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The University of Southampton
Quality HandbookProgrammes and modules

Programme Validation

Guidance on the academic design of programmes can be found in the Framework for Taught Programmes.

The University of Southampton has degree awarding powers and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of appropriate and high quality programmes. It, therefore, has its own set of regulations, policies and procedures set out in the Calendar and Quality Handbook that all programmes and members of the University are expected to follow.

Within the national context of Higher Education, quality across the sector is regulated through the Quality Assurance Agency and in particular, the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Competition and Markets Authority requirements for all undergraduate programmes for example have significant impacts for the timescales for planning programme and module validation and changes.

The Programme Validation Policy and Procedure and the Revalidation Policy and Procedure can be found below.

Internal Stakeholders

The most effective conversations take place face to face and it is recommended that the programme proposer meets with internal stakeholders to talk through a range of areas. This will facilitate greater understanding of the proposed programme between parties.

The programme proposer may find it useful to refer to the information on the pages below.   It is considered to be good practice for any internal stakeholder to receive a short synopsis of the programme proposal in advance. This may be little more than a working title and rationale, but must include enough information to enable them to participate in a helpful way to the process.

Marketing

How can the Marketing team can help with Programme Validation?

Finance

How can the Finance team can help with Programme Validation?

Employability

How can the Employability team can help with Programme Validation?

External Adviser

The Programme proposer, in consultation with relevant academic colleagues, will nominate an External Adviser to participate in the validation of the programme.

The External Adviser Policy, including the criteria for nomination, can be found in the Quality Handbook.

Consultation with Students

The programme proposer MUST obtain the views of students during programme development. There is no defined method of achieving this, however discussion at a Staff Student Liaison Committee, or a specially organised Student Forum are good examples. Evidence of student engagement and feedback will be provided to the Academic Scrutiny Group.

Collaborative Provision

If the programme is being developed with a new collaborative partner institution, the meeting of Academic Scrutiny Group and the Collaboration Approval Panel (Stage 3 of the Partner Approval Process) may take place at the proposed partner location.

Stage 0 - Permission to Start

The purpose of Stage 0 is for the programme proposer to discuss a proposal to create a programme with the Deputy Head of School (Education) to consider whether the programme concept has been included in the programme portfolio plans in the Faculty business plan.

This stage does not require detailed consultation with stakeholders, but strongly encourages colleagues to start the conversation with some principal stakeholders.

Governance: permission to start will be given by the Deputy Head of School (Education).

Documentation: No documentation is required for this stage. However much of the information required will be used to populate sections of the Programme Proposal Template in a later stage.

Curriculum Manager System: If using the electronic system, this section requires completion of the mandatory fields in the Proposal Development and Proposal Approval sections.

Stage 1 - Programme Proposal

The purpose of Stage 1 is to collect data and information which will evidence the business case and strategic argument in support of the programme.

Governance: approval at this stage is in two parts;

  • The Faculty Board considers the business case for the programme proposal.
  • The Faculty Board will report their approval of the business case to AQSC.

Documentation: The following documentation is required for this stage;

  • Programme Proposal Template
  • Market Intelligence and Analysis Template
  • Intake and Resources Template
  • Draft programme specification to include a programme structure and a list of all modules required for delivery of the proposed programme.

Curriculum Manager System: If using the electronic system, this section requires completion of the mandatory fields in the Strategic Planning section.

Following approval by Faculty Board the programme proposer can proceed to Stage 2 - programme development and academic approval.

Stage 2 - programme development and academic approval.

The purpose of Stage 2 is to facilitate the development of the programme specification and module profiles. This will be undertaken in partnership with internal stakeholders. This stage also requires the programme proposer to collect feedback from the External Adviser(s).

  • When the programme and module documents are nearing completion, these will be sent to the External Adviser for comment.
  • The outcome of all consultation/feedback will be presented to the Academic Scrutiny Group for consideration.

Governance: The Academic Scrutiny Group considers the programme proposal and makes a recommendation to Faculty Education Committee.

Documentation: The following documentation is required for Academic Scrutiny;

  • Programme Proposal Form (fully complete)
  • Programme Specification (final draft version)
  • Module profiles for all new modules
  • Module profiles for all core and compulsory modules that have already been approved via the programme validation process (approved optional modules do not need to be provided)
  • External Adviser report and response
  • Stakeholder feedback and responses (internal and external as appropriate)

Curriculum Manager System: If using the electronic system, this section requires completion of the mandatory fields in the Programme Development and Programme Approval sections

Following consideration by the Academic Scrutiny Group, the programme proposer can proceed to stage 3 - programme approval.

Stage 3 - programme approval

The purpose of stage 3 is to submit the recommendation of the Academic Scrutiny Group to Faculty Education Committee and then complete the administrative aspects of programme set up.

Governance:

  • • Faculty Education Committee will receive and consider the recommendation of the Academic Scrutiny Group.
  • • The Faculty Education Committee will report their approval of the Academic Scrutiny to AQSC.
  • • AQSC will offer final approval.

Documentation: The following documentation is required for Programme Approval:

  • • Minutes of the Academic Scrutiny Group
  • • Programme Specification (final version)
  • • Statement of support from Faculty Board (where necessary)

Curriculum Manager System: If using the electronic system, this section requires completion of the mandatory fields in the Validated section.

Following acceptance by Faculty Education Committee and final approval by AQSC the programme can be considered validated.

Post approval

Creation in Banner - Banner is the University Student Record System.  Once approved, programmes need to be translated into the Banner system so that it can inform wider University systems e.g. Timetabling, Blackboard etc. The templates below require completion in partnership with your CQA Team to ensure that the programme is set up correctly.

It is no longer necessary to use the templates below as the information can now be entered directly into the Curriculum Management System and can be extracted automatically onto the University approved templates.

If your Faculty has not yet selected to use the Curriculum Management System workflow for Programme (re)Validation, then you will need one or more of the templates below.  Please contact your Faculty CQA Team for more information about your Faculty position and plans.

Additionally, there are some templates (stakeholders) that have been introduced since the Curriculum Management System was built.  You can find these in the Stakeholder Engagement tab on this page. 

useful guidance to assist in understanding the validation workflow, Qlikview and the evaluative report.

Qlikview

Guidance on the use of Qlikview Apps in Programme Validation

Programme and Module Information

It is no longer necessary to use the Module Profile and Programme Specification Template.  Once entered into the Curriculum Management System, module and programme information can be extracted automatically onto the University approved templates.

  • From 2017/18 all module information has been located in the Curriculum Management System.  The modification of these is also managed in the Curriculum Management System.  The Curriculum Management System is also the sole source of module information for the web.
  • From 2017/18 all programme information has been located in the Curriculum Management System. The modification of these is also managed in the Curriculum Management System. The Curriculum Management System WILL BE, but IS NOT YET the sole source of programme information for the web.

The (re)validation of programmes is now managed via the Curriculum Management System.

Please contact your Faculty CQA Team for more information about your Faculty position and plans.

Access and Training

Access to the system can be obtained via Serviceline. Once you access the system, the workflow will ensure that you complete the required fields at the appropriate time.

There is currently no specific training on the use of CRUMS however support can be provided by Faculty CQA Team.

User guides

User guides have been developed for the creation of programmes and modules.

  • The academic guide is here (opens new window that requires login)
  • The administrator guide is here (opens new window that requires login)
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