Programme and Course Approval Process


The Purpose of Consultations

Consultations are a critical part of the approval process as they provide the opportunity for independent review of the proposal, thus confirming that academic standards at the University of Glasgow are appropriate and enhancing the transparency of the process. The external academic consultation contributes to the confirmation of standards of provision.

Possible consultations that might need to be undertaken:

  • External Academics
  • Students/Applicants
  • External Relations
  • Potential Employers
  • Other Contributing Schools/RIs
  • Professional/Regulatory Bodies
  • Academic Services
  • Glasgow International College

Not all consultations are compulsory. Some are mandatory but others are required only in particular cases. For instance, if a programme or course is accredited by a professional/ regulatory body, that body must be consulted – e.g. the British Psychological Society, the Institute of Physics, the General Medical Council.

Please see the guidance grid for a quick overview of which consultations are required for which proposals.

Mandatory consultations for programme proposals:

  • External academics (all programme proposals: new, amend and withdraw)
  • Students/Applicants (all programme proposals: new, amend and withdraw)
  • External Relations (new and amend programme proposals)
  • Glasgow International College (withdrawal proposals for programmes that might be taken by GIC students)

Mandatory consultations for course proposals:

  • External academics (all course proposals except simple corrections and non-substantive changes)
  • Students/Applicants (all course proposals except simple corrections, non-substantive changes and, in the case of withdrawal, where the course being withdrawn has had no students enrolled for at least one session or withdrawal is due to unforeseen circumstances)

Note that, in line with the resolution of Senate, that Wednesday afternoons should be kept free of teaching.

Guidelines for Consultations:

External Academics

An external academic will normally be the External Examiner where one is in place. If the course or programme is new, and there is no External Examiner yet in place, the external academic should be a person whom the School might approach to become an External Examiner.

  • Documentation: (External Academic Consultation Proforma) – both sections must be completed before the proposal is submitted to the College Board of Studies (or the School/Research Institute, in the case of a new course or course change/withdrawal proposals). The course/programme team must provide detailed information on how they have responded to any matters raised by the external consultant.


Those students participating in a consultation exercise need not be a group of students on that course or programme, but rather Schools/RIs should consult the group of students which is academically closest to the proposal. Any existing applicants should also be consulted.

  • Documentation: (Student Consultation Proforma - course / programme) – this must be completed before the proposal is submitted to the College Board of Studies (or the School/Research Institute, in the case of a new course or course change/withdrawal proposals). The course/programme team must provide detailed information on how they have responded to any matters raised by the students/applicants.

External Relations

In the programme approval process, External Relation’s judgement of market potential will be a critical factor to be taken into account as to whether a proposed new programme is approved by the College. In situations where a judgement of low market potential is issued from External Relations with regard to viability, consideration has to be given to any actions that can be taken to improve the viability of the proposal. This should normally be done in advance of the formal submission of the proposal to College Board of Studies. It is important to note that  College Boards of Studies are required to verify that Schools/Research Institutes have taken appropriate steps to ensure that programmes are robust, viable and deliverable and in the interest of the University. For this reason, any proposal which has received a judgement of low market potential from External Relations should not proceed to the College Board of Studies until the College Management Group (or another body acting on its behalf) is satisfied the proposal demonstrates strategic alignment and is viable in terms of financial and all other resources.

This would need to be demonstrated in the material submitted to the College Board of Studies, not only through a revised proposal itself, but also in the minutes of the meetings of the relevant School/RI committees and the College Management Group (or of the body to which the College Management Group has delegated responsibility for such decisions).

Potential Employers

Consultation should be undertaken where appropriate. This will apply especially to any programme which is intended (even in part) to prepare students for a particular career or group of careers. (Employer Consultation Proforma)

Other Contributing Schools/RIs

Consultation must be undertaken if other Schools or RIs are affected by the proposal. For example, joint honours or programmes where the curriculum includes courses from other Schools/RIs will require consultations with the relevant units.

Professional/Regulatory Bodies

This consultation is required if the course or programme is accredited by a specific professional or regulatory body such as BPS, IOP, GMC etc.

Academic Services

The Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service (LEADS) can provide expertise regarding the course and programme design and organisation. The Academic Development Unit in LEADS can be consulted for advice on curriculum review (including online learning) and evaluation of learning and teaching. For your College's named contact, please refer to:

Glasgow International College

GIC should be consulted on programme withdrawal proposals where GIC students would have been eligible to join the programme. This ensures that any student joining GIC with the intention of proceeding to a specific GU programme the following year is consulted, and is aware as early as possible that the programme may be withdrawn. They can then seek an alternative programme.

Information on the process for Continuing Professional Development courses should be obtained from College CPD/PPD Officers.