Our course and module approval processes are designed to
courses meet the academic standards and quality required by
courses and approval processes align with the requirements
of external agencies such as the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
course data is collated at approval stages so the University
publishes accurate and clear information
there is an appropriate level of external input to new
course design and approval
Course design and advice
Advice is offered by teams across the University on the various aspects of
new course and module approval, from initial development of a proposed course or
module, through to ongoing review and amendments once the course has been
approved and is being offered.
The University has a risk-management approach to the approval of new degree
courses and awards. The intensity of scrutiny which a new course is subjected to
is determined largely by the volume of the curriculum that is new and whether
there are any aspects of the course which are new to the department or
University, and the academic risk it therefore represents.
Proposals for new modules on existing courses should be submitted in line
with deadlines for the annual update of modules and courses. Proposals can
be submitted at other times of the year, as long as they are in advance of the
final deadline for the annual update. New modules designed as part of a new
course proposal should be incorporated into the approval process and
documentation for the new course, and should account for deadlines for the
Changes to existing courses and modules
All courses and modules are updated annually as part of the ongoing cycle of
monitoring and review. The nature and scale of the request for changes to existing courses and modules will dictate
whether approval is needed and when changes can be introduced.
Guidance is given on what to take into account when considering changes, how
to find information to help, who to consult and who to contact for training and
Like most UK Higher Education Institutions, Essex has a ‘standard’ academic year which runs from autumn to summer, with term dates approved by Senate. However, we also have modules and courses that operate across dates that fall outside of these typical terms, which we refer to as ‘year-round delivery’.
If you are considering creating or amending a module or course for year-round delivery, as well as working with QUAD in the usual process, consulting, notifying and liaising with key University teams is equally important, particularly for the students’ experience at Essex. We have developed guidance (.pdf) to support those considering introducing year-round delivery, including the teams you should include in your planning.