Collaborative programme approval

Collaborative programmes have extra approval and review requirements, which will vary according to the type of arrangement being proposed and whether it is taught or research.

Collaborative provision involves the University working with an external partner, under the governance of a signed legal agreement, to offer educational opportunities for the award of credit. These arrangements are more complex in their structure than internal provision, and therefore follow different approval and review processes.  To gain approval, a collaborative programme must align with the University's strategic aims.

The University's International Office and Quality Assurance Team are responsible for facilitating the approval and review processes for collaborative arrangements. 

Taught programmes

For taught programmes, collaborative provision is a systematic collaborative arrangement for course provision with an external partner under which a student can gain:

  • entry to
  • advanced standing on, or
  • credit for

a taught programme or award of the University of Leeds.

Before starting to fill in approval forms, contact the Quality Assurance team. They will be able to help and guide you through the approval process.

Joint award PhD programmes

Under joint award PhD programmes, the University collaborates with another degree-awarding institution and students receive a single qualification, jointly awarded by both institutions.

A joint award PhD should provide an opportunity to:

  • develop international links
  • access to world class resources and research expertise
  • develop long-term research collaborations.

Before starting to fill in approval forms, contact the Postgraduate Research and Operations team. They will be able to help and guide you through the approval process.


Read full details of the planning, development and approval of new collaborative arrangements in:

Approval forms

The sections of the approval process that apply, and the approval forms, differ according to the type of arrangement and whether the programme is taught:

Part 1 forms the first step in any new proposal for a new collaborative arrangement. Part 1 allows the school, the faculty, and a senior officer of the University to authorise the proposal as being within the University’s strategic interests. The endorsements for taught and research programmes vary:

  • Any taught programme proposal requires endorsement from the relevant school and faculty Taught Student Education Committee(s).
  • A new research award collaboration must be endorsed by the **Graduate Board via the relevant Faculty Graduate School Committee.

Part 2 is a light-touch approval, for use only with articulation arrangements (formal agreements where advanced standing is granted to applicants who have successfully completed a specific part or whole of a named course or programme of study at a partner institution). This is used instead of part 3 and part 4.

Part 3 comprises three elements that prepare the legal and financial framework for a collaboration.

Part 4 is for taught awards and covers the arrangements through which the proposed collaboration will be managed, including quality assurance arrangements.

Part 5 is for a new research degree joint award and covers arrangements for managing the proposed collaboration.

Part 6 is an independent site visit. This is undertaken by a suitably qualified member of University staff with a degree of independence from the proposal. A site visitor will be appointed by the Collaborations and Partnerships Committee.

Approval forms for different types of arrangement
Proposal category (see the typology in the guidance)  Group A
 Group B
 Groups C and D
 Group E
   Forms Outline planning approval
Outline planning approval Part 1

 Yes  Yes  Yes
Full approval
School/faculty endorsement

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
Articulation approval
Part 2


Legal and financial
Part 3

 Yes Yes
Academic management for taught awards
Part 4

Academic management for research awards
Part 5

Independent site visit
Part 6

 Yes  Yes  Yes

University Register of Collaborative Provision

See the University Register of approved Collaborative Provision.