Course design validation

New courses are considered via a Validation Panel where they are in a new curriculum area, involve a significantly new method of delivery, involve external collaboration or require validation to meet an external organisation’s requirements.

Validation events may also be held in other circumstances, for example where a department would like to make significant changes to a large group of courses and it’s agreed this should be considered by a Panel.

The Quality and Academic Development or Postgraduate Research team will discuss the validation event and membership of the validation panel with the department, in consultation with the Executive or Faculty Dean.

Validation Panel

The Validation Panel will include members with relevant expertise to allow them to judge the academic integrity of the course in relation to the University’s regulations and the national standards expected of the type of award, and to evaluate the course in terms of its structure and content.

Validation Event

  • A validation event normally takes place over a half, full day, or across two individual dates taking place within 3-6 weeks of each other. The structure of the event will 
    depend on the size and nature of the award(s) being validated.  Occasionally, validation events can be held virtually via a paper-based exercise. This is usually over a period of time with documents shared electronically and discussions held remotely.
  • The agenda will be tailored for each validation - a typical agenda (.docx)  is provided as an indication.

Validation documentation

  • Departments produce a set of documentation which is considered by the Panel and discussed during the validation event.
  • The guidance to departments and panels (.pdf) includes a section on the areas covered in a validation event and the various internal and external influences that should be taken into account when designing a new course.
  • A validation documentation checklist (.docx) is also provided.

Validation outcome

  • Following the event, a summary outcome is circulated with the Panel’s recommendation, usually within a week, followed by a fuller report (usually within four weeks).
  • Most validation events lead to a recommendation to approve the course, subject to meeting a set of conditions and recommendations.  Occasionally, courses are approved with no further work required, and very occasionally, courses are not approved for further development.

Department response

Departments provide a response to the conditions and recommendations by a deadline set by the Panel, explaining the steps they have taken or plan to take.  This response has to be approved, usually by the Chair of the Panel and/or the Executive or Deputy Dean.

Final approval

  • Members of Faculty Education Committees are sent the validation report and given the opportunity to comment.
  • Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC) consider the Validation Panel’s report and the Faculty Education Committee’s comments.
  • AQSC make the final decision on whether the course should be approved, and whether to add further conditions and recommendations.

Validation timelines

When it is agreed that a course validation event will be taking place, the QUAD team will produce a timeline to give an overview of the activities that take place in preparation for a course validation event. This will include information on which teams are responsible for each activity.

Documentation for validation events should be sent to the Quality and Academic Development team at least 6 weeks in advance of the event.

Once compiled and complete, the validation documentation will be sent electronically to members of the Validation Panel at least two weeks in advance of the event. An electronic copy will also be forwarded to the Department Manager for distribution to the course team.

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Quality and Academic Development
Telephone: 01206 873944