Academic Policy & Governance (APG) is a new unit formed from the former Senate and Academic Collaboration Offices. (See APG Welcome page for further information.)

Periodic Subject Review (PSR)

Periodic Subject Review is one of the main ways by which the University assures itself of the quality of the provision delivered by Subjects and Schools; the reviews focus on teaching, learning and assessment and quality enhancement and assurance matters and can take the form of a review of a single or a combination of related subjects. Management, research, and resource issues are considered as they relate to these areas.

The Process

The Review Process:

  • All credit-bearing provision is reviewed on a six-year cycle
  • Each review is carried out by a Panel that is convened by a Vice Principal and includes a student representative and at least one academic external member
  • The Subject(s) under review provide a Self Evaluation Report and supporting background documentation
  • The Panel meets with groups of students and with groups of staff from the subject area
  • The outcome of the review is a report which highlights the strengths and achievements of the Subject(s) and includes recommendations for changes aimed at strengthening provision and further enhancing the teaching provision and the student experience
  • Academic Standards Committee endorses the report, or asks for it to be amended, and requests that the Subject/School and other bodies named, address the recommendations. They are asked to report back one year later on the action taken

PSR is a reflective process that is intended to be positive and constructive, supporting Subjects/Schools in the enhancement of their provision and an opportunity to showcase good practice.

Guidance for Subjects and Schools

The PSR process provides a formal opportunity for a subject/school to reflect on and critically evaluate its provision and to benefit from a constructive dialogue with senior academics out with that school/subject. It is intended to be a positive and constructive activity, supporting school/subjects in the enhancement of their provision, including joint Honours, and the learning experience of their students.

The PSR review covers the following aspects:

  • teaching, learning and assessment;
  • the student experience;
  • quality assurance and enhancement procedures;
  • academic management, research and resources as they relate to teaching, learning and assessment.

Further guidance is available for download on ‘Additional Information’ tab.

Good Practice

Where instances of good practice are identified and endorsed via periodic review, they are highlighted as 'commendations' which are then considered by Academic Standards Committee. This approach is reinforced and augmented by the Senate Office which identifies good practice from one periodic subject review report which corresponds to recommendations from another. Schools or subjects are then strongly encouraged to consider the good practice when responding to the recommendations. A summary of good practice arising from the periodic subject review process is disseminated by the Senate Office to the school level on an annual basis.

Good practice from across the University and from various sources (external examiner reports, annual monitoring etc) is available on the Learning Enhancement & Development Service website.


Periodic Subject Review Reports are public documents. Reports are produced in full and in summary (intended primarily for students). Schools or Subjects are also required to produce a response to the recommendations in the report. The Reports, Summary Reports and Responses for the previous years Periodic Subject Reviews will be available below shortly:


Full Report Response
Academic & Digital Development Report  
Chemistry Report  
Film & Television Studies, Theatre Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Policy Research Report  

Reports and responses for previous year (since 2002-03) are available here. Please note Periodic Subject Review was previously known as Departmental Programmed of Teaching, Learning and Assessment (DPTLA) Review).

Additional Information

Periodic Subject Reviews are governed by the Academic Quality Framework. The framework is supplemented by the following guidance information:

Any general enquiries in relation to Periodic Subject Review can be made to Irene Bruce or Janet Fleming.