Section A: Committee structure, terms of reference and responsibilities

 

A1. The Senate

The Articles of Government of the University state that the Senate is responsible for:

  1. The consideration of the academic plan of the University and its associated academic activities and the resources needed to support them and for advising the Vice-Chancellor and the University Council thereon.
  2. The maintenance of academic standards guided by the Quality Assurance Agency UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
  3. Making regulations for the admission of students.
  4. Making regulations for the examination and assessment of the academic attainment of students.
  5. Regulating research degrees and postgraduate studies.
  6. The curricula and Teaching and Learning strategies.
  7. The suspension and expulsion of students from the University.
  8. The appointment, removal and regulation of external examiners and assessors.
  9. Making regulations for and the conferring of academic qualifications and academic distinctions of the University.
  10. Making recommendations to appropriate bodies for the award of academic qualifications, scholarships, bursaries, prizes and other distinctions.
  11. Making regulations and recommendations for the award of honorary academic qualifications and titles.
  12. Such other matters as the University Council or the Vice-Chancellor may assign to it.

 

A2. The University’s Teaching and Learning Committee

The Committee is responsible to the Senate for overseeing all matters relating to the development and delivery of taught courses of study and for ensuring the maintenance of appropriate academic standards.

 

Terms of Reference

  1. To determine on behalf of the Senate the quality and standards of teaching provision.
  2. To determine on behalf of the Senate the standards of conduct expected of students.
  3. To determine on behalf of the Senate the regulations and procedures governing the conduct of students.
  4. To determine on behalf of the Senate the standards of attainment associated with different courses and awards.
  5. To approve all courses of study leading to the University’s awards.
  6. To develop and ensure the implementation of a University strategy for teaching and learning.
  7. To establish and oversee procedures for the validation, approval and annual evaluation of all courses of study leading to the University’s awards, including franchised or collaborative courses, and for the assurance of the quality of those awards in line with Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) guidance.
  8. To approve the appointment of external examiners for courses of study leading to the University’s awards.
  9. To establish and oversee procedures for the review of the University’s Schools and Services.
  10. To determine on behalf of the Senate the academic structures* through which the University’s courses of study should be delivered.
  11. To determine on behalf of the Senate the academic regulations governing courses of study leading to the University’s awards.
  12. To determine on behalf of the Senate the development and promotion of lifelong learning within the University.
  13. To promote innovation, creativity and inspiration in teaching, learning and assessment.
  14. To promote the continuing professional development of staff within the University.

* The term academic structures in term of reference 10) includes the academic management substructure underpinning courses as well as the academic courses per se.

To assist it in discharging its responsibilities the Committee will establish panels whose membership may contain persons who are not themselves members of the Committee. Such panels shall include the Standing Committee for Collaborative Provision (SCCP), the Standing Committee for Degree Apprenticeships (SCDA) and ad hoc panels for validation and review.

 

A3. The University’s Research Committee

The University Research Committee (URC) is responsible to the Senate for progress towards the strategic objectives and targets set by the University in research and enterprise.

 

Terms of Reference

  1. To determine the University vision and strategy for research, research degree education and business enterprise engagement; along with appropriate targets and performance indicators.
  2. To oversee the development and management of research activity, research degree education, the development and implementation of mechanisms and initiatives to improve the research and enterprise performance of the University and its participation in external reviews.
  3. To maintain oversight of performance in research and research degree education; responding appropriately as necessary.
  4. To interact closely with the University Teaching & Learning Committee and with the major administrative directorates including Human Resources, Student Services, Marketing, Communications and Student Recruitment, International, Computing and Library Services, Finance and Estates.
  5. To provide informal and flexible fora for the active management and co-ordination of research, research degree education and business development in liaison with the University Research Group (URG), the Graduate Board (GB) and the Business Development and Commercial Group (BDCG).

 

A4. Validation Panels

Validation panels are appointed under procedures determined by the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee and report to it. They are normally empowered to act on behalf of the Committee, subject to the requirement to report back. They are primarily concerned with assessing the academic validity of courses and modules in the context of their aims and learning outcomes, of the expertise of the staff, and of the resources available to them.

A5. Review Panels

The panels which conduct Revalidation, Subject and Thematic Reviews are appointed under procedures determined by the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee/University Research Committee and report to the Senate. They are primarily concerned with reviewing and assessing both the quality of teaching and research in the University and the provision of academic support services.

 

A6. School Boards: Terms of Reference, Membership and Mode of Operation

School Boards are responsible to the Senate which has established terms of reference, membership and mode of operation. Guidelines for the operation of School Boards are detailed in Appendix A.

