skip to content

Education Quality and Policy Office

 

(page last reviewed 4 Oct 2022)

The Course Modification Framework sets out the approval required for the most common types of changes to taught courses. In all cases, Faculties and Departments should discuss the changes with their EQPO liaison officer, who will advise on the approval route and how to complete the relevant paperwork.

For changes to research degrees, please contact the Postgraduate Research Team in the first instance.  

    Deadlines

    The more complex the change to a course, the longer the approval process will take, and the more documentation and evidence will be required.

    The final meeting of Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee where approval may be sought for changes to courses with effect from October 2023 is 26 April 2023. Some changes will require a longer lead in time, and changes will not be approved if the course has already been advertised.

    Paperwork must be submitted to your EQPO liaison officer no later than 5 April 2023.

    Types of modifications

    There are three levels of course modifications: 

    Our course modification flowchart provides information about what constitutes each level of change:

    Adjustments

    This class of course changes covers very small changes to courses such as changing marking and classing schemes and revising optional papers. These are either approved at Faculty Board, or via the Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee Fast Track Approval process. The Course Modification Framework sets out the route for Adjustments.

    Faculty Board powers

    Some course regulations give Faculty Boards the power to publish minor changes independently as Supplementary Regulations or as Notices in the Reporter. This power is always clearly set out in the course regulations and if Faculties or Departments are unsure, they should contact their EQPO liaison officer for advice.

    If the change is within the Faculty Board’s power, then the Reporter editor should be contacted directly via reportereditor@admin.cam.ac.uk.

    Minor Modifications

    This class of course changes always require approval by Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee (ASEC) and the completion of the Minor Course Modifications Form. The majority of course changes fall into this category. Faculties and departments should discuss minor course modifications with their EQPO liaison officer as early as possible.

    Faculties and departments should note the following when completing the form:

    • ASEC will not accept incomplete paperwork, or paperwork pending approval from Faculty Board, or the relevant School or ICE committee.
    • Revised programme specifications and course regulations must be included.
    • Student engagement is a key part of the process. The University works in partnership with its students and the General Board expects Faculties and Departments to consult meaningfully with students over changes to courses.  Evidence of this consultation must be included. Some ways students can be consulted include via surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, or by soliciting feedback directly. Faculties and Departments are advised to discuss consulting with students with their student representatives. Course teams developing new postgraduate courses may wish to consult with current undergraduate students in cognate or related disciplines.
    • If there is an impact on teaching which is delivered by Colleges, or for which Colleges are responsible, Faculties and Departments should include evidence of consultation with Directors of Studies as a minimum; some changes will need to be endorsed by the Senior Tutors’ Standing Committee on Education Committee (advice can be sought from your EQPO liaison officer or the ASEC Secretary).
    • Minor modifications which are dependent on new resources should ensure that this approval has been secured before submitting the modification for approval. Evidence will be required (such as Council of the School minute, or the University Planning and Resources Committee minute).
    • Faculties and departments should note that all prospective and current students have rights which are defined and protected by consumer legislation.  Guidance on pursuing course modifications in line with these legislative duties can be found in our Competition and Market Authority guidance.

    Major modifications

    This class of course changes is more unusual and should be completed using the Major Course Modifications Form. Faculties and departments considering redevelopment of courses should discuss with their EQPO liaison officer at the earliest possible opportunity. Any major changes to undergraduate matriculated courses will require endorsement from the Senior Tutors’ Education Committee and Senior Tutors’ Committee.

    Major course modifications which require new or additional funding should provide evidence that the additional resources are secure before submitting any paperwork to EQPO.