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Course approval

Known System Bug: Comments not saving at Review Stages. This occurs when text is pasted directly into the empty comment box. This appears to be a bug and has been reported to the developer. The current fix is to type a few characters directly into the comment box, selecting ‘add comment’. You can then paste text into the box (overtyping the dummy characters) and select ‘update comment’. You can check your comments have saved by selecting ‘view comments’.

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.

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.)**

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

I.e. for courses starting in September 2023, you will need to submit the course proposal by the final week of July 2021.

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.

Submitted proposals are reviewed first by EPQ to conduct initial quality assurance checks and to determine whether they are panel-ready (i.e. the online form has been fully completed and all supporting documentation has been supplied).

Panel-ready proposals will then progress to Professional Services review. We recommend that departments proactively engage in consultation with relevant professional services teams (Finance, Market Research, Admissions, Immigration) during proposal development to help ensure submitted proposals are panel-ready.

Following Professional Services review, proposals will then be passed on to the academic and financial panels for consideration. Panel feedback is then reviewed and collated by the the Deputy Chairs (academic and financial), and approval recommendations made to the Chair of the Course Proposal Scrutiny Panel. The Chair will then review all elements of the proposal and panel recommendations before returning their final approval decision. We aim to achieve an average approval timescale of 6-8 weeks* for submitted panel-ready proposals.

*Departments will need to be aware that course proposals will only be progressed for consideration once they are deemed panel-ready. We therefore recommend early submission of proposals to allow time for EPQ to review and advise of any necessary amendments prior to consideration at further approval stages.

Course Amendments

Swapping Optional Modules

Swapping optional modules in and out of courses, and the associated update to course diets is intended to be 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. Proposals 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:


For any queries about data, the progress/status of a specific proposal/course or queries about policy, please email

For technical support issues with the system please email