Includes: university procedure for closing or suspending a programme of study; automatic closure of a programme; curriculum team
This page sets out the University procedures for closing or suspending any programme of study in order to protect the interests of students, applicants and the University.
Schools may not close or suspend a programme on its own authority because of the contractual liabilities between students, applicants and the University.
Programmes which regularly recruit low numbers of students will be highlighted to Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors (PVCs) as part of the annual curriculum strategic review meetings. Programmes which recruit poorly for a three year period will be expected to close unless the faculty/school is able to demonstrate it has taken steps to improve future recruitment.
Obtaining approval from Quality and Standards Committee
Includes: programme closure/suspension request template; requirements; rationale
The recommendation to close or suspend a programme must be made by the administering school to Quality and Standards Committee (QSC) via a MS form, which can be accessed here:
Request for the closure or suspension of programmes of study - MS form
In the case of joint, major/minor, and interdisciplinary courses, the school must obtain the agreement of the partner school(s) to the closure or suspension before submitting the recommendation to QSC.
Schools recommending closure or suspension of a programme are expected to provide information about the following in order for a decision to be made:
- The rationale for closure or suspension
- The proposed arrangements for students currently registered on the course (if applicable)
- The proposed arrangements for applicants who have accepted offers of a place on the course (if applicable)
- The proposed arrangements for any related programmes delivered on other campuses (if applicable)
QSC will only accept the recommendation if the rationale is sufficiently strong to justify the disruption to students and/or applicants, and if the arrangements for students and/or applicants satisfy the requirements in the remaining sections.
A recommendation for closure or suspension will be accepted where there are no registered students or applicants who have accepted offers, and the school can demonstrate that there is no impact on other schools, departments or campuses.
Conditions under which a programme may close
Includes: sufficient causes for closing or suspending a programme; discussion and documentation of proposed course closure
The following reasons may be regarded as a sufficient cause for closing or suspending a programme:
- The demand for the programme does not cover the cost of delivery
- Staff involved in teaching the programme are temporarily or permanently unavailable and it is unduly difficult or impossible to replace them
- External bodies make changes that lead to a recommendation to close or suspend the programme
- Review of school or faculty teaching portfolio has led to a change in the range of programmes the school wishes to provide
Where a school seeks to close or suspend a financially viable, successful, or strategically important programme, agreement from the relevant Head of School and Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) should be obtained before submitting the recommendation.
Arrangements for current and prospective students
Where the recommendation is to close or suspend the programme to new entrants only, current students must be allowed to complete their designated period of registration on the programme unless they give their explicit written consent to the contrary. Such consent must not be sought until after a closure or suspension recommendation has been agreed by Quality and Standards Committee (QSC).
Where the recommendation is to close or suspend the programme and current students will be affected, the views of current students on the proposed arrangements should be sought by the school before submitting the recommendation. The school will be expected to provide evidence of consultation.
The school's proposed arrangements for students currently registered on the programme (including those whose registration is suspended but have not yet completed the programme) must encompass the following:
- Confirmation that the standard of provision to current students will be maintained throughout their period of registration
- Confirmation that the previously stated learning outcomes of the programme will still be achievable by current students, even if the range of module choices is smaller because of staffing reductions
- Options for current students regarding transferring to another programme within the University or to another institution
Arrangements for prospective students
All communications with applicants on these matters must be undertaken by the Admissions Office or equivalent. Applicants who have accepted offers should not be contacted until a closure or suspension request has been accepted. These applicants should then be informed of their options regarding transferring their application to another programme within the University or to another institution.
Applicants who have been made offers but have not yet accepted them may be contacted at an earlier stage to be informed that a closure or suspension recommendation has been made. Such applicants should be told that the offer of a place is suspended until a decision has been made and will be withdrawn if the recommendation is accepted.
UCAS should be notified by informing the University's UCAS correspondent when the closure or suspension recommendation has been accepted on behalf of QSC.
The closure or suspension of a programme which is offered on multiple campuses should be discussed and agreed on all campuses prior to the submission of the formal recommendation.
International campus consideration
At the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) and the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (UNNC), the view of the relevant campus committee will be sought prior to the submission of a formal recommendation, so that the impact of the decision on the University as a whole can be taken into consideration.
Amending University publications and marketing material
Once a closure or suspension recommendation has been accepted, the school must ensure that all necessary amendments are made to school and University publications and websites.
If you would like any further information about the programme closure or suspension process, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please contact: