undergraduate programmes can only be advertised effectively through UCAS if Final Approval is obtained 22 months prior to the intended programme start.
 4. Programme initiators should also note the Annual Academic Review deadlines when developing new programmes.
 5. Programme initiators should note that in order to be considered by PMAP new programme proposals at Final Approval Stage (PIQ 2) must be submitted not less than 10 working days in advance of a meeting. Submissions received later than 10 working days in advance of a meeting will be considered at a subsequent meeting of the Panel.
  Term Date of meeting
Deadline
  One Monday 12 September 2016, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Wednesday 31 August 2016 at 5.00pm
   One Thursday 17 November 2016, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Monday 7 November 2016 at 5.00pm
   Two Thursday 9 February 2017, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Monday 30 January 2017 at 5.00pm
   Two Monday 3 April 2017, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Wednesday 22 March 2017 at 5.00pm
   Three Monday 22 May 2017, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Wednesday 10 May 2017 at 5.00pm
   Three Monday 3 July 2017, 2.00pm - 4.00pm Wednesday 21 June 2017 at 5.00pm 

2.5 Good Practice in Programme Design

1. 

There is extensive advice and guidance available to initiators of programmes and those involved in development and approval. The key resources are: 

2.  Programme initiators are also expected to engage with the good practice guide for market research.
 3. Further advice and support can also be obtained from Academic Services (academicservices@ucl.ac.uk).