New Programme Approval:
Business Case Approval Form
The programme
1. Proposed new programme:
Please give the award and name of the proposed
programme, e.g. 'MSc Widgetology'. The proposed
award and name should be consistent with the
University's Qualifications and Credit Framework.
2. FHEQ level of programme:
This should be a number between 4 and 8, reflecting
the academic and intellectual level of the programme.
A summary of alignment of awards with FHEQ level is
available in the University's Qualifications and Credit
Framework. More information is available in the
qualification descriptors contained in the Framework
for Higher Education Qualifications itself, should you
need this.
If this has not changed since the Strategic Approval
Form was submitted, this can simply state
3. If any of the following have changed, please state these changes below:
 Date of first intake
 Intended Degree Programme Director
 Host Academic Unit
 Mode and duration of study
 Host Faculty
 Mode of delivery
Your Strategic Approval Form gave details on each of these six areas. You do not need to give
this information again if it has not changed; simply type 'No change'. If, however, there have
been changes it is important to highlight these so that the Faculty is aware of all the relevant
information when considering your Business Case.
Market demand
4. Please confirm that your completed Teaching Costing Model includes a
statement of the anticipated level of student recruitment to the proposed
programme for each of the first five years of the programme’s operation.
Type 'Yes'
or 'No'.
5. What is the evidence that supports the proposed level of market demand for the proposed
programme? This should include any evidence of employer support/demand for the
proposed programme?
This is the section where you need to set out why and how you have arrived at the levels of
anticipated recruitment set out in response to the previous question. What you need to do here
is demonstrate that the market for your proposed programme exists.
To support you in doing this the University has developed two guidance documents: one for
proposed undergraduate programmes and one for proposed postgraduate programmes. These
New Programme Approval: Business Case Approval Form
provide a number helpful prompts on how to demonstrate that there is a market for a proposed
programme, and links to a range of potential types of data that might assist with this.
Additionally, at the Strategic Approval stage the Faculty may have required that a market analysis
be conducted by MSRD/the Faculty Marketing Team. If this was the case, this is likely to provide
a range of information to help inform your answer to this question. You do not need to report
every point made in the report of this market analysis; this would be redundant, as the following
question in this form asks you to attach a copy of the report if the Faculty required this analysis
to be undertaken. However, you may want to draw out key points and conclusions from the
report on the market analysis.
6. Please indicate the likely entry requirements for the proposed programme. For
undergraduate programmes, please also indicate whether the proposed programme will
require a new Partners summer school or whether the proposed programme can be
accommodated within an existing summer school stream.
It is important to give a general indication of the anticipated entry requirements, both the
academic requirements and English language requirements, as these could have a bearing on
likely recruitment and therefore on the Faculty's decision on your business case.
For undergraduate programmes there may also be resourcing issues related to whether a ne
Partners summer school stream will be required, so again it is important to provide this
7. If the Faculty required that MSRD/the Faculty Marketing Team conduct a
market analysis, please attach a copy of this to the completed form.
Attached /
Not required
Resources and finance
8. What is the proposed fee band for the programme?
Simply state
the band
9. What will be demands made on existing academic staff resources by the teaching,
assessment and management of the proposed programme, and how will their existing
duties be reallocated to accommodate this?
While you do not need to provide exhaustive detail here, you do need to give sufficient detail for
it to be clear how much time of existing staff you expect will be required to deliver and support
the new programme. It is tempting to regard the use of existing staff time as 'cost free'; while
this might be true in relation to the marginal cost for your academic unit, there is an opportunity
cost - the time staff spent delivering and supporting your new programme is time that cannot be
spend undertaking other activity.
Of course it may be that your programme makes extensive use of existing modules, so that the
additional demands on existing staff are reduced. Even in these cases, though, it may be that this
is true in relation to the delivery of teaching but there will be additional student work that needs
to be marked so that there will still be an increase in the demands on existing staff (the size of
these increased demands depending on things such as the additional student numbers resulting
from your programme, and the nature of the assessment on the existing modules).
In thinking about the demands that will be made on staff time, the workload associated with
assessment is one that it is sometimes easy to overlook. The same applies to the time that will
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New Programme Approval: Business Case Approval Form
need to be allocated to programme and student management (for example the work involved in
being a DPD, and in providing personal tutors for the new students). In completing this section
you need to bear in mind these demands on staff time.
10. Will the proposed programme require the appointment of new academic staff to support
the teaching, assessment and management of the programme? If so how will these be
funded and have these new appointments been approved by the Faculty?
