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Quality reviews

Reviewing university practice to improve the student experience.

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Learn about the various reviews the university uses to improve student experience.


What: these reviews look critically at specific areas of university practice across all programmes. We invite students to join Thematic Reviews in order to feed crucial layers of perspective into any discussions. In the last couple of years, we have completed Thematic Reviews the Special Examination ArrangementsSpecial Admissions, Code of Student Discipline, Mitigating CircumstancesStudent Handbooks, and the Accreditation of Prior Learning.

How often: one Thematic Review is usually conducted each year.

How many students: one current student or recent graduate on each panel.

What: a comprehensive review of a programme conducted by a panel of academic peers and at least one student. These reviews usually take place every five years to consider the curriculum, learning outcomes and assessment of a programme to ensure it remains current, fit for purpose and the best it can be.  The panel also considers the management of a programme and scrutinises External Examiner reports and responses, student feedback (e.g. surveys, module feedback questionnaires, staff-student forums) and statistical information on student entry, performance and retention for the last five years. Study materials are also looked at to ensure currency.

How often:  PPRs usually take place every five years.  Given the number of programmes there are often several PPRs that take place in any year.

How many students: each PPR panel will meet with a group of students from the programme being reviewed.  In addition, a student member (from another programme) is sometimes appointed to the panel.

Examples: in 2017 students were involved in PPRs for Computing, Philosophy, Public Health, Global Health Policy and Clinical Trials. Students were also involved in the SAS PPRs for the LLM Advanced Legislative Drafting and the LLM International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law.

What: If you study at one of our independent teaching institutions, we may ask you to take part in an IPR. This is a formal review that ensures that the institution continues to meet the criteria of the Teaching Institutions Recognition Framework (TIRF). The review panel will meet a group of students, and ask questions about the quality of teaching and student support you receive, as well as the general facilities available.

How often: every three to seven years.

What: when a new programme is proposed by one of our Member Institutions, the Learning Teaching and Assessment (LTAS) Sub-Committee will appoint a panel to consider detailed programme approval documentation. This will include the academic rationale for the programme, Programme Specification and Regulations, Module Specifications and a draft Student Handbook (where applicable). The panel will sometimes be given access to the VLE in order to look at indicative course guides, reading materials and assessments.   The panel will include at least two subject specialists from other Higher Education Institutions (or from within industry) to act as External Advisers to the panel.

How many students: one student member is appointed to the panel.

Examples: PG Cert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 2017; MA Understanding and Securing Human Rights, 2017; MSc Global Corporations and Policy, 2016; Global MBA, 2016; MSc Professional Accountancy, 2015; MA Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies, 2014. 

What: MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. All International Programmes MOOCs are reviewed by a standing panel of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Sub-committee (LTAS) to ensure they are fit for purpose before they are available to participants.

How many students: each panel includes a student member.

Examples in 2016-17: