Teaching & Learning


Updated process for developing new PGT programmes

30 September 2020

PGT New Programme Development Process has been revised to increase likely approval and viability of high quality programmes.

Two adults with a laptop open in a meeting. Credit: Headway / Unsplash.com

UCL has launched an updated process for departments developing new PGT programmes, to be completed prior to the Programme and Module Approval Process (PMAP).

The careful planning and preparation undertaken prior to PMAP as part of this new approach will significantly increase the approval and viability of higher quality PGT programmes. The new process will result in staff focusing their time and effort to create attractive, in-demand and sustainable programmes that appeal to prospective students.

This new process, effective from the 2020-21 academic year, includes a number of updated features to support more robust planning:

  • market research planning documents and recommendations to ensure that ideas for new programmes are evaluated against potential market demand and interest;
  • a new institutional budget template for PGT programme business cases;
  • a highly recommended, interactive workshop on programme and module development led by the Arena Centre and co-led by CAM and Careers; and
  • a Probationary Review with Planning to be completed after three admissions cycles.

Collaborative process review

This process was developed by the PGT New Programme Development Working Group, led by Prof Nora Colton, UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Postgraduate Education), in collaboration with staff from the Office of the Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs) (OVPESA), UCL Arena, Careers, Finance, Communications and Marketing (CAM), UCL East, Programme and Module Approval Panel (PMAP), Student Registry Services (SRS), the UCL Planning Team, as well as representation from the Students’ Union.

Ensuring high quality, viable programmes

The new process will create innovative, sustainable, and attractive offerings at the PGT level that will enhance the programme’s chance of success.  

Supported by market research

Departments and Faculties will engage in thorough market research to ensure vigorous planning and market viability for the new programme through collaborative planning with CAM. The market research planning documents provide a framework for a structured discussion with the relevant CAM Business Partner plus lead Marketing & Comms contact within the Faculty, to identify the most suitable steps to establish market demand.

Accurately costed using new templates

The business case planning template will support Departments and Faculties to provide more accurate central costing. It features in-built central costings so that departments have a practical budget to plan their programmes. The template has been updated and agreed in partnership with Heads of Finance across all Faculties.

Post-approval quality assurance

Once programmes are approved by PMAP and launched, a quality assurance measure has been added to review and support new programmes after their third admissions cycle. This step, led by Planning, will include a Probationary Review form and discussion to confirm that the programme is sustainable or where it requires support to thrive.

Supported by staff development

UCL Arena, in partnership with CAM and Careers, delivers two half-day interactive workshops on New Programme and Module Development which are open to UCL staff developing new programmes.

By the end of the second session, programme teams will have completed all necessary documentation to proceed to PMAP. Departments will save time and resources by working directly with specialists to develop the materials necessary for successful programmes.

Upcoming workshops are advertised on our Events page.

Further information

For more information, see the the updated Academic Manual (Chapter 7): Approval of New Taught Programmes.

See the Chapter 7 annexes for relevant templates, forms and supporting information, including the Business case financial planning template/tool, Market Research – a good practice guide and a Probationary Review Form.

Image credit: Headway / Unsplash.com