Standard Course Approval Procedures

Documentary Evidence

Templates can be found in PIP.

New Courses

Proposers are encouraged to search live courses (Course Catalogue) and programmes in the PIP system 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.

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

Mandatory consultations for new courses are:

  • Consultations with students/applicants
  • Consultations with external academics

are available for these consultations.

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

  • Professional/ Regulatory bodies
  • Employers

Note: Previously consultation with Space Management & Timetabling (SMTT) was mandatory for new courses, but relevant information is now collected through completion of a new Appendix to the course specification and will be forwarded automatically to SMTT.

Course Changes

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

Consultations with students/applicants, and external academics, are mandatory except in the case of simple corrections and where the changes are non-substantive. is available to assist Schools/RIs in considering whether this applies.

Course Withdrawal

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 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with external academics is required for withdrawals unless the programme associated with the course(s) has been withdrawn and fully taught out. Student consultation is required for withdrawals if there have been students on the course in the previous session, or if students are expecting to be able to select the course in the coming session. The only exception to this is where the course is being withdrawn due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. unavailability of key staff). In the latter case it is important that relevant students are informed as soon as possible. From time to time there will be administrative bulk withdrawals on the system where courses that have been inactive for at least three years will be removed. This will be done centrally in consultation with Schools/RIs and will not require any of the standard consultation noted above.

There is no 'suspension' option in 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 previous documentation relating to the course will still be in the system.

Timing

All new courses and course changes must be entered into PIP no later than 30 April, and approved no later than 31 July. Course withdrawals can be done at any time.

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.

Guidelines and Support

Checklists

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 a 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.