Future regulation of programme specifications

Aston University Regulation Sub-Committee and KIS Working Group

Programme Specification 2012 onwards

RSC has agreed a number of recommendations about the future regulation of programme specifications arising from a meeting of representatives of Schools and central departments.

1. One programme: one programme specification

The 2012-13 specification will be for all years of a programme rather than only for students entering in 2012-13, as previously. This will simplify the work of Boards of Examiners as a single programme specification will apply to all of the students on a programme in any given year. Aston already uses the same approach for General Regulations.

2. One annual up-date

Programme specifications will be published once annually. The deadline for all programme specifications is 1 September. The deadline will ensure the specifications are available for students in good time.

Major up-dates or revisions (involving the title or programme learning outcomes) will be introduced in the same way as they are currently, following agreement with the students and approval by the School and PASC.

3. Published externally for the first time

New HEFCE requirements mean that programme specifications for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will be published externally from 2012-13. As you know the specifications have only been available internally up to now. Each School will have an externally accessible web page where undergraduate and postgraduate programme specifications will be available. The pages will be set up and populated with the help of Marketing.

4. Key Information Set (KIS)

There will be a link from each KIS (undergraduate programmes only) to the relevant School programme specification page. There is likely to be interest in undergraduate programme specifications from mid-September when KIS are published.

What do Schools need to consider?

When you apply the programme specification and programme regulations for 2012-13 to all students currently enrolled will this constitute a major change or disadvantage for any cohort? RSC thinks this is very unlikely to happen given the nature of most programme regulations but it is possible to specify that a cohort will ‘run-out’ on an old specification. If you think this may be necessary please contact RSC to discuss.

Please plan to get your specifications ready to submit in August although the deadline is 1 September for all programmes. It is especially important that undergraduate programme specifications be prepared as early as possible this year as we are undertaking publication for the first time and want to ensure everything is ready in time for the KIS go-live in mid-September.

Specifications will be available externally for the first time. Schools may want to ensure all specifications are using a similar format, and that they do not contain any information or comments that would not be appropriate in a published document which will be accessible to other Universities and the press, as well as to students and parents.

Where can I find help?

The University templates for programme specifications are available here http://www1.aston.ac.uk/registry/for-staff/regsandpolicies/prog-approval/

If you have submitted earlier versions of specification you can access these in the central store. The staff-only store of programme specifications for the University is here: \\nas\shared\progspec

You should submit you specification to the following members of School staff who have been given guidance on how to liaise with the other departments involved to ensure it is properly published and stored.

School Officers will be in touch with you soon to let you know what you need to do if you are involved in the School processes for finalising programme specifications this year.


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Other sources of help and advice:

KIS University Co-ordinator Catherine Foster (c.s.foster@aston.ac.uk)

Modifications to programmes and PASC Lesley Price (l.a.price@aston.ac.uk)

Regulations and RSC Gillian Simpson (g.simpson@aston.ac.uk