 

Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for School Boards are:

  1. Subject to the approval of Senate, to determine, in the context of the University’s Strategic Plan, and the Senate’s decision with regard to the University’s degree and awards structure, the academic plan for the School.
  2. To approve, and review annually, the enabling strategy for delivery of the academic plan which takes account of resource constraints and identifies strategies including sources of income for overcoming them.
  3. To determine, and approve, the resource allocation model for use within the School.
  4. To promote the development of research in the School and to submit a School research plan annually to the Research Committee for approval, and make regular reports on research activities within the School.
  5. Subject to the approval of the Senate, or its principal committees where authority has been delegated, to determine: new academic and research developments within the School’s area of interest; the development of academic disciplines within an appropriate structure; the approval, evaluation and review of all courses of study through all modes and at all levels; to oversee the School's work in making a full contribution to the University International Strategy.
  6. To consider opportunities for collaboration with other Schools on the development of inter-disciplinary courses and activities.
  7. To be responsible to the Senate through the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee for the implementation of assessment regulations with respect to academic courses within the School, and to approve, within guidelines laid down by that Committee: the appointment of external examiners to academic courses within the School; the membership of assessment boards.
  8. To comment upon all matters of academic interest within the University.
  9. To assist in the promotion of good practice in the professional development of staff within the School and to approve the staff development plan.
  10. To assist in the development of equal opportunities and to approve the equal opportunities report for the School.
  11. To elect representatives to University bodies when requested to do so, including the Boards of other Schools and to receive reports from these representatives.

 

Membership

The total membership of the Board shall not normally exceed 50.

1

Vice-Chancellor

Member - Ex officio

 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

 

 

Pro Vice-Chancellors

 

 

Dean

Chair

 

Heads of Department (or

equivalent)

 

2

University Secretary

In attendance - Ex officio

 

School Administrator

 

 

Working Secretary (where appointed)

 

3

Chairs of formally established School Committees

Members

4

Members of the University’s full- time teaching staff

Members - Number to be determined by the Dean within the limit of the overall numbers, and, if necessary, to be appointed from among the total number by a rotation mechanism determined by the School for a period of two years, with half of those appointed replaced each year.

5

Members of the teaching staff attached to the School on a part- time, visiting or consultancy basis

Members - Number to be determined by the Dean within the overall number but not more than 10% of overall membership.

6

Research staff

Members - Two elected by and from the research staff of the School for a period of two years.

7

APT&C staff on permanent or fixed term contracts

Members - Number to be determined by the Dean within the limit of the overall numbers, elected by and from the APT&C staff within the School save for the School Administrator and the Working Secretary to the Board (where appointed), and, if necessary, to be appointed from among the total number by a rotation mechanism determined by the School for a period of two years, with half of those appointed replaced each year.

8

Students

Members - Four elected by and from the registered undergraduate and postgraduate students of the School of whom at least one shall be a postgraduate student and one shall be a member of the Students’ Union executive.

9

Representatives of teaching staff from other Boards

Members - Two teaching representatives from other School Boards on a rotation basis; to be appointed by election from other Board.

10

An Academic Librarian, as the Director of Computing and Library Services’ nominee, associated with the School

One member; others in attendance at the Board’s discretion.

11

Directors of Estates and Facilities, Computing and Library, Financial, and Student Services, and Director of Registry or their nominee

In attendance.

 

Mode of Operation

  1. The Board shall meet once per term at least two weeks prior to Senate in accordance with the University’s Committee Timetable.
  2. The Board shall report to the Senate although business may, in the first instance, be considered as appropriate by the University’s Teaching and Learning, and Research Committees. A copy of the full minutes from School Board will be sent to the Director of Registry along with a summary of decisions which will be forwarded for consideration at Senate.
  3. The Board shall be permitted to delegate such of its powers as it sees fit to a duly constituted executive committee or committee of itself, or to specific individuals, and may make rules relating to its own procedure.
  4. The Dean of the School shall have executive authority to act on behalf of the Board and any of the executive committees, in consultation with any body designated to assist in this capacity by the Board.
  5. Voting at meetings, which is restricted to members, shall be by a show of hands except where any member of the Board requests a ballot.
  6. The quorum shall be one third of the membership of the Board of whom at least half shall be from membership categories 4), 5) and 6).

 

A7. Roles of Senior Staff

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Has overall executive responsibility for the business of the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee.

 

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

Has overall executive responsibility for the business of the University’s Research Committee.

 

Director of Registry

Is secretary to the Senate and has overall responsibility for the administrative procedures which underpin the validation of courses and modules and the review of Schools and Services.

