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Why does the University make changes to Programmes and Units?

The University might make changes to your programme and units for a number of reasons, and it is important that these are made clear to you and all students who are affected by the change.  The main reason that changes are made, is in response to feedback and comments from students – for example in response to the Internal Student Survey (ISS) – or in response to comments and suggestions made by the external examiners for your programme.  For more information about your external examiners, see

Changes are also made to reflect current trends in employment patterns, and to make sure that our graduates are well placed to secure jobs at the conclusion of their study.

For programmes with professional body accreditation, it may be that the professional body has required changes and in order that your programme can continue to be accredited, the University must comply with these changes.  You will receive notification regarding these changes – which are usually only made for students enrolling on the course in future years.

In very rare and exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary for the University to make changes mid-session – for example in cases of unforeseen staff illness.  In these circumstances, the University will communicate clearly to both students and external examiners and make all efforts to ensure that no students are disadvantaged by interim arrangements.

Who does the University consult before making changes?

Before any changes to programmes and/or units are approved and put in place, University processes require programme teams wishing to make such changes to consult with a wide range of stakeholders, dependent on the level of change.  Stakeholders consulted can include:

  • The University’s Strategic Planning Division – does the modification fit with the University’s strategic direction?  Has market research been carried out, and are the changes viable and sustainable?
  • Library services and IT services – can the modification be supported, are the resources available or within budget?
  • Employers and Professional Bodies – will the modification impact employability; will it affect the accreditation by the Professional Body?
  • External Examiners – is the modification academically sound and will it lead to an enhancement of the provision?
  • Collaborative Partners – will the modification affect programmes running at one of our partner institutions?
  • Alumni – who can provide a rich source of information about whether their course provided them with appropriate skills to gain relevant employment and who can highlight any areas that would benefit from change or development
  • Current Students – who can comment first hand on their experience of the programme and units and provide feedback on any proposed changes

How are students consulted about changes to Units and/or Programmes?

Before changes are made, students are consulted about proposed modifications to units and programmes by a variety of methods.  The standard method is for the programme staff to meet with, or write to, all students to outline the proposed changes and the implications for current and future students.  Students are then asked to confirm in writing – either through signature on a class list or by email – that they are happy with the proposal(s), or to indicate objections if they are not happy with the proposal(s).  In some instances, Moodle programme areas may be used to consult with students.

Please note – to make sure that your views are heard and can feed into the modifications process, it is important that you feedback by any deadlines which have been set for the process.

Every programme offered by the University which leads to an award, has to undergo a formal review normally on a six-yearly basis.  At review, all students are consulted and a smaller group of representatives – including recent graduates – is invited to meet with a panel where they have the opportunity to comment on how the programme is running.  The outcomes from these meetings can influence the future development of the programme.

Who do I contact if I want any additional information about the proposal?

If you need any additional information about the proposal, and how it might affect you, you should contact the unit leader, your personal tutor, or your programme leader.

When the consultation has been carried out, what happens next?

Once the consultation has been carried out, the proposed modification will be considered by the relevant Faculty Committee, or by a programme review panel dependent on the level of change, and whether the modification is part of a scheduled six-yearly review of the programme.  A decision will be taken concerning approval of the modification and an implementation date will be identified.  Certain categories of modification (eg change to programme title, change of core units, significant changes to the assessment type) can normally only be made for existing cohorts of students with full consent from students who are directly affected.

What do I do if a Unit option or elective have chosen is modified and I don't want to pick that one anymore?

In these instances, you will be permitted to change your option.  You are advised to meet with the unit leader or personal tutor to discuss any implications if you change options in such cases.

My Programme has a year abroad as part of the study. How will I know that the Programme and Units will be unchanged when I come back from my year abroad?

Your programme leader must consult with all students who are studying on a year abroad if there are any plans to modify the programme to which they will return.  Full consent from students will be required before any changes are put in place.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about the changes which have been made?

If you have any concerns about the changes, and how these will affect you, you should discuss these with your personal tutor, or your programme leader.  The Students’ Union Advice Centre will also be able to provide advice in these instances.