Academic Quality Procedures Handbook

3. Programmes of Study

3.2 Programme Review

  1. The content and design of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes is under constant review at School/Departmental level in the light of subject developments and changes in the external environment. The views of External Examiners, professional and accrediting bodies, companies providing industrial training placements and employers of the University's graduates, as well as the views of students, are all taken into account.
  2. Schools may be required by Senate to consider the content and viability of specific programmes and to produce reports. The evaluation of School performance linked with the planning process may also impact on programme provision.
  3. Routine evaluation of programmes is central to the assurance and enhancement of quality in learning and teaching. It is important that the evaluation process is carried out, owned and driven by the members of staff providing a particular programme, and that it is then used to improve the programme.
  4. Schools are required to review all programmes annually (APR). In addition, major Quadrennial Reviews (QR), tied in where appropriate with external assessments, involve a School’s complete portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and provide an opportunity to re-evaluate the portfolio and review the University’s internal validation of those programmes as appropriate. Joint degree programmes are included in APR/QR in the School which has administrative responsibility.
  5. The University's procedures for APR and QR are regularly reviewed to ensure that they accord with current QAA policy. 
  6. Degree Apprenticeship provision is subject to the University’s normal APR and QR, as detailed below.  However, in addition, the Degree Apprenticeship PMB annually undertakes a review of the provision to ensure that the University has sufficient oversight of Apprenticeship-specific elements of the provision, reporting to Senate as necessary.  

Annual Programme Review

  1. All Schools will be subject to Annual Programme Review (APR) each year, except for Schools subject to Quadrennial Review, in which case APR is incorporated into that review. There will be one APR meeting per School that will last approximately one to two hours.
  2. Documentation will be collated by PQTP for Schools to evaluate in November of each year.  Schools will be asked to produce an evaluation document, reflecting on the data and identifying actions and timescales where appropriate.
  3. The APR meeting will occur in January / February.
  4. The APR panel for each visit will be constituted as follows:
  • Chair: PVC(E&SE)
  • Panel members: Head of PQTP
  • LSU Education Executive Officer 
  • Assistant Director (Centre for Academic Practice)
  • Secretary: Member of PQTP 
  1. The Panel will expect to meet the following from the School:
  • Dean of School
  • School AD(E&SE)
  • Learning & Teaching Co-ordinator(s)
  • Operations Manager
  1. In attendance will be the School Programme President(s)


  1. The aim of the meeting will be to:
  • Satisfy the panel that the actions and timescales proposed by the School in their evaluation document are appropriate
  • Identify areas where the School would benefit from additional support/liaison outwith the APR meeting
  • Satisfy the panel that the School is monitoring and evaluating ‘quality’ data throughout the year as it becomes available
  • Agree School and institutional learning and teaching priorities for the year ahead 
  1. Learning and Teaching Committee will annually receive a report of the APR process that will enable it to monitor and evaluate the outcomes and the process.
  2. The School will report to the next year's APR on action taken.

Quadrennial Review

  1. The purpose of the Quadrennial Review is to review all activities within the School and assess how they will contribute to the future delivery of University strategy.  The review encompasses teaching, research, enterprise and sport and examines whether:
  • the School is undertaking teaching, research, enterprise and sport, where relevant, that will help to deliver the strategy;
  • the optimum staffing profile is in place;
  • there is critical mass in each area of activity;
  • the School’s forward plans are aligned with strategy;
  • the School is using resources in the most effective way to deliver its forward plans.

Learning and Teaching within Quadrennial Review

  1. One of the work streams of Quadrennial Review focuses on learning and teaching and is led by the PVC(E&SE), with support from the PQTP office.  The work stream meets with staff and students and considers the following data:
  • HESA benchmarking reports incorporating entry, achievement and employability data for taught students
  • NSS data
  • APR reports (i.e. the action plans and School responses for the last three years)
  • accreditation reports
  • programme specifications
  1. With due regard to the expectations of the UK Quality Code (in particular Part A and Chapter B8), the Work-Stream should:
  • allow the University to confirm that the portfolio aligns with its mission and strategic priorities;
  • be informed by a view of trends over time (reviewing what has gone, but also looking into the future, mindful of sector changes);
  • ensure that the provision has made, and continues to make, available to students appropriate learning opportunities which enable the intended learning outcomes of the programme to be achieved;
  • draw on expertise from those outside the programme (including a panel member external to the institution, staff within the institution (but external to the School), and data such as External Examiner reports and accreditation reports);
  • involve students (on the Panel and / or via the use of feedback from students in the review);
  • re-affirm that the UK threshold academic standards, and the University’s own academic standards, continue to be met;
  • re-affirm that the expectations of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education continue to be met.
  1. Additional requirements in relation to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes are detailed in Section 10.