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Programme and module approval process

Purpose/aim

The processes of programme design, development and approval are an essential part of Birkbeck’s internal quality assurance and enhancement procedures.

The processes enable the College to ensure that all new and revised modules or programmes are academically appropriate; fit with Birkbeck’s educational context; meet the needs of students; recognise external factors such as professional body requirements and QAA; and that sufficient resource is allocated for successful delivery.

The Academic Standards and Quality team facilitates this process for the College, and can provide advice and support. Approval is achieved through academic scrutiny at the School Education Committees and the College Programme Committee.

New Programme Design

The development of high quality provision is dependent on effective programme design.  A guide detailing the process for developing programmes, along with a summary paper describing programme structure at Birkbeck can be found in the documents below:

In developing programmes, staff should be familiar with the following documents:

New Programme Approval

The approval of new programmes at Birkbeck is subject to a formal approval process which is detailed in the guidance notes found here and includes the completion of the following two forms:

If the new programme also includes new modules that are not already in existence, a module proposal form must be completed for each new module (see section below).

Please click here for information on the non-CAS short course approval process.

Academics wishing to develop new programmes should first submit the paperwork for approval at School Education Committee. Once this has been achieved, the programme is scrutinised for approval at the College Programme Committee (CPC) which meets once a term. Deadlines for the submission of paperwork can be found here.

Changing existing programmes and new module approval

Departments should ensure that they follow the College's Guidance for complying with Consumer Protection Law (updated June 2020) when considering changes to programmes and modules.

School Education Commitees can approve:

new modules;
module amendments; and
minor programme amendments

Programme directors/module co-ordinators should complete the appropriate form below, which should be signed off by the head of the department before forwarding to the School Education Committee for approval.

Programme Directors must also provide an updated Programme Specification to the School Education Committee when making structural programme amendments (programme specification forms are available from the link under the new programme approval section).  These approvals are reported to the College Programmes Committee (CPC).

Programme and module amendments and COVID-19

For information on the process for making amendments to existing approved modules and programmes in the context of COVID-19 please see the document available here.