Withdrawal and Suspension of Programmes

It is recognised, from time to time that a programme may need to be withdrawn, or suspended from recruitment.  Where a decision is taken to withdraw a programme, the quality student experience on the programme during the withdrawal period should be assured and if required, that remedial action is taken by the School to mitigate any negative impact. A teaching out arrangement will be put in place to enable those students already registered on the programme to complete it within the normal period of study. 

Procedures on the withdrawal of collaborative programmes can be found here.

Definitions

A programme withdrawal occurs when a programme of study is permanently closed for recruitment. Normally,  programme withdrawal will involve the immediate cessation of recruitment activity and a clear external statement that the programme has been withdrawn, with a phased teaching out of the programme over a number of years to afford current registered students (including those on leave of absence) the opportunity to complete their degree. 

A programme suspension occurs when recruitment to a programme of study is suspended for a set period of time. Programme suspensions can occur, for example, to give a School the time to evaluate a programme’s recruitment performance, before making a decision to formally request a programme withdrawal or for major changes.  However, there is still a requirement for a suspended programme to be made available to students who return from a leave of absence. It is common for a postgraduate taught programme to be suspended rather than an undergraduate programme.

Issues to be Considered

A proposal to withdraw or suspend a programme should be discussed within the relevant School/Faculty e.g. by its Education Committee, and with any other School that the withdrawal or suspension might affect.  The withdrawal of joint degree may necessitate a twin –track process in two different Schools. 

Where a proposal has major strategic implications, the School should discuss these with the relevant Faculty.

The proposal should be submitted on the withdrawal pro-forma‌. The School’s submission to the Faculty should address the following:

(i)         Rationale for withdrawal of suspension

(ii)        Student cohort analysis for the previous three years

(iii)       Relevant financial and other resource implications in consultation with the Finance Business Partner

(iv)       Timing of withdrawal and transitional arrangements for students

(v)        Consultation with current students

(vi)       Timing of withdrawal and communication with current applicants

Approval

Once the decision to withdraw or suspend a programme has been taken at School level, the School should make the recommendation to the Faculty with reference to the Deadlines and Key dates and no later than one year in advance of the programme’s withdrawal.

Only in exceptional circumstances will the withdrawal or suspension of a programme be considered in the current recruitment cycle.

Following endorsement by the Faculty the submission should be sent to Academic Affairs.

The final decision on the withdrawal or suspension of a programme is made by the Courses and Regulations Group. Where appropriate, this will be carried out using the fast-track process. 
The decision will be communicated by Academic Affairs to the relevant administration areas which include:  

(i)       The relevant Faculty to include: the Director of Operations; the Faculty Marketing Hub; Deans of Education and/or Postgraduates;
          and for Collaborative Programmes, Deans of Internationalisation and Research.

(ii)      MRCI including the Admissions Office

(iii)     Student Services and Systems