It is vital that all information on Coursefinder is kept up to date. Staff members responsible for programme information within Schools need to ensure that all information is provided to the relevant College Marketing Team so it can be published on the Coursefinder entries on the University website. During the undergraduate recruitment cycle there are specified times for key updates to Coursefinder: e.g., any changes to entry requirements should be published alongside the publication of the new print prospectus, generally over a year in advance of the point of entry. (NB Changes to entry requirements require the approval of University Recruitment, Admissions and Targets committee. Changes to UG entry requirements should normally be considered no later than the December meeting, and PG normally no later than April. Requests to change offer criteria should be evidenced with likely outcomes on recruitment).
Although there needs to be some flexibility in what is offered to students and then actually delivered, any variation needs to be reasonable and not something that could be considered to have been misrepresentative of the experience that a student will have. For example, disclaimers about optional modules on course pages and in course brochures ensure that we have flexibility in the choice that is offered, but the removal of a compulsory/core module would fundamentally change an advertised programme.
Where changes are made, certain actions should be undertaken to ensure that the details of such changes are communicated to or, when necessary, agreed to by those affected by them (through communication with prospective/current students as appropriate) or that the changes are unlikely to be considered to have a material effect on those participating.
To meet the CMA’s standards and minimise the need to communicate with prospective/current students regarding planned changes, the University has the following deadlines by which programmes need to be modified:
- Compulsory/core modules need to be approved on a cohort basis before the beginning of the relevant application round – e.g. any changes to compulsory/core modules for students starting in September 2021 should be approved by the end of June 2020 (and please note that the necessary changes should be made for every year of their programme, i.e. year 1 in 2020/21, year 2 in 2021/22, and so on).
- Optional modules need to be approved by academic year (not by cohort) in time for timetabling to take place – i.e. by the end of the January preceding the academic year in which they will be delivered.
This may involve submitting approval paperwork for both programmes and modules, as related programme and module level paperwork should be submitted simultaneously.
You will need to plan your curriculum development activity to ensure that deadlines are met. All changes to programmes (whether they are Minor, Major or Exceptional) require approval; guidance on the different types of programme modifications can be found here. Paperwork should be submitted in good time to allow the approval process to conclude before the relevant deadline.
It should be emphasised that it is possible to make changes after the deadlines but that the potential risks involved in doing so should be carefully considered and, where necessary, mitigated.