Approval of collaborative and partnership arrangements

Read the code of practice for managing HE provision with others (PDF, 520kb)

Key principles

The University is responsible for the academic standards of all awards made in its name therefore the following principles apply:

  • The academic standards of awards delivered through collaborative arrangements must be of an equivalent standard to comparable awards offered by the University
  • The academic standards of such awards must meet the requirements of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and relevant subject benchmarks
  • The quality of student learning opportunities should enable students to achieve the appropriate academic standards.

Approval process considerations

Step 1

Consideration of risk assessment

A report on the risk assessment and due diligence checks will be produced in order to consider factors such as partner financial stability, the reputation of the partner and their experience and understanding of UK Higher Education.

Step 2

The Future Students Office or Academic Partnerships Team are able to provide further help and guidance with regards to the approval process. Please note that all completed approval documents and risk assessments should be submitted to Angela Harrison (Head of Academic Partnerships, Student and Academic Services).

Consideration of business case

The business case for the proposal, which must include reference to all costs relating to provision of learning resources such as Library and IT facilities, will be considered by the relevant committee to determine whether it is viable and in the interests of the University.

Depending on the nature of the partnership bespoke documentation may have to be developed in collaboration with the proposing School. Please contact Academic Partnerships for relevant documentation for partnerships which do not fall under progression or articulation.

Step 3

Visit to Partner

Where the prospective partner is to be providing physical and/or digital resources in relation to the delivery of the arrangement such as face-to-face teaching or laboratory facilities, a visit to the partner will be required prior to final approval being granted. This is to ensure the facilities provided are appropriate for the type and volume of the learning to be undertaken and will enable to students to achieve the required learning outcomes.

Step 4

Consideration of academic case

Approval of new university programmes

The development and approval of new programmes should follow the process set out in the Code of Practice for the Development, Approval and Modification of Taught Provision. In addition to the standard documents for programme approval programme teams will be required to submit a draft partnership agreement and any additional documentation specified by the Academic Partnerships Team.

Approvals of progression and articulation arrangements

For progression and articulation arrangements, consideration of the academic case will focus on assessing whether the partner’s programme is of an appropriate standard as an entry qualification onto one or more of the University’s programmes. This will be considered by the submission of a brief report to the relevant College Programme Portfolio Development Group.

Approval of overseas student exchange

The academic case for an overseas student exchange will be considered in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Development, Approval and Modification of Taught Provision but will also consider the equivalence or transfer of credits from partner universities. Following the risk assessment processes, College Academic Committees will consider and approve the academic case for new overseas student exchange partnerships for existing current degree programmes with a year abroad. Programme Approval Panels will consider and approve proposals to add a student exchange variant to existing degree programmes.


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