New Programme Approval: Strategic Approval Form

New Programme Approval:
Strategic Approval Form
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.
3. Date of first intake:
The date on which you want the first cohort to start
studying, e.g. 'October 2017'.
4. Host Academic Unit:
Simply give the name of the Academic Unit where the
proposed programme will be based, e.g. 'School of
Widgetology'. If the programme will involve more
than one Academic Unit, the approval of both Heads of
Unit for the proposal will be needed.
5. Host Faculty:
This should flow logically from the answer to the
previous question, and will dictate which Faculty will
convene the Programme Approval Committee should
the proposal progress to that stage. Where a
proposed programme is offered by academic units in
multiple units, the two Faculties will liaise on the
proposed proposal. For proposals that are offered
outside the faculty structure and are oversee by CrossFLTSEC, please state 'Cross-FLTSEC' in this box.
6. Intended Degree Programme
At this point this is only indicative, rather than a firm
commitment - all that is needed is a name. If it is not
possible at this point to suggest who this may be,
simply type 'To be confirmed'.
7. Mode and duration of study:
If the
Partprogramme time:
will be
state the
If the programme
will be offered
part-time, please
state the number
of months (e.g.
'36 months'); if it
will not be
New Programme Approval: Strategic Approval Form
number of
(e.g. '36
if it will not
be offered
just type an
offered part-time
just type an 'X'
8. Teaching location:
Other off-campus
Mixed location
Simply type
'Yes' or 'No'.
Type 'Yes' or
Type 'Yes' or
And a final 'Yes' or
'No' question.
And a final 'Yes' or 'No'
9. Mode of delivery (please indicate all that apply):
Linear / block /
Distance learning
– e-learning
Distance learning other
Will the
programme by
sessions at a
Simply type
'Yes' or 'No'.
Will the
involve both a
element of
attendance at
sessions along
with extensive
elements of
online /
learning (for
weeks / days
elements of
online /
Simply type
'Yes' or 'No'.
Type one of the
three options:
'Linear', 'Block'
or 'Mixed'.
Will the
involve students
studying entirely
at a distance, and
on-line? Simply
type 'Yes' or 'No'.
Will the programme
involve students
studying entirely at a
distance, but not using
on-line approaches
(e.g. by circulating
paper-based learning
resources)? Simply
type 'Yes' or 'No'.
10. Please summarise the key aims and features of the programme you are proposing.
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New Programme Approval: Strategic Approval Form
This section needs a concise and succinct academic rationale for the proposed programme. From
an academic perspective, what makes this a good idea - what will be its key features and
distinctive elements? The things you need to address are the academic nature, focus and
rationale of the proposed programme. You are not being asked to set out a first draft of the
programme aims that will appear in the formal programme specification (should permission be
given to develop a full new programme proposal). Instead, you need to convince the reader why
the proposed programme is a good idea from an academic perspective.
11. Please summarise how your proposed programme will support the delivery of the strategic
objectives of the University, your Faculty and your Academic Unit.
A decision to develop and offer a new programme is in effect a decision to allocate scarce
resources, both to the development of the programme and should it be approved to the running
of it. This is the case even if no new staff, equipment or facilities are required to deliver the
programme. Even in the rare situations where this is the case, the new programme has an
opportunity cost; i.e. the existing resource that is being used to develop and deliver the
programme could be doing other things to help deliver the University's strategic objectives.
It therefore needs to be clear how the proposed programme is going to deliver agreed strategic
objectives, in order to justify the investment of resource. This is the section where as a
programme proposer you need to set out clearly and succinctly how your proposed programme
is going to support delivery of agreed strategic objectives; you need to convince the Faculty that
your programme has the potential to do this. The more specific you can be about the strategic
objectives your proposed programme supports the better; explaining how your proposed
programme supports the delivery of strategic objectives, instead of simply asserting that it does
is also likely to make your proposal more persuasive.
Important reference points include the plan of your academic unit, but also your Faculty's
approved plan, the University's Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Strategy and the
University's Vision 2021.
The strategic benefits could relate to any or all of education, research and engagement. Your
proposed programme should support the achievement of strategic objectives relating to
education. However, it might also support research objectives (for example by helping to
cement a research partnerships of strategic importance, or by building on a particular area of
research strength in your academic unit) and/or engagement objectives (for example by making
a particularly valuable contribution to an existing or potential external partnership).
This section of the form is also the opportunity for you to draw to the attention of the Faculty
any broader strategic benefits the proposed programme will bring: for example, a programme
might support your academic unit's research strategy, or it might allow you to establish and/or
strengthen relationships with key stakeholders.
12. If you have identified any significant risks relating to the development or delivery of this
programme, please state these briefly.
