Programme Approval


  • New programmes are approved by the College Board of Studies. All programme amendments, whether minor or major, are also approved by the Board of Studies. This process is monitored by the Academic Standards Committee (ASC).
  • Programme withdrawals are also approved by the College Board of Studies.
  • The Senate Office will audit and report annually to ASC on programme approval activity by College Boards of Studies.
  • The Programme Approval Groups (PAGs) no longer operate. However, ASC will establish a sub-group (comprising experienced PAG members) to consider the approval of programme proposals that span Colleges and/or where there is concern by a College Board of Studies as to whether the proposal complies with University policy. Further information is available here.
  • The composition of the College Boards of Studies (or equivalent) must include two members from other Colleges who are either present or past members of ASC, ideally with PAG experience.
  • The composition of School/Research Institute Learning & Teaching Committees (or the equivalent) must include two members of the associated College Board of Studies from (an)other RI/School(s).

Documentary Evidence

You will be required to provide a ‘paper-trail’ to the College Board of Studies. This documentary evidence is completed through, or uploaded onto, PIP and should include:

  • Programme specification (completed through PIP)
  • Consultation with students (course / programme), external academics, External Relations and, where appropriate, University Services (e.g. Space Management & Timetabling Team), and employers (to be uploaded to PIP)
  • Proposal Support Document for programme recording progress of preparation and scrutiny of proposal (completed through PIP)
  • Extract of the minute of the Committee recommending the proposal for approval
  • All new PGT programmes require a Budget Plan (to be uploaded to PIP)
  • New Regulations Data Input Form where new degree regulations are required. (For PGT programmes, justification for divergence from the generic masters regulations should be supplied.)

Mandatory consultations for ALL new programmes are:

  • Consultations with students/applicants
  • Consultations with external academics (examiners)
  • Consultations with SMTT, for any new courses proposed as part of the programme
  • Some new programmes, which have specific professional/ employer links, might require consultations with professional bodies or potential employers.

Formal programme proposals or supporting documents will no longer be submitted to PAGs. However, the relevant extract of the minute of the College Board of Studies meeting must be retained in the Colleges. Minutes (or notes appended to these) should record the results of consultations with students, external examiners and others, and the responses, if any, to critical comment or suggestions for improvement. (ASC has highlighted the need for Colleges to provide full minutes detailing any points of discussion in the approval process to facilitate the Programme Approval Group's understanding of the recommendation and prevent unnecessary reiteration of issues previously discussed and resolved.) Please refer to exemplar.

Collaborative Proposals

If the proposal involves collaboration with another institution, it should proceed in the same way as any other programme proposal. However, approval for the collaborative element must be sought separately. Further guidance can be provided by the Academic Collaborations Office.

Timing of the Process

It is necessary to ensure that all courses and programmes are approved well in advance of their start dates.

New/amend proposals should be proposed in PIP by 30 April, and approved by 31 July. Colleges must advise the Senate Office of the reason for any programme proposal being approved after 31 July.

The deadlines for programme withdrawals are:

  • Programmes with a September start should be withdrawn no later than 31 January
  • Programmes with a January start should be withdrawn no later than 31 August

Course withdrawal deadlines are not in place, but please ensure you advise Space Management & Timetabling in good time in order to avoid unnecessary room usage.

The fast track approval route will no longer operate.

Guidelines and Support


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, it might be more helpful in some cases for 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 these tasks.

The following guidance is intended to support you in navigating the programme approval process:

Programme Withdrawal

The withdrawal of programmes requires College approval; this ensures that any students on the programme are protected as the programme is wound down and that External Relations can remove the programme from publicity materials and the website so prospective students are not disappointed.

Note that suspension is no longer available in PIP. Withdrawal should be used even if a programme is to be reinstated at a later date, and the 'unwithdraw' option can be used when the programme is to be revived.

Withdrawals should be proposed via PIP in the same way as other proposals (except for research programmes - see below). A School wishing to withdraw a programme should submit a proposal via PIP to the relevant College Board of Studies. If the College Board of Studies approves the proposal to withdraw the programme the College should report the decision to the Senate Office. Consultations should be undertaken with students, external examiners and, where appropriate, Glasgow International College (as GIC students may be intending to proceed to the programme the following year).

Further information about programme withdrawal can be found here.

Once the withdrawal is processed on PIP, External Relations will be notified automatically, although Schools should liaise with External Relations earlier if they are aware of any applicants to the programme.

The following deadlines apply for the withdrawal of programmes:

  • 31 January, for programmes recruiting for Semester 1 (September) entry
  • 31 August, for programmes with Semester 2 (January) entry

To withdraw a research programme, approval should be sought from the College Graduate School/Higher Degrees Committee, and then the withdrawal reported to Helen Clegg in the Senate Office.