Academic & Student Affairs

Annual Programme Review

Annual Programme Review - Procedures

Purpose of Programme Review

Reflecting on the content and delivery of teaching is an on-going part of normal activity for academic staff within the University. Annual Programme Review provides a formal opportunity for staff to reflect on the most recent delivery of the programme.

The purpose of Annual Programme Review is:

To evaluate:     

  • The entry profile of students

  • The achievement of standards by the students [progression, achievement, and retention statistics]

  • The employment outcomes [DLHE]

  • Potential opportunities for graduates [Careers and Employability and Skills]

  • The currency of programmes in light of developing knowledge and practice in the disciplines [includes external examiner comments, QAA subject benchmarks, PSRB requirements and internal and external reviews]

  • The learning opportunities for students [includes work-based learning]

  • Collaborative provision arrangements

  • Student feedback [NSS, first and second year experience surveys, module evaluation to the programme, SSCC]

  • The accuracy of information provided to students

  • The actions recommended from the previous APR

To identify:

  • Good practice

  • Actions and enhancement for the coming year [module and pathway changes]


(i)   An APR report should be completed for each programme, or where appropriate, grouping of programmes, using the template provided.

(ii)  The APR report should be completed by the Programme co-ordinator/leader and approved by the Programme team at a Programme Review Meeting.

(iii) APR reports should be reviewed by Directors of Education and a School Overview Report prepared for consideration by the School Education Committee and signed off by School Management Board.

(iv) The School Overview Report together with copies of the individual programme reviews should be sent to Academic Affairs by 12 December 2014. The DE’s School Overview report may include issues for the University to consider, through the Education Committee.

Programme Review Group

(i)   The Head of School is responsible for ensuring that all of the programmes in the School are reviewed at the correct time and in line with the correct procedures every year.

(ii)  Programme Review Groups should be chaired by the Head of School (or nominee) or, in multi-subject Schools, the Chair of the relevant Board of Examiners (or nominee), and will be composed of the academic staff who teach on the programme.

(iii) Programme Review Groups for collaborative provision should be chaired by the University Co-ordinator, and will be composed of the academic staff who teach on the programme in the collaborative organisation.

(iv) Preferably, at least one student member of the relevant Staff Student Consultative Committee should be present at the review meeting.

(v) Employer representatives and other stakeholders may form part of the Programme Review Group, where appropriate. A Programme Review Group may review more than one programme.

Evidence to be considered

The following evidence should be considered: 

  • University Prospectus/website

  • Programme Specifications

  • QAA Benchmark Statements

  • Student Handbooks [School/Programme/Module]

  • Module Review Reports

  • External Examiners’ Reports

  • Minutes of Boards of Examiners

  • Minutes of Staff Student Consultative Committees/Employer Forums

  • Key Statistical Data, e.g. student achievement and progression data over the previous three years provided centrally through Qsis reports

  • Staff and student feedback [SSCC minutes; results of the National Student Survey (NSS), and First and Second Year Experience Surveys]

  • The School’s Academic Plan

  • Employment statistics, including those derived from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey from Careers, Employability and Skills and Learning Development Services

Programme Review Groups should:

(i)   Consider how future developments within the School and the University may impact upon the programme.

(ii)  Indicate how student views have been taken into account in the review.

(iii) Consider any additional evidence, such as reports from accrediting or other external bodies.

Changes to programmes

Substantial re-design of programmes requires that the procedures for new programme approval be followed (see section 3 of DASA Policies and Procedures Manual). Where appropriate, and in consultation with Academic Affairs, there may be an opportunity to streamline the approval process.

Where Schools propose minor changes to programmes these changes should be submitted for approval by the Courses and Regulations Group (CRG) using the Summary Report Form. Amended programme specifications should be submitted along with the Summary Report Form. On submission, the Secretary to CRG will liaise with the School if any additional information or documentation is required. Other printed and electronic documentation must be amended to reflect the changes.

Updated June 2014