This is not a request for a detailed risk analysis or risk register. What you need to do is indicate if
there are any particular risks that might jeopardise the successful delivery of the programme.
Examples of type of risks that might be relevant include (this is list is indicative, not prescriptive
or exhaustive):
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New Programme Approval: Strategic Approval Form
The delivery of the programme would be very dependent on one or two key members of
academic staff, so that if these staff left your academic unit it would be very difficult, if not
impossible, to deliver the programme.
The programme delivery is very dependent on an external partner (for example for the
provision of specialist staff to contribute to the programme, for access to specialist facilities
to support the programme or for the provision of placement opportunities that are essential
to the proposed programme)and if the partner were no longer able or willing to contribute to
the programme it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to deliver the programme.
The programme is highly dependent on a specific source of funding (for example a private
company, or a public organisation) and without support from this source of funding the
programme would be unlikely to be viable.
When completing this section you do not need to identify more than two to three key risks.
Additionally you only need to set these out briefly, and give a very brief statement of anything
that mitigates that risk.
13. Will your proposed programme involve working with a partner (either another Academic
Unit in the University, or an external organisation)? If the answer to this is yes, please state
who the partner(s) is, and (briefly) what their role in the programme will be.
Many programmes can involve more than one of the University's academic units. Programmes
can also involve external partners in any of a number of ways, for example: accreditation by a
professional body; providing funding to support the development or delivery of the programme;
as providers of placement and work-based learning opportunities; the provision of support for
learning (e.g. facilities for the delivery of a programme); a formal partnership that constitutes an
Educational Partnership (as set out in the University's Educational Partnerships Policy.
You need to state in this section whether your programme involves either or both internal or
external partnership. If it does not, you simply need to state 'No' in this section. If it does, then
you need to state the partners involved and briefly what their role will be; you do not need to
state every detail of the proposed partnership.
If the proposed programme involves an academic unit other than the one proposing the
programme, you will need to attach to your completed Strategic Approval Form an email from
the head of any participating academic unit confirming their support for the proposed
14. What do you think will be the main market for the new programme, what do you anticipate
will be the target recruitment and which other universities do you think will provide the
main competition for the proposed programme?
This section does not require detailed market research. What you need to do is:
Provide sufficient information to establish a prima facie case that a market is likely to exist for
the programme, in order to justify the additional work needed as part of the Business
Approval Stage to demonstrate the existence of the market.
Give an indication of the likely level of student recruitment. This does not need to be a
detailed statement of anticipated numbers, but a high level statement.
Summarise who you think will be the likely competitor HEIs for your proposed programme.
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New Programme Approval: Strategic Approval Form
The bullet points above are not a checklist against which you need to write in a mechanical way.
The three issues are in many ways closely inter-twined, and a single (short) narrative that covers
all of the issues may be the most effective way to complete this section.
15. Are there any likely significant additional costs arising from the proposed programme? If
yes, please summarise these.
You do not need to set out a detailed business case in this section; this is required at the
Business Case Approval Stage, should your proposal be given Strategic Approval. Instead what is
needed is here is an indication of whether you think there are likely to be any significant
additional costs associated with your programme (for example the appointment of new
members of staff, academic or support) or significant non-staff costs (for example new facilities,
significant new equipment needs).
16. Please nominate an external adviser to comment on the proposal as part of the Academic
Approval stage, including reasons for nomination and contact details.
This does not need to be a lengthy statement. The name, contact address and email of the
proposed external adviser need to be supplied. There also needs to be some evidence that the
proposed external adviser meets the criteria set out in the Policy on the Approval of New
Programmes - this can be through an attached CV or a link to a web profile.
Academic Unit approval: By signing this form you are confirming that you believe that the
potential strategic benefits and academic merit of the proposed programme merit investing
staff time and resource to develop a full programme proposal.
Head of Academic Unit:
Chair of Board of studies:
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For Faculty use:
Date proposal received by the Faculty:
Business Case development
Does the Faculty wish a market analysis (paid for by the Faculty) to be conducted by the Marketing and Student Recruitment
Directorate/Faculty Marketing Team?
Consultation with support services required as part of the development of the Business Case and/or Academic Case
Disability Support Team in Student Well-being
Estates Support Service
International Recruitment Team
Planning Office
Faculty decision
Signature on behalf of FSG
Permission is granted for the programme proposer to develop Business Case and
Academic Case proposals for the programme(s)
The request for permission to develop Business Case proposal for the programme(s)
is rejected
The request for permission to develop Business Case and Academic Case proposals
for the programme(s) is referred back to the programme proposer for revision
Any other comments to be relayed to the proposer:
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