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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook


Boards of Studies

1. Responsibility for the establishment of a new module/programme and for revisions to existing programmes lies with a Board of Studies (Standing Orders of Boards of Studies).

2. It is the Boards of Studies who are required to forward details of the following curriculum development proposals for consideration by appropriate University committees as outlined below:

a. new degree/diploma/certificate proposals;

b. new module proposals;

c. major changes to existing degrees/diplomas/certificates;

d. significant changes to existing modules;

e. matters concerning the Combined/Natural Sciences degrees;

f. withdrawal of modules;

3. In summary:

a. Any changes to programme regulations, or changes which affect modular learning outcomes, assessment, significant content, total teaching hours, pre/co-requisites and/or excluded combinations, availability, resources or module title, size, type or level require Faculty-level approval.

b. University-level approval is only required if either (a) changes to a programme or module are requested after students have registered for that level of module; or (b) the changes are considered to alter the content or structure of a programme sufficiently that it is considered to be a new programme. The Chair of the relevant Faculty Education Committee is asked to judge the extent of said changes referring programmes through the correct structures as appropriate and outlined in Section 3 of the Handbook.

Faculty Education Committees

4. Responsibility for considering proposals submitted by Boards of Studies lies with the appropriate Faculty Education Committee. The FEC may delegate to the Chair its responsibility for considering new module proposals and significant changes to existing modules and programmes. Items so approved would normally be reported to the Committee in the form of a listing only.

5. It would normally be expected that the following matters would be considered by the FEC itself - any proposal or matter within the FEC's remit which raises an issue of principle upon which guidelines do not exist or which is a matter of contention between departments/schools.

6. The FE is empowered to approve new modules and major/significant changes to existing modules/degrees/diplomas/certificates except where these raise issues of principle or concern, are the subject of contention, or have wider University implications in which case they will normally be referred to EC for consideration.

7. For the establishment of new degrees/diplomas/certificates members of FEC together with members of EC or QSSC form a programme approval panel to consider the proposals on behalf of both committees, for onward transmission to QSSC, EC and Senate.

8. Details of Calendar entries will be handled by the Academic Support Office.

Education Committee

9. The Education Committee (EC) is responsible for the formulation of University policy in respect of curriculum development and changes in regulations and for providing guidance in those areas to Boards of Studies and FECs. EC is empowered to approve a new module/degree/diploma/certificate proposal or a proposal for a major/significant change to an existing module/degree/diploma/ certificate which has been referred to it by an FEC. Normally proposals for new programmes are considered for approval by QSSC, and are subsequently reported to EC and Senate .


10. Senate is the ultimate authority on all academic matters but has delegated much of the responsibility for the approval of new curriculum proposals and changes to existing curriculum to its Eduction Committee.