Much of the guidance to the previous question applies here in terms of thinking about the full
range of teaching, assessment and management work associated with the new programme. It
may not be the case that your proposed programme requires new, additional academic staff but
it is important that if it does this is made clear. This applies both to new staff that will be needed
immediately, and any new academic staff you think will be required over the next five years as a
result of the new programme.
If you do require new academic staff it is important to be as precise as possible about what is
needed. For example if you think you need a specific level of appointment (Lecturer/Senior
Lecturer/Reader/Professor) or type of appointment (for example teaching and research, or
teaching and scholarship) please say this; if this is not clear in the completed form, this will delay
the consideration of your business case as these issues are clarified.
It is also important to answer both parts of the question; answering the first and not the second
is again likely to delay consideration of your business case.
11. Are there sufficient administrative staff to support the proposed programme, or will this
require the appointment of new staff? If the former, how will existing duties be
reallocated to accommodate the demands of the new programme; if the latter, how will
these new posts be funded and have they been approved by the Faculty?
It is important that this issue is clear as part of the business case; effective organisation and
management of a programme is a crucial element of providing students with a high quality
learning experience, and support staff in your academic unit make a crucial contribution to
effective programme management. This section therefore needs to be clear on this issue, and
again if you do need to request additional staffing to support your programme it is important
that this is clear; that you indicate the level of post needed; and that you state how you intend
to fund these new posts.
12. Have the teaching space requirements been discussed with the academic unit’s Timetable
It is important so that the Timetable Co-ordinator can inform Timetable Services immediately of
any necessary changes to teaching requirements in order minimise disruption to scheduling and
timetables. Again, these types of issues are an important element of the student experience as
well as being important to staff teaching on the programme in terms of staff having clarity about
their teaching load and schedule.
13. Can the teaching and social space requirements for the proposed programme be met
within the academic unit’s existing space? If not, what are the additional requirements and
what are the plans to address this shortfall?
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New Programme Approval: Business Case Approval Form
This question is fairly self-explanatory - it is important that the business case takes account of
any additional space requirements such as new build, refurbishment etc. It is likely to be helpful
(to you as proposer, and to the faculty and University) if you discuss space needs and
requirements with the Faculty Estates Co-ordinator.
14. Please attach evidence of the results of your consultation with the Liaison
Librarian on the resource requirements of the proposed programme.
Attached /
Not attached
15. Please attach the completed NUIT consultation form, and evidence of the
results of this consultation.
Attached /
Not attached
16. Are there any other equipment requirements arising from the proposed new programme?
If there are, please summarise these and state how it is intended to meet the costs of these
The consultation with the Library and NUIT covered by the previous two questions ensures that
the two learning resources issues that must be addressed for all new programmes are
considered. For some programmes, there may be additional equipment requirements and if
there are these need to be set out here along with an indication of anticipated cost. Not all
programmes will have additional equipment requirements, and in that case your response can
simply be 'None'; it is, however, important that you state this rather than simply leave the
response to this question blank.
17. Are you requesting exceptional permission to advertise the proposed programme with a
‘subject to approval’ flag, if this Business Case is approved? If yes, please state why this
early advertisement is necessary.
The University's strong preference is that new programmes should not be advertised before they
have received final approval. It is recognised, however, that there may be exceptional
circumstances where a case could be made to allow programmes to be advertised with a 'subject
to approval' flag: for example, the programme may have been developed in response to the
needs of an external funder (e.g. a research council or an employer) with short lead times for
programme development and approval so that there is a pressing need to advertise before final
approval is given.
If you wish to advertise on this basis you must state this in this part of the form. You also need to
make a case as to why there are exceptional circumstances that would justify granting
permission to advertise early on this basis.
Academic Unit approval: By signing this form you are confirming that as the relevant budget
holder you support the business case for the proposed new programme as set out in this form.
Signature on behalf of FSG
Head of Academic Unit:
For Faculty use:
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New Programme Approval: Business Case Approval Form
Permission is granted for the programme
proposer to develop/finalise and submit
for consideration the Academic Case
proposal for the programme(s).
If a request to advertise the programme prior to full approval, with a ‘subject to
approval’ flag, please indicate if this is approved or rejected
Approved /
The Business Case for the programme(s)
is rejected and no further development
of the Business Case or Academic Case
should take place.
The Business Case is referred back to the
programme proposer for revision.
Any other comments to be relayed to the proposer:
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New Programme Approval: Business Case Approval Form The programme

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