Academic Development and Quality Enhancement

New Course/Pathway Approval, Course Withdrawal/Suspension, and Course Title Changes

Portfolio Approval Committee

The authority to approve new courses and pathways, to withdraw or suspend courses or pathways, or to change the title of an award, resides with the University’s Portfolio Approval Committee (PAC).

Further details on the processes for submitting proposals to the Committee can be found in the Academic Development Handbook. Summaries of the processes and the relevant paperwork are included in the below sections. If you have any queries not addressed by the Handbook, please contact newcourses@sussex.ac.uk for assistance.

New Course Approval

This is a two stage process that ensures the proposal is of the appropriate academic quality, complies with University policy, and is a suitable addition to the portfolio of the School. Please note BSMS proposals follow a different process and the academic handbook/ADQE Curriculum Manager should be consulted for guidance.

 

New Pathway Proposal

Proposals for new Pathways and new Major/Minor courses should be completed, approved via School Teaching and Learning Committee, and forwarded to the secretary of PAC for consideration and approval by the committee. The Portfolio Approval Committee has authority to approve new pathways and new major/minor degrees arising from the combination of 90 credit pathways with single honours courses. 

The form to be used for a new major/minor entry route requests details of the course which will form the major element, the pathway that will form the minor element, together with a rationale for why a specified entry title can be justified for the proposed combination. If the 90 credit pathway is being proposed at the same time as the major/minor degree, a copy of the pathway proposal should be appended to the major/minor pro forma.

Proposal forms are listed below:

Changing Course/Pathway Titles

Proposals seeking to change the title of a course or pathway should be submitted to the secretary of PAC on the below form. Schools are required to specify proposed timescales for course title changes and should note that changes are unlikely to be approved for implementation in the middle of a recruitment cycle, where there would be a disruptive impact on existing applicants. Schools should contact the Admissions Office to discuss the likely operational impact of any proposed title change. Approval should be obtained from the Autumn Term meeting of STLC. Final approval will then be given by PAC for implementation at the next appropriate opportunity

Course/Pathway Withdrawal or Suspension

A request to withdraw a course or pathway should, in the first instance, be made to the first possible meeting of STLC. Schools may consult the Admissions Office to discuss the likely impact of any proposal to withdraw or suspend a course.

Once approval from STLC has been gained, the School should submit the proposal form to PAC. PAC will determine whether the withdrawal is in the University’s interests. This will enable the removal of a course or pathway in good time for the following admissions cycle.  It is important that Schools appreciate that withdrawal of an undergraduate course in the middle of an applications cycle is not permissible. Therefore, Schools should propose withdrawals for the first appropriate year unaffected by the current applications cycle.

Proposals for withdrawal/suspension should be submitted to the secretary of PAC on the below form:

Course Validation

Once given approval by PAC, courses will progress to the validation stage where the detailed curriculum will be scrutinised by a panel of independent internal and external members. An ADQE Manager will liaise with the course development lead to organise the validation event. 

The following forms should be used to prepare for course validation panels:

If you have any specific queries relating to validation, please contact validations@sussex.ac.uk.