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Learning and Teaching Handbook

4.4 Thematic Review

The purpose of Thematic Review

1. The University's academic provision and the pastoral support it offers to its students are regularly reviewed by periodic reviews of departments and colleges respectively, and are subject to annual monitoring. To complement these monitoring and review processes, the University also carries out a number of Thematic Reviews each year.

2. The purpose of the Thematic Review process is to:

a. review aspects of the University's learning and teaching across existing institutional structures, and/or elements of the University's Quality Management Framework, in order to consider their effectiveness in securing academic standards and/or supporting and enhancing the student learning experience;

b. make recommendations to Education Committee on the enhancement of the provision and/or processes under review.

Membership of Thematic Review teams

3. Thematic Review is a peer review process, and each review team will include as a minimum one member of academic staff from each of the University's faculties (nominated by the Head of Faculty), and one student representative nominated by DSU. One of the faculty representatives shall act as chair, with the chair of the review team being appointed by the chair of Education Committee once faculty nominations have been received.

4. Each review team will be supported by the Head of the Academic Support Office or his/her nominee.

Selection of themes

5. During the Easter Term each academic year the chair of Education Committee will propose to Education Committee areas for Thematic Review in the forthcoming academic year (normally two Reviews per academic year). In making these proposals, the chair of Education Committee will take account of the strategic priorities detailed in the University's Education Strategy; University-wide issues identified from the University's quality management processes; and national developments in learning and teaching.

6. The proposals from the chair of Education Committee will outline the scope and remit of the proposed Review; the evidence base that will be used in carrying out the Review; and the methodology for the Review.

7. Education Committee will be asked to consider and approve the proposed schedule of Thematic Reviews.

Conduct of Thematic Reviews

8. Once the schedule of Thematic Reviews has been agreed, the review team will be responsible for developing and implementing the methodology for its review as approved by Education Committee . Review teams will wherever possible use existing documentation as the basis for their work, and where appropriate will consult with colleagues in departments, faculties and relevant support services.

9. The review team will detail their findings in a written report that addresses all elements of the scope and remit agreed by Education Committee , identifying areas of good practice and making recommendations for improvement. Where the review team has consulted with colleagues during the course of the Review, these colleagues will be given the opportunity to comment on the draft report in order to correct any factual errors.

Consideration of Thematic Review reports

10. All Thematic Review reports will be submitted for consideration by Education Committee. Education Committee is responsible for:

a. agreeing an action plan to disseminate and embed across the University the good practice identified by the Thematic Review report;

b. considering whether to approve the recommendations of the Thematic Review report;

c. agreeing an action plan to address the recommendations (and any other issues) raised by the Thematic Review report.

11. The responsibility for co-ordinating the activities agreed in the action plans approved by Education Committee shall rest with the secretary to Education Committee. The secretary to Education Committee shall also be responsible for ensuring that a report on the action taken in response to each Thematic Review report is made to Education Committee no more than one year after the report has been considered by Education Committee.