[Note: 'Programme' refers to a named postgraduate or undergraduate award of the
University which is part of the University Qualifications Framework]
Details on the process of programme re-approval can also be accessed via this page
Summary of the programme approval process
All programmes at Glasgow Caledonian University are subject to a rigorous approval process. The full process is described in Section 3 of the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Handbook. The process involves three distinct stages: the initial approval to proceed; the production of programme documentation and consideration of the proposal by an approval panel; action to address the requirements and recommendations of the panel.
Stage 1: initial approval to proceed
A concept identification process should take place on an annual basis within Schools for programmes which will be developed in the following academic session. Concept papers should be considered and approved by the School Board, before being forwarded to the Academic Policy Committee. Concept papers should be considered and approved by APC no later than the end of Trimester B in the academic session the concept is first identitifed.
Following approval of the concept detailed development of the proposed programme can begin in the School. A Programme Development Board will be established to do this and to complete the Academic and Business Case. The Academic Case should be approved by the School Board and then submitted (by the School) to the relevant University Executive member with line management responsiblity for authorisation. Following authorisation the Academic Case should then be forwarded to the Quality Office to facilitate the next stage of the approval process byt the Academic Policy Committee. The Academic Case must be approved by the Academic Policy Committee no later than the end of Trimester A of the next academic session.
Stage 2: production of programme documentation and consideration of the proposal by an approval panel
The Programme Development Board subsequently produces a standard set of documentation, including a programme specification for consideration by a Programme Approval Panel.
The programme specification sets out the intended learning outcomes, cross referred to relevant subject benchmark statements and professional and statutory body requirements where appropriate.
The Panel consists of internal peers and normally at least two external experts, typically an academic and a representative of the profession most closely related to the programme.
A programme approval event must be held no later than mid-Trimester B for launch in the following academic session.
The Panel meets with the Development Board for a dialogue usually over the course of a complete working day and produces a conclusion recommending to the University approval of the programme subsequent to either requirements (which must be addressed before the programme can commence) and recommendations (which the panel feel should be given further consideration).
The panel also identifies any areas of good practice which have been identified so that they can be disseminated across the University.
Stage 3: action to address the requirements and recommendations of the panel
The Programme Team produces a response to the requirements and recommendations of the Approval Panel and amends the programme documentation as required. The response is considered together with the conclusions of the Approval Panel by the Learning and Teaching Subcommittee (LTSC) on behalf of the University Senate. If LTSC is content that the requirements and recommendations of the Panel have been met the programme is approved.
Approved programmes must be re-approved over a five year cycle. The re-approval process is essentially identical to the approval process described above, with the omission of the concept identification process and the requirement to produce an Academic Case.
The Learning and Teaching Subcommittee receives an annual overview report on the approval and re-approval process which highlights any patterns which have emerged and also consolidates the good practice found by panels.
Full details of the process and procedures for programme approval can be found in Section 3 of the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Handbook.
This section also includes the following key documents:
- Template for Concept Paper
- Academic Case Proforma
- Guidelines for completion of Academic Case
- Timeline for Programme Approval Process
- Guidelines on Programme Approval Documentation and the Updating of Approved Programme Documentation
- Programme Handbooks
- Academic Curriculum Vitae Template
- Process for Initial Development of New Programmes
- Flowchart of Programme Approval Process
- Approval of programmes involving flexible and distributed learning
- Guidelines for the internationalisation of the curriculum
Other useful links:
GCU Qualifications Framework
Programme Specification Pro-forma
QAA Subject Benchmark Statements
The framework for qualifications of
higher education institutions in Scotland