How to make a change to an existing unit/programme

If you are a Unit Lead or Programme Director and wish to make a change to your unit or programme, you should first summarise this change in a short paragraph.

Outline what you wish to do, why and when you want the change to take effect. Send this to the Faculty's Education Manager (FEM).

The FEM and the two Faculty Education Directors will review the change to determine if it is considered low risk or high risk. This will determine the process you then need to follow in order to get your change approved, so it is essential you do this first to ensure you don't undertake extra work.

Low risk

If your change is considered low risk, you will be required to update the Unit Forms and/or programme specification within the UPMS.

There is administrative help available for this should you need it. Changes will need to approved at the School level and then by the relevant Faculty Education Committee – ie Faculty Undergraduate Studies or Faculty Graduate Studies.

Once approved, you are able to implement the change at the date indicated in the paperwork.

High risk

If your change is considered high risk, further approval processes will need to occur.

You will need to complete a 'business case' which is composed of a financial plan and a written case outlining the change and why it is necessary and timely.

Business cases must be agreed by the school and are then signed off by the Faculty (Dean, Faculty Finance Director, Faculty Education Director and Faculty Manager) before being considered by the Gateway Review Group and finally by the Business Case Approval Board.

If approved by the University, you will then need to complete an academic case. There is significant help and support available for this. 

Fast-track approval process

Changes that are required to taught postgraduate and undergraduate units that will address issues that were identified at the Education Action Plan (EAP) stage one review may be fast-tracked so that they can be in place for the next academic year.

Annual updates to the Programme/Unit Catalogue

Every year, as part of the normal cycle of the academic year, Unit Leads and Programme Directors should check the details of their unit or programme against the information held in the central catalogue of all programmes and units for the following academic year.  This should usually happen in February for checks to be made on the entry for the following academic year.

Minor updates such as change of Unit Director, Description, Pre‐requisites, Co‐requisites, Reading and References, Teaching Block and Open Unit Status:

Such minor changes do not require formal approval within the Unit and Programme Management System (UPMS) but they do still need to be submitted within this online system in order for the central information to be updated. Detailed guidance on such minor changes can be found here.

Such minor changes must be completed by the end of February ahead of the next upcoming academic year.

Consideration and submission to the UPMS of any other changes to a programme or unit that will be implemented for the next academic year:

This covers changes to assessment methods, intended learning outcomes, teaching details, etc. Such changes need to be entered into the UPMS and then approved at the relevant School Educational Committee before being approved by the Faculty’s Undergraduate or Graduate Committee. Such changes need to have been submitted to the UPMS and have obtained School approval by the end of February ahead of the next upcoming academic year. They will then be considered by the relevant Faculty Committee/Faculty Education Director. 

Changes made after February may create issues for other teams (e.g. those who need to prepare timetables) so AQPO should be consulted before entering changes into UPMS for the following academic year from March onwards. Unit and Programme Directors should not wait until the summer to update the catalogue as changes made after July are referred to as ‘in-year’ changes which require a more lengthy and complex approval process as existing students and offer holders often need to be consulted on the changes being requested before approval can be given. This additional complexity provides increased workload, sometimes unnecessarily. In order to minimise such ‘in-year’ changes please make sure all information relevant to your unit or programme in the central catalogue of all programmes and units has been reviewed and updated ahead of the February deadline.

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