The University of Essex has a risk-management approach to the approval of new
degree courses and awards. The intensity of scrutiny which a new award 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.
If you have any questions about the approval of new courses, or new modules,
New courses go through a number of stages and committees before the course can
be advertised, opened for admissions and delivered for the first time.
It can be useful for those involved in developing the new course to meet at an
early stage to talk through timelines and responsibilities - for example
representatives from the department's course development team, the Quality and
Academic Development Manager or Postgraduate Research Education team and the
Executive or Deputy Dean.
Stages of course approval and information gathered
The information gathered on new courses builds as the course progresses
through each stage. Please review the guidance to see what forms and
supporting information are collected at each stage, who is responsible for
approval at each stage and what the possible outcomes of each stage are.
Although requests for new courses can be submitted at any time during the year,
there are a number of key deadlines which should be considered in relation to
when the course is intended to start.
The timeline allows information to be finalised in time for publication for
students when they choose their course and modules.
Submitting documentation by the timelines below allows most new courses and any
associated new modules to be approved in time for new course and module
information to be published to students and taken into account in preparations
for the new academic year, including updates to Course Finder, the module
directory, timetabling and library resource.
Timelines relate to the first academic year the course is to be delivered:
Concept stage: when discussions over the new course
Development stage: early November
Final stage: by the end of January
Later requests for a new course might be considered, although in some cases the
date of introduction may be deferred.
Departments should aim to submit final stage information
at the latest by mid-April to allow the course
to be considered by Academic Quality and Standards Committee.
Where the new course includes new modules that will be
available on other existing courses, these need to be submitted
at the latest by 1 March (the Course Records
Review and Modification deadline)
Time should be allowed beforehand for discussions over the
course design, production of the documentation and consultation
(in line with the course category)
Deadlines for approvals
via validation events may be different, depending on the
timing of the meeting, but will still aim to report to AQSC in
the spring term.