2.3 Summary of the Scheme Approval Process

1. This section provides a summary of the scheme approval process, which is described in detail in sections 2.4 – 2.7.  Staff may also find it useful to refer to the scheme development flow charts.

2. The approval process is split into ‘Executive’ and ‘Non-Executive’ approval pathways. Please consult with your Academic Registry QA link to determine the most appropriate approval pathway.

3. The ‘Executive’ approval pathway is for proposals which are considered as major changes or restructures, development in an area of new provision, and where there are resource or university-level implications which require sign off by the University Executive; the business case (PAF1/PAF2) should be submitted by the department to the University Executive for consideration, and the SDF 1.1 to PPC. The PPC and University Executive Group will consider proposals in the context of strategy, business viability including costs, risks (including reputational risks), student numbers and practical considerations and will determine whether they should go forward for academic consideration by the standing Scheme Approval Panel.

4. The ‘Non-Executive’ approval pathway is for proposals which are considered to be a development within an existing area, where there are no resource implications and therefore sign off is not required by the University Executive; these can be approved at Faculty level thereby not requiring further scrutiny by the standing scheme approval panel.

5. Where a free-standing Certificate or Diploma is offered, it must be approved as a new study scheme with a programme specification and scheme structure.

6. Change to degree scheme titles, scheme suspensions and scheme withdrawals will also be considered by PPC.

7. For provision that does not fit in to the above, departments should contact the Quality Assurance and Enhancement team (qaestaff@aber.ac.uk) to discuss appropriate internal scrutiny prior to consideration by any external panel.

8. Schemes should not be advertised online, or appear on UCAS, until they have fully completed the approval process, but may be marketed as ‘subject to approval’ in the printed University prospectus. Schemes could be marketed as ‘subject to approval’ at open days, or on departmental websites, subject to a satisfactory case being made to the PPC or approval panel where appropriate, and providing that all advertising copy and presentations at events made it clear that such courses are still subject to formal approval.

9. To ensure adequate time for an effective marketing campaign and successful launch, proposals should ideally be developed following a 2-year planning cycle. This enables proposals to be considered at departmental level, allows departments time to undertake external consultation, current student and alumni consultation, discussions with Global Marketing and Student Recruitment, as well as time for proposals to complete the appropriate approval route.

Welsh Language Standards

10. Since 1 April 2018, Aberystwyth University has complied with Welsh Language Standards which have replaced the Welsh Language Scheme. Academic departments are responsible for demonstrating compliance with Welsh Language Standards, particularly Standard 104, when submitting proposals to introduce, restructure, suspend or withdraw study schemes. Further details are provided on the Centre for Welsh Language Services webpages: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/cgg/bilingual-policy/.

Welsh Medium Provision

11. During curriculum development, academic departments will refer to the University’s strategic aims, particularly the Welsh Language and Culture Sub-Strategy 2019-2023. Please refer to Welsh Language Policies and Strategies for further details, including the guiding principles and success indicators in relation to academic provision: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/cgg/policies/.