 

Assistant Registrars

One Assistant Registrar will be secretary to the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee. Nominated Assistant Registrars will have overall responsibility for the development of the programme of validation and review for approval by the University's Teaching and Learning Committee/University’s Research Committee. The post holder will also be responsible for preparing the draft membership of each panel on behalf of the University’s Teaching and Learning Committee/University’s Research Committee.

 

Deans of School

  • Deans have overall responsibility for ensuring that Schools properly fulfil the role which is given to them by the Senate under four main headings:
  • The annual evaluation of courses of study.
  • The approval of documentation prepared by Course Committees, Course Leaders and Module Leaders in connection with validation.
  • The preparation of documentation for periodic reviews – such as subject or thematic reviews.
  • Any actions which may be necessary to satisfy conditions laid down by a validation or review panel.

 

Dean of Graduate School

Has overall responsibility to lead on the development and implementation of University policy on postgraduate research programmes, and is responsible for the business of the University’s Graduate Board.

 

Directors of Graduate Education

Have responsibility for the School-level implementation and delivery of University policy and strategy for all matters relating to postgraduate research education

 

Module Leaders

Module Leaders are responsible for providing information for inclusion in validation and course annual evaluation reports and for the follow-up of issues which are referred back from the validation or evaluation process. They are expected to:

  • Agree and adhere to a timetable of activities.Prepare and present documentation in the required form, including the use of virtual module boxes in the University records management system.
  • Develop a response to any recommendations or conditions which emerge from an evaluation event.
  • Produce a definitive module specification document at the end of the validation process.
  • Update the module specification document when any changes to it have been authorised.
  • Ensure the definitive module specification document and any subsequent amendments to it are saved in the University Records Management system.
  • Scrutinise all examination papers and substantive assessment briefs before they are sent to the external examiner for approval in advance of their release to students.
  • Conduct an annual evaluation by students of modules under their responsibility, including module evaluation surveys with students and the production of a Module Leader report for inclusion in module boxes.

 

Course Leaders

Course Leaders are responsible for the initiation and supervision of the Course Committee's preparations for initial validation, revalidation, course developments, and annual evaluation of the course(s) under its control and for the follow-up of issues which are referred back from either validation, revalidation or annual evaluation.

They are expected to:

  • Agree and adhere to a timetable of activities.
  • Prepare and present documentation in an appropriate form, which will normally include the programme specification document(s) and appendices, specifications for validated modules available on the course(s) and specifications for new modules available on the course(s).
  • Lodge validation, revalidation and annual evaluation papers with the secretary of the relevant panel or committee on time.
  • Develop with the Course Committee a response to any recommendations or conditions which emerge from a validation or evaluation event.
  • Produce a definitive programme specification and appendices at the end of an initial validation or revalidation event.
  • Update the programme specification document and any appendices when any changes have been authorised.
  • Ensure the definitive programme specification and appendices and any subsequent amendments to it are saved in the University Records Management system.
  • Conduct an annual evaluation by students of the course(s) under their responsibility, including course evaluation surveys with students.
  • Scrutinise all examination papers and substantive assessment briefs before they are sent to the external examiner for approval in advance of their release to students.

 

A8. Role of the School Office

General

Members of the School Office are expected to have a basic working knowledge of:

  • The validation of courses and modules as laid down in the University handbook.
  • The procedures governing reviews.
  • University regulations and procedures including the Regulations for Awards and the Quality Assurance Procedures for Taught Courses and Research Awards.

 

In validation

The School Office should play an important part in ensuring that documentation is prepared in an appropriate form. Some of the information required may be prepared by the School Office (e.g. composition of Course Committees, Course Assessment Boards, curricula vitae of staff etc.).

A member of the School Office should be available at validation and review events to offer support to the Dean and the course team, to assist in their smooth running, and to be available for all 'open' meetings of the panel.

 

In Quality Appraisals, Internal Quality Audits, Thematic Reviews and Subject Reviews

The School Office should assist in the preparation of the documentation generally and, in particular, should be active in the preparation of the factual information required.

 

In Annual Evaluation

It shall be the responsibility of the School Office to assist in the preparation of the statistical return for each course in the School as part of annual evaluation.

 

Standard University Templates

The School Office shall be responsible for ensuring the most up to date formats and templates (available from University Records Management System) are used for the following:

  • Student Panel agenda;
  • Student Panel rolling record;
  • Course Committee agenda;
  • Course Assessment Board agenda/minutes;
  • School International Committee agenda;
  • School Teaching and Learning Committee agenda;
  • School Board agenda;
  • Generic minutes template where there is no specified alternative.