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The University of Southampton
Quality Handbook

Welcome to the University of Southampton’s Quality Handbook, which draws together in a single location the policies and processes which constitute the University’s Quality, Monitoring and Enhancement Framework.

It is primarily a source of information for staff, who can find information, guidance and policies on a wider range of information relating to educational governance at the University, but students too may find relevant information to their programmes and courses of study within this website.

The Common Framework for Online Education draws from a series of principles, design elements and lenses whose purpose is to enable all programmes to respond to the current context with confidence and competence.

The Quality Handbook is maintained by the University’s Quality, Standards and Accreditation Team on behalf of the University’s Academic Quality and Standards Subcommittee.

brick building on the avenue campus

Module Lead

Information about the Quality Assurance aspects of the Module Lead Role

modern white building on bolderwood campus

Programme Lead

Information about the Quality Assurance aspects of the Programme Lead Role

glass fronted building at WSA

Deputy Head of School

Information about the Quality Assurance aspects of the Deputy Head of School (Eduction) Role

birs eye view of highfield campus

Examinations Officer

Information about the Quality Assurance aspects of the Examinations Officer Role

Academic Quality and Standards Subcommittee (AQSS) owns and maintains on behalf of Senate the University’s Quality Monitoring and Enhancement framework for taught and research degree programmes including all forms of collaborative provision in the UK and overseas.

The Quality, Standards and Accreditation Team (QSAT) works closely with Schools to provide advice and guidance and to support the implementation of University policies and processes across the institution.

QSAT co-ordinates the development and management of the QME Framework which supports the approval, monitoring and review of undergraduate and postgraduate taught and also research programmes including those offered collaboratively with other institutions.

Policies in the Quality Handbook are mandatory for all areas of the University, unless there is an explicit opt out detailed within a particular policy. In some sections of the Quality Handbook, policies are supported by guidance documents.

Whilst guidance does not carry the same mandatory status as policy, it is expected that guidance will usually be followed as it has been developed by and in support of University policy and contains examples of good practice.

This electronic handbook is the most up to date and any changes to policies or processes are notified by email to Associate Deans (Education), Faculty Academic Registrars/Heads of Taught Programmes Administration and Curriculum and Quality Assurance Team Leaders for wider dissemination at the same time as updates are added to the handbook.

To ensure that there is clarity on what action is required all policies and procedures are assigned to one of the following three groups:

  • Defined –those that are for adoption by all faculties – as such they represent explicit University-wide requirements. These provide the University framework to ensure students are treated equitably.
  • Advisable –those for which there is a strong steer for adoption, but where exception may be allowed provided there is a justified academic argument for a faculty not to adopt the practice. In such cases the ‘authority’ that may approve such exceptions to the rule must be indicated (usually, but not always, AQSS);
  • Desirable –those that are recommended as good practice and may be useful to inform existing faculty practices.
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