How to Manage your Academic Portfolio

This page is a quick guide to the new templates for Course Planning and Approval.

The planning and approval mechanisms for new, modified and reviewed courses has changed. The following guide sets out the steps of the planning, development and approval process, and includes which templates are required and details of the approval body. 


Programme Planning Templates 2020-21
Planning Proposal Part 1 (PPP1)

If Market research is undertaken by the Marketing Manager, please append as an annex to PPP1.

Sections 1 - 16 of PPP1 will form the first part of the Course Specification.

The final Course Specification will be published online.

The purpose of the course planning process is to ensure that there is an in-principle case for inclusion of a course in the University’s academic portfolio, and time is not wasted developing courses that do not meet the University’s strategic needs.

This process is overseen for the University by the Academic Strategy Committee, while oversight of the detailed activity of course planning is delegated to faculties.

The planning stage requires the approval of key areas of the proposed course, such as:

  • A business case and market rationale and intelligence
  • The course aims and learning outcomes that the students will work towards

This list is an indication of the areas you will need to consider when designing or modifying your course. We encourage you to work collaboratively with colleagues such as your Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching and the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit.

Faculty In-principle Approval:

Faculty Portfolio Planning Executive (FPPE)

Once approved by the FPPE, then submitted to:

Institutional In-Principle approval:

Academic Strategy Committee (ASC)

ASC may then take one of the following decisions:

  1. Grant in-principle approval to proceed to PPP2.
  2. Grant in-principle approval to proceed to PPP2 subject to further work undertaken.
  3. Not approve the proposal and require further work prior to a resubmission.
Planning Proposal Part 2 (PPP2)

Required Annexes:
Student Number Annex
Financial Annex
Prospectus Entry

Sections 17 – 30 will form the second part of the Course Specification.

The final Course Specification will be published online.

This stage of course planning requires the approval of the following areas:
  • The module detail such as a delivery schedule, credit value, academic direction hours and assessment methods
  • Student numbers and a financial summary
  • If applicable, the combined honours model
  • The prospectus entry
  • Resource requirements

Faculty Approval:

  • Faculty Portfolio Planning Executive (FPPE)
Course Document
Module Specification and Descriptor

Previously approved documents also provided:

PPP1 and 2 with annexes

Course Specification (Items 1-30 from PPP1 and PPP2)

Once the planning stage has been completed and approved, course design is undertaken to develop further the approaches to learning and teaching and industry engagement, including professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRB) where applicable.

The final course documents will be scrutinised by an appropriate body convened by the Faculty then submitted to the Faculty Learning and Teaching and Assessment Committee FLTAC (or equivalent body).

FLTAC will formally review the proposed submission and, if appropriate, will refer the final, completed set of documents to the Faculty Quality Committee, with the recommendation that documents are submitted to the Quality and Standards Office (QSO), see ‘Course Approval’.

The cut-off for a Standing Approval Panel to be held is a minimum of six months before the planned first intake of students. Typically, this means for all UG courses commencing in September, the deadline is the 31 March in the academic year prior to commencement.

PPP1 and 2 with annexes

Course Specification (Items 1-30 from PPP1 and PPP2)

Course Document
Module Specification and Descriptor

When the course development stage is complete and the Faculty Quality Committee is content to approve the documentation to be submitted to a Standing Approval Panel, the Faculty Quality Office will liaise with the relevant Quality Officer in the Quality and Standards Office.

The Standing Approval Panel will convene to review the proposal and may:

  1. offer commendations.
  2. recommend the course to the Education and Student Experience Committee and the Academic Board in the form it is presented.
  3. ask for minor drafting alterations, to be approved via Chair’s Action and recommend as above.
  4. return the proposal to the Faculty for further consideration, setting out where further development is required and agree a resubmission date.
  5. reject the proposal in its current form.



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Last edited: 17/03/2022 09:30:00