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Course approval

Course Approval reviewer capacity is currently restricted and there is a waiting list of proposals seeking review. We are prioritising submitted proposals in line with University strategic priorities for business recovery.

Early notice of your intention to submit a proposal would be very helpful and, where necessary, will allow us to confirm the feasibility of your planned timescales before you spend time working on a proposal.

The University has launched a new Course Approval Online System. This is now live and available to use. The current Course Approval Paper Based Form was retired at the end of the 2018/19 academic year and all proposals must now be submitted through the online system. To ensure you get the smoothest transition from the paper forms and processes we are providing training, documentation and a single point of contact for all queries relating to the new online system.


A series of Training Roadshows for staff took place across campus on a monthly basis up until Christmas 2019. In 2020, we will ensure that regular training sessions are in place for staff to attend. Sessions will provide guidance on how to use the new Course Approval Online System and Module Approval Online System. These sessions will be facilitated by the Student Information Systems Team and the SPI Project Management Team, with representatives from Teaching Quality. Sign up for a Training Roadshow.

Course Proposal Submission Deadlines

**(The approval timescales indicated here relate to 'business-as-usual' operation and are likely to vary due to capacity during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.)**

In an attempt to reduce the timescales of approval, and allow colleagues to plan ahead, there are deadlines for the consideration of proposals.

All course proposals submitted by the end of each month will be reviewed by Professional Services teams in the first week of the following month, and then passed on to the panel for consideration in the second week of the month. The Deputy Chairs will review feedback from panel members in the fourth week of the month, before submitting their recommendation to the Chair. For example, any proposals received by the 31 August will be considered in September, with the outcomes communicated to Departments in October. We hope that this will help us to reduce the current average approval timescale.

Departments will need to be aware that course proposals will only be submitted for consideration once they are deemed ‘panel-ready’ i.e. when the online form has been fully completed and all supporting documentation has been supplied.

For Undergraduate Courses, proposals need to be approved two years in advance of a new course starting.

I.e. for courses starting in September 2022, you will need to submit the course proposal by the final week of July 2020.

For Postgraduate Courses, proposals need to be approved 18 months in advance of a new course starting.

I.e. for courses starting in September 2022, you will need to submit the course proposal by the final week of January 2021.

Course Amendments

Swapping Optional Modules

Swapping optional modules in and out of courses, and the associated update to course diets is intended to managed via the online course approval system in the future. At present however, swapping optional modules should be managed within academic departments and course diets maintained and updated in liaison with the Exams Office.

Course Approval is not currently required for swapping optional modules in/out of courses unless these changes constitute a significant review of the curriculum structure, including moving to the new credit framework tariff (15/30 credit modules at undergraduate level).

Minor Amendments*

Full proposal documentation must be submitted via the online course approval system. Proposal may be considered with a ‘lighter touch’ review process depending on the nature of the changes.

Departments do not need to request that a proposal be considered via a ‘lighter touch’ process. EPQ will determine the level of scrutiny required based upon the nature of the changes proposed.

Standard Amendment Requests*

Full proposal documentation must be submitted via the online course approval system. The full review process will be undertaken as outlined in the guidance documents.

*Sections 3 (Market Analysis and Intelligence) and 4 (Finance) are only required for new course proposals and course refresh/redesigns driven in part by a department’s student recruitment strategy.

Please note different approval processes for:


Systems Support: For any queries about using the new online systems, please email

For all other Course Approval queries, please email: