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Education Quality and Policy Office

 

The information on this page provides guidance for the creation of new degree courses, and should also be followed when making substantial amendments to existing courses.  This encompasses all undergraduate and graduate degrees, including Triposes, MPhils, MSts, or other postgraduate courses, certificates or diplomas.

In the context of this guidance, "substantial revisions" includes the introduction of one or more new teaching areas to an existing course, significant structural changes (e.g., changing IA/IB/II to I/IIA/IIB) and changes to current provision which have resource implications for the Faculty, Department or School.


Procedure

All proposals must be made to the Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee (ASEC), a sub-committee of the General Board's Education Committee, using the New Course Approval Form below. The Committee welcomes additional information but will always require this to be accompanied by the items set out in the Application Checklist and Form.  Courses involving a collaborative element with a partner institution should complete both the New Course Approval Form and the Collaborative Education Form.

If you are proposing a new premium fee category, you will need to make a special case. A consolidated list of fees (cam-only) is available from the Planning and Resources Allocation Office.

The Student Registry will need to be consulted about any unseen examinations for which it will be responsible.

All proposals must be accompanied by confirmation of approval by the following bodies: 

  • Faculty Board
  • Degree Committee (for graduate courses)
  • School (usually Council of the School, but some Schools will also require appropriate Undergraduate/Graduate Committee approval as well)

Courses which have proposed elements that affect the College experience will also require approval by the Senior Tutors' Committee, or the Senior Tutors' Standing Committee on Education.  

New MSt courses, diplomas or certificates will also require approval by the Institute of Continuing Education prior to receipt by ASEC.

As and when the proposal has received approval from ASEC, a Notice must be published in the Reporter.  For new courses, the Notice will include both the Special Regulations for the examination and a brief description of the course.  For existing courses, the Notice will concern the amendments to the existing Special Regulations only.  

Your Education Quality and Policy Liaison Officer is always willing to discuss and comment on proposals in draft, and you should involve them at a very early stage in planning.  

Timescale

It is difficult to give a precise timetable, as each case is different and dependent on many variables.  However, the lead time for new courses is likely to be a minimum of two years, and may be much longer, between first raising the idea and first admitting students.  Commitments to current students and those who have already been accepted through the admissions process (including deferred entry) must also be considered.  Changes to existing courses which impact on Prospectus information that has already been published are highly unlikely to be approved, so the publication timescale plays a major part in the approval process.  In a best-case scenario, for a proposal first raised in the Michaelmas Term it is unlikely that necessary internal process will be completed at least until the end of the Easter Term.  Particularly innovative or non-standard courses may require lengthy internal consultation prior to approval.  

Your Education Quality and Policy Liaison Officer will be able to advise on a precise timeline for the course you are proposing. 

The Admissions Offices should be kept informed of proposed new courses, and can advise on the timescale of changes to Prospectus information.