Taught programme amendment processes

There are different amendment processes depending on the scale of the change proposed. Major programme amendments are approved by the Programme Approval Group. Minor programme amendments are approved by the School Taught Student Education Committee and reported to the Faculty Taught Student Education Committee. 

Different types of programme amendment are described below.

Please speak to your Quality Assurance team (QAT) faculty contact at an early stage regarding programme amendments and implementation timescales. 

Major amendments

Major Programme Amendments are those that involve changes to the structure of a programme which have the potential to impact on the programme level learning outcomes and the programme title, i.e:

  1. Any changes to the structure of the programme via the removal and/or addition of compulsory modules. (Replacement compulsory modules, where these do not impact on programme level Learning Outcomes are not included)
  2. The withdrawal, addition or re-designation of optional modules as co-requisites or prerequisites (where such changes impact on a substantial number of optional modules - equating to 30% or more of the credit weighting for any single year of study, for example 40 credits at undergraduate or 60 credits at postgraduate level)
  3. Changes to the programme title and/or award, where this reflects changes to programme content
  4. Significant changes to the mode of delivery (e.g., via introduction of a Flexible and Distributed Learning mode or an alternative programme delivery location).

See the definition of a major programme amendment.

Major programme amendments must go through the same approval process as for a new programme. All major programme amendments require an external review. The amendments are proposed by the School Taught Student Education Committee (STSEC), approved by the Programme Approval Group (PAG) and ratified by the Taught Student Education Board (TSEB). The PAG also has the responsibility for the approval of all new modules.

Proposing a major amendment

STSEC consideration

The proposal for STSEC must comprise of the following: 

  • a rationale for the amendments
  • the amended programme specification (either as a catalogue report or amended programme proposal form - see QA forms for the appropriate documentation)
  • any new or amended modules that form part of the revised programme proposal
  • an external review and appropriate response

STSEC minutes must clearly document consideration of the amended programme proposal and the agreed outcomes. 

When preparing an amendment proposal, consider if the changes impact on progression/award requirements, or affect any collaboration or accreditation conditions. Also ensure that you consult other Schools on the proposals where necessary (especially for Joint Honours programmes).    

PAG consideration

Following STSEC endorsement, any changes STSEC agreed must be made to the proposal.  then submit electronically to your Quality Assurance team (QAT) contact the following, for onward consideration at the PAG:

  • the STSEC proposals, updated as appropriate (rationale for amendments, amended programme specification, any new or amended constituent modules, external review and response);
  • a completed PAG coversheet, briefly explaining the items proposed; and
  • minutes from the STSEC meeting confirming STSEC consideration and endorsement of the amendment.

Following PAG approval, the School must ensure that the catalogue is fully updated to reflect the amended programme (and any module changes) as agreed by the PAG. 

Where successive or multiple major amendments lead to a substantial programme changes, a new Banner programme code is required.  This will ensure that the appropriate transcript information is held in the historical student record.  

Minor amendments

Minor amendments to programmes are all changes not covered in major amendments, above.  Examples include:

  1. Change to a programme title (when the change is for marketing purposes and does not reflect any changes to the programme content, structure or learning outcomes. In these instances the advice of the Faculty's Marketing Manager should be sought and the title change agreed with the Dean of the relevant Faculty).
  2. Adding or removing optional modules (when these amount to less than 30% of the credit weighting for any one year).
  3. Module amendments, including changes to a module's learning outcomes, method of assessment or title (plus any module title change requires a new module code to be assigned).

Minor amendments to programmes should be considered and approved by the STSEC and reported to FTSEC, using the report of STSEC business.

Proposing a minor amendment

STSEC consideration

The proposal for STSEC must comprise of the following:

  • a rationale for the amendments
  • the amended programme specification (normally a catalogue report)

STSEC minutes must clearly document consideration of the amended programme proposal and the agreed outcomes.

Reporting to FTSEC

Following STSEC approval, the School must ensure that the catalogue is fully updated to reflect the amended programme (and any related module changes) as agreed by STSEC. 

The School must provide a report of STSEC Business for FTSEC, which will include a brief description of amendment. The supporting STSEC minutes which document consideration of the proposal also need providing. (The programme amendment paperwork is not required by FTSEC but appropriate records need to be kept by the School.)   and implications of the proposal.

The deadline for approval of minor programme amendments is 31 March (six months before they take effect). 

Programme title changes

Programme title changes are considered major if they reflect changes to the programme content/learning outcomes. Title changes are considered minor if they are for marketing purposes only, in such instances seek advice from your Quality Assurance team (QAT) faculty contact and faculty marketing manager.

Note that changes of programme title can impact on visas and Certificates of Acceptance of Studies and thus international recruitment. Please seek advice from Taught Student Admissions. New programme titles should be approved before the recruitment cycle for the programme begins (by 28 February, 19 months before entry).

Changes to entry requirements

Entry requirements are usually agreed on an annual basis as part of each school’s admissions policy.

Changes to entry requirements should be discussed with the faculty marketing manager and agreed with the Head of School before they are submitted for approval. Changes are then proposed by the STSEC, approved by the PAG and ratified by TSEB. They cannot be implemented until TSEB has granted approval.

The deadline for changes to entry requirements is March, a year in advance (ie 18 months before entry). Changes after this time may be refused. This is earlier than the deadline for curriculum changes because any publicity material (eg prospectus and coursefinder) must be accurate for when students can first research their options before applying.

Typographical corrections

Typographical corrections are changes which affect the layout, expression, spelling and/or grammar of text fields, but which do not change the meaning of the text. Examples include correcting spelling, punctuation or grammar, paragraph layout or bullet points. Typographical corrections do not include any addition/removal of content. Typographical corrections can be made without committee approval provided that the reasons for change are formally recorded. The catalogue retains a record of versions and usernames where changes are made.

Open fields

Open fields impact the operational delivery of modules but do not affect the nature of study or the student achievement. Changes to information in these fields do not require academic committee approval but are usually subject to management approval within the parent school.

The open fields for programme entries are:

  • staff
  • coursefinder fields (Note: entry requirements are not open, only text descriptions of the programme for coursefinder)
  • fields on the HESA tab.

The open fields for module entries are:

  • staff
  • JACS code(s)
  • teaching periods, including part of term (semester) and caps on enrolment numbers, providing that the changes do not significantly change the structure of approved programmes.