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How we manage quality and standards

The quality of the University's programme are monitored by the following methods:

The University’s principal quality assurance and enhancement activities are approved by the Academic Board and detailed in the Handbook for the Maintenance of Standards and the Enhancement of Quality which sets out clear policies and procedures for:

  • Programme approval / re-approval;
  • Minor change (to approved programmes of study);
  • Annual monitoring of all departments’ programmes;
  • Periodic review of programmes;
  • External examining system;
  • Academic partnerships.

The Academic Standards Committee has responsibility for monitoring the operation of the principal quality assurance and enhancement activities, which are managed by the Academic Quality and Standards Service, led by the Director of Quality and Standards.

Details of student engagement in academic governance

The University is committed to hearing the ‘student voice’ and this commitment builds on a long tradition of joint ownership of decision-making over both the process and outcomes where the reflective practice of both students and staff inform the development and enhancement of all aspects of its educational provision. The University utilises a number of mechanisms to engage students, as discussed below.

At the level of the module itself, module evaluation and feedback occurs, whereby students on a module have a formal opportunity to feedback to module leaders on their experiences so that they can evaluate the modules students undertake. This will normally be done via module evaluation questionnaires or equivalent. Module leaders feedback to students any changes which have been made as a result of their comments.

The minor change procedure requires that students are consulted (through the Programme Board) regarding any proposed changes to a module that is liable to affect them.

At the level of the programme and department, annual monitoring reports are reviewed by programme or departmental board meetings that include student representation.

At the level of the programme, External Examiners normally meet with groups of students and their feedback commented upon in the examiners’ reports. A summary of the External Examiners’ reports and responses to these are made available to students.

Students have access to representation on all matters that affect the learning experience from ‘Student Voices’. The Student Voices are trained and supported by the Students’ Union, in partnership with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience).

At the level of the department, a periodic review panel will include a student from outside of the subject. Students also meet with panel members to discuss their courses during the periodic review process.

Students are also invited to contribute to surveys and questionnaires including the Undergraduate Level 5 survey and the National Student Survey; the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey; the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey and other cyclical and ad hoc surveys and questionnaires undertaken by the University itself.

Students have representation on University-level Committees and the Board of Governors. The University is committed to ensuring students are represented at all levels within the University. There is representation at Academic Standards Committee; Learning and Teaching Committee; Research Committee and the Academic Board. The President of the Students’ Union provides an annual report to the Academic Board, and the Board of Governors.

In addition, there is a Student Forum, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor which provides an opportunity for Students’ Union sabbatical officers; other elected student representatives and Students’ Union staff to meet with the university’s senior team. Students can raise any issue through this Forum.