Collaborative Provision encompasses all learning opportunities which lead or contribute to the award of academic credit or qualification that are delivered, assessed, or supported through an arrangement with one or more organisations other than the degree-awarding body. Collaborative Provision can cover a number of diverse arrangements with partners, including:

  • Joint awards
  • Double and multiple awards
  • Dual awards
  • Collaborative networks
  • Franchised or validated provision
  • Articulation agreements
  • Progression
  • Exchange agreements
  • Placement agreements
  • Accreditation of employer-based training
  • Research students working away from the University
  • Co-supervisory research arrangements lead to joint or dual awards (cotutelle)

The document Descriptions of Types of Collaborative Activity sets out how the various types of activity can be defined and the Taxonomy of Collaborative Activity is a quick reference guide with indications of benefits and risks.

All of these arrangements are covered within the Process Document for Approval, Monitoring, and Review of Collaborative Activity, which sets out the processes and principles for their development, approval, and ongoing management.

For advice and guidance please refer to the Collaborative Provision Strategy Group membership which includes representation from the Library, Finance, and OGC.  College Quality Officers may also be approached for additional assistance.

Information is available to support Programme Directors and Module Leaders with responsibility for collaborative provision:

Approval of proposals for Collaborative Activity

Proposals are approved by the Collaborative Provision Strategy Group (CPSG) of often also by the Programme Approval Steering Committee (PASC). Research Proposals will also be considered by the Graduate School Management Committee (GSMC). See the Process Document for Approval, Monitoring, and Review of Collaborative Activity and the flowcharts which illustrate the approval process:

As part of an approval process, it will usually be necessary to visit partners and to carry out Due Diligence on potential partners and a risk assessment of the proposed arrangement.  Please use links the below to access guidance and templates:

An Operational Checklist is used to evidence the detailed planning of proposals.

Legal agreements and Signatories

A draft agreement will be required as part of the approval process.  Templates and guidance for drafting collaborative agreements can be found on the Legal Services Web Page.

All collaborative agreements will need to have a CPSG Checklist attached before signing. With the exception of exchange partnership agreements, collaborative agreements must be approved by CPSG and, for research proposals, GSMC, and must be signed by the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominee.

Information on specific types of activity is available below:

Articulation Agreements

Degree Apprenticeships with third-party providers

Aston Module Awards

Employer-based learning

Research Students based away from Aston

Exchange Agreements

Further Resources

Registers of Collaborative Activity

Up-to-date registers of all collaborative arrangements are maintained by the University: international agreements by the International Office and UK-based agreements involving programmes within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) by the Quality Team in the Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP).

If you have difficulty accessing any of the documents, please e-mail us.