Guidance on the production of School, Departmental and Programme Handbooks

Updated August 2020.

1. Introduction

  1. Schools/Departments should produce a School or Departmental Handbook that students would receive on entry to the School, and Programme Handbooks that students would receive at the beginning of each year of their study. Schools running a small number of programmes may choose to combine their School, Departmental and Programme Handbooks into one document.
  2. Paper copy versions of Handbooks should be produced in A4 format and should conform with the Corporate Identity guidelines for internal publications. Creative and Print Services would like to draw your attention to the other templates that are available on this page, e.g. for email signatures and presentations, which you may find useful generally.
  3. Creative and Print Services offer templates online that will make it easy to ensure your cover adheres to the preferred style.
  4. Where Schools/Departments choose to provide their Handbook(s) on the web, hard-copy versions should be made available for reference purposes and for students with additional needs.
  5. Material should be consistent with, and not unduly repetitious of, the Student Handbook. You may wish to include specific URLs/links within your material to relevant sections of the Student Handbook.
  6. Material should be produced within general principles of inclusion and accessibility.

2. Guidelines on General Layout

  1. Number the pages in the Handbook and include a contents page with page numbers for easy reference.
  2. Use numbered headings and sub-headings to structure information.
  3. Use easy to read fonts and point sizes. Advice on accessibility can be obtained from Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity. Their Inclusive Practice Guidelines include helpful tips on document and text production.
  4. Include the publication date and editor’s name.

3. School/Departmental Handbooks

  1. Please include the following paragraph at the beginning of your School/Departmental Handbook:

    The University aims to provide all students with clear and accurate information about their programmes of study and the services and facilities available.

    There are many sources for this information including this School/Departmental Handbook and your Programme Handbook. Important information is also available in the Student Handbook.

    By registering as a student of Loughborough University you undertook to familiarise yourself with the contents of the Student Handbook and to abide by the regulations, ordinances, codes and policies it contains.

    The Student Handbook is published on the web at:

  2. Start with a brief and informal welcome. This is usually from the Dean or Head of Department but can be from another staff member if preferred.
  3. Include the following information in the Handbook:
    1. A staff list: use preferred title and given name as well as initials and surname, eg. Ms Liz (E A) Howarth rather than simply E A Howarth. The list should include all academic-related and other support staff whom the student is likely to meet, as well as members of academic staff.
    2. Staff contact details.
    3. In large or split-site Schools/Departments, include a plan giving room numbers.
    4. An induction timetable and if possible provisional lecture timetable (with room numbers).
    5. The School/Departmental policy on Personal Tutoring and Academic Guidance.
    6. A statement of School/Departmental policy on concessionary assessment arrangements for students with disabilities.
    7. Any School-specific information on the submission of coursework.
    8. Information on opportunities for Professional/Industrial Placements and for study elsewhere eg. ERASMUS, International Exchanges.
    9. A reference to mitigating circumstances claims and a link to the relevant page in the Student Handbook.
    10. A link to the Loughborough Student Charter:
    11. A reference to the Student Advice and Support Service webpages on finance including information on the Hardship Fund for students in financial difficulty:
    12. A link to the IT Acceptable Use Policy.
    13. Information on how student feedback is collected and responded to (including details of Staff/Student Committees).
  4. Schools/Departments should make reference to the appropriate sections in the Student Handbook for general information on the central support services and only include detailed information under these headings where there are particular issues specific to the School/Department. For example:
    1. Policy on ethical issues particularly in relation to work with human subjects.
    2. Security (e.g. access to facilities out of hours)
    3. Study skills.
    4. Attendance (Attendance dates for some programmes may be outside the standard semester dates quoted in the Student Handbook, and should therefore be included in School/Departmental material)

4. Programme Handbooks

Programme Handbooks should contain:

  1. Programme Specification(s).
    Include programme specification(s) in the handbook in one of the following ways:
  2. Module Specifications (for core modules only), with directions as to where specifications for optional modules can be found. It should be stated that students might not be accepted onto their optional module choice for reasons of timetable clashes or maximum limits on numbers.
  3. An Assessment Matrix for the programme showing the mode of assessment for every module.
  4. A statement of any requirement for additional personal expenditure which students are liable to incur during their studies and items specifically required for the programme. Exceptionally high levels of additional personal expenditure required for an individual module should be indicated in the relevant Module Specification in the Teaching, Learning and Assessment field, and Programme Handbooks should direct students to this information.