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Learning and Teaching Handbook

3.3.2 Programme Approval: Business Case

Please refer to the New Programme Approval Flowchart for a summary of this process.

Advice and guidance on the programme approval process, and support for departments as they go through the process, is available from staff in the Strategic Planning Office (SPO) and the Curriculum, Learning & Assessment service (CLA). Departments are encouraged to contact staff from these offices at the earliest opportunity.

1. New programme proposals should normally be discussed in, or arise from, the planning round. Following planning round discussions, the department should seek permission to proceed from their faculty (normally the relevant Deputy Head of Faculty). Once permission has been granted, the department should prepare and submit New Degree Programme Business Case Form (Appendix a3.15). This form sets out the strategic reasons why consideration should be given to establishing a new programme.

2. The department should work with CLAS, who are responsible for advising on Part A (Department Proposal) which addresses academic rationale and curricula issues, and SPO, who are responsible for advising on Part B (Market Analysis and Sustainability) which forms the business case, and which is the primary focus of this first approval stage. Support should be sought from any other academic department involved in the programme.

3. Completed forms should be approved by the Head of Department, and submitted to SPO, who will ensure that the initial proposals are considered by UEC. UEC will consider the programme in order to confirm strategic fit, resourcing and sustainability. All financial and business aspects of the proposal (e.g. staffing, scholarships/discounts, learning resources) should be agreed through this Stage of the process. If UEC is supportive of the new programme, it can proceed to Stage 2.

4. If permission is granted to progress to Stage 2, SPO will share Stage 1 proposals with the Library and CIS for feedback on learning resources, with UEC minute extracts provided to academic departments. CLAS will ensure that an Academic Reviewer is appointed and assigned to the department.

5. The proposing department will develop a full academic proposal for the proposed programme (as outlined in LTH 3.3.3). Additional guidance on completing the full academic proposal is available online (LTH: 3.4.5, 3.4.6, 3.12), and direct support will be provided by CLAS and the appointed Academic Reviewer.