Course Approval

Please read these pages carefully, as they have been updated to reflect the introduction of new levels of approval being implemented from 2016-17

In brief:

  • All course changes and course withdrawals are approved by Schools/Research Institutes.
  • Schools/Research Institutes will now approve new course proposals on a pilot basis. This will be monitored by the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) and the Collegee Board of Studies.
  • The College Board of Studies will audit annually and report to ASC on course approval activity by the corresponding Schools/Research Institutes.
  • School Learning & Teaching Committees should include two members of the College Board of Studies from another School.

Templates can be found in PIP.

Documentation Required:

You will be required to provide paperwork relating to your proposal to School Committees. This documentary evidence is completed through, or uploaded onto, PIP and should include:

  • Course specification (completed through PIP)
  • Consultation with students, external consultants and, where appropriate, University Services and employers (to be uploaded to PIP)
  • Proposal Support Document for course recording progress of preparation and scrutiny of proposal (completed through PIP)

Mandatory consultations for new courses are:

  • Consultations with students/applicants
  • Consultations with external academics
  • Consultations with Central Timetabling Team (if the course is expected to be taught to over 150 students)

Some new courses, which have specific professional/employer links, might also require consultations with:

  • Professional/ Regulatory bodies
  • Employers

Schools and Research Institutes have the authority to approve all course changes without the need for College approval.

Proposers are not required to consult with Central Timetabling for course changes, except where the change is likely to have an impact on room bookings, i.e. where a class size is likely to exceed 150 students.

Withdrawal of courses also requires processing through the approval process. The withdrawal of proposals must be processed using the proposal support document in PIP. Schools and Research Institutes now have the authority to approve proposals to withdraw courses. Consideration should be given to completing students and alternative provision when withdrawing a course.

Note that consultation with external academics is required for withdrawals. Student consultation is required for withdrawals, if there have been students on the course in the previous session.

The 'suspension' option has now been removed from PIP. The 'withdraw' option should be used, even if it is intended that the course(s) will be reinstated in future. At the point when the course is to be revived, the 'unwithdraw' option can be used.

All new courses and course changes should be entered into PIP no later than 30 April, and approved no later than 31 July. Course withdrawals can be done at any time, but please ensure you advise Central Timetabling Team in good time, to avoid unnecessary room usage.


All step-by-step actions in sequential order can be found in PIP. On the left menu, ‘Checklists’ are available for each type of proposal. It might be helpful to use these checklists as guide.

Although presented in sequence, there is flexibility to allow proposers to carry out tasks in a different order. The checklists are intended to act as a reminder of the various tasks involved, but proposers have flexibility in how they carry out the tasks.


Course approval

Responsibility for the approval of new courses is devolved to Schools/Research Institutes on a pilot basis, together with the responsibility for the approval of course changes and course withdrawals. Proposals for new courses and changes to courses must be processed via PIP using the course specification and course proposal support documents. Withdrawal proposals must be processed using the proposal support document.

Proposers are encouraged to search live courses and programmes in the PIP system (Course Catalogue) before devising a new proposal, in order to ascertain whether similar courses or programmes already exist elsewhere in the University. This may present opportunities for cross-School/College or shared teaching and avoid duplication of provision.

Consultation with Central Timetabling Team is required for course changes where the change is likely to have an impact on room bookings, e.g. where large teaching spaces (for over 150 students) are likely to be required.

The approval process must be completed by the stipulated deadlines. If course codes - particularly for new courses - are not live in time, this has serious implications for plan building, room bookings, student registration and examination timetabling.

ASC and the College Boards of Studies will monitor the operation of the new and amended course approval process and the course withdrawal process.