20 December There have been several changes to regulations governing research degree students:
- Appointment of Supervisors It has been clarified that Special Professors, Special Lecturers, recently retired staff and Emeritus Professors are not permitted to act as sole or principal supervisors but may be involved in a joint supervision arrangement as a second supervisor.
- Internal Examiners Post-doctoral staff, Research Fellows, Special Professors, Special Lecturers, Emeritus Professors and retired academic staff should not be permitted to act as Internal Examiners.
- Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning The AP(E)L policy has been revised to allow a maximum of one-third of the total number of credits for research degrees with a taught component (Professional Doctorates) to be awarded by AP(E)L. This has brought research programmes in line with the University AP(E)L policy for taught courses.
- Suspension of Study Approval must be sought from Research Degrees Committee for suspension of study for students who have already had a suspension of a year. This is on the Voluntary Suspensions of Registration page.
- Role of Vice-Deans Authority to make decisions on behalf of Research Degrees Committee is delegated to all PG Vice-Deans, regardless of whether they are members of the Committee. This is clarified in the section dealing with Compliance with the Quality Manual.
18 December The Policy on Personal and Academic Support has been reformulated and re-presented to explicitly, accurately and clearly inform students and Schools of their respective responsibilities in regard to personal and academic support. There has been no actual change to policy.
24 November There has been an amendment to the course approval process to clarify the requirements to seek external advice in programme design. External advice 'should' be sought when developing a new programme, and for any new programmes where more than 25% of taught modules (in credit terms) students will be required to take are new, then external advice 'must' be sought. This is in the Taught Programmes section.
24 November Guidance for Schools on Ordinary Degrees has been added to the Quality Assurance Structures section. The guidance has brought together existing policy in regard to these degrees and includes guidance on the structure of the degrees and programme specifications, transfer and progression.
6 November Following discussion at Recruitment and Admissions Committee, the minimum English Language Entry Requirements for students applying to the University of Nottingham have been streamlined in to five bands. This is in the Recruitment and Admissions section.
22 September The Assessment section has been revised to enable staff and students to access information more easily.
There are no changes to existing policy, but the following revisions have been made:
• The document on ‘Assessment Policies’ has been replaced by an Overview and individual documents relating to School Examination Boards, Role of the Assessment Group of Taught Courses Committee, Forms of Assessment, Retention of Assessed Work, Feedback to Students and Award of qualification
• Information relating to Marking and Grading has been brought together in one document.
• Links to a new document Guidance for Students Sitting University Examinations have been included in the Overview and Responsibilities of Students.
31 May An E-Learning and Distance Learning Policy has been published. The policy covers educational provision leading to an award or part of an award which is delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through means which generally do not require the student to attend particular classes or events at particular times and particular locations. The policy outlines the minimum requirements that the University expects should be met by Schools when delivering this provision.
31 May The Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure has been updated to reflect the replacement of Faculty Assessment Committees by the Assessment Group of Taught Courses Committee/Research Degrees Committee.
31 May The policy on Resources and Facilities that should be made available to research degree students has been revised following consultation with Academic Boards. This is within the Research Degree Programmes section.
23 May The University of Nottingham Qualifications Framework has been modified to reduce the number of credits required for Graduate Certificates and Diplomas, and within this to reduce the number of credits that would be required at level 3. This would bring the University into line with general practice in the sector, as highlighted in the Measuring & Recording Student Achievement Steering Group.
23 May A new entry has been added which clarifies current practice for approving changes to module specifications. This is within the Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review section.
10 May An addition has been made to the guidance on Marks and Credit Transfer for Students on Placements, to clarify how the University's study regulations should be applied for students on placements. It clarifies that the student’s Learning Agreement should state the manner in which reassessment will be undertaken if a fail mark is received during a placement. This is within the Placement Learning section.
8 May New policy and procedures for the Submission and Approval of New Courses have been added to the Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review Section. This policy applies for all courses starting in 2007/08 onwards. For courses starting in 2006/07 please see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/quality-manual/taught-programmes/sub-app.htm
28 April The Assessment Group of Taught Courses/Research Degrees Committee has revised the entry for Extenuating Circumstances. There's no change to existing policy, but the following revisions have been made:
- a clarification of policy
- the addition of examples of cases that have (and have not) traditionally been seen as 'acceptable' reasons for missing an exam.
- the way in which Schools note extenuating circumstances has been simplified
- the old extenuating circumstances form and the missed exam form have been replaced with one single form for both eventualities.
The extenuating circumstances policy is within the Assessment Section.
31 March The Academic Offence Procedures have been revised following approval at the February 2006 meetings of Taught Courses Committee and Research Degrees Committee. The revisions allow Schools to impose a range of penalties which would previously had been the responsibility of Faculty Assessment Committees and include revisions to the powers of the Academic Offences Committee. The procedures are within the Assessment section of the Quality Manual.
31 March Regulations for the Degrees of Master of Arts by Research and Master of Science by Research have been added to the Research Degree Programmes section. These generic regulations were approved by Research Degrees Committee in February 2006 and allow for Schools to award MA/MSc by Research degrees with their own individual titles
27 March The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Fitness to Practise Committee Procedure has been added to the Study Regulations section. The procedures, which were put into effect in 1999-2000, relate to students on any course leading to a professional qualification within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
24 March Within the Study Regulations section, guidance for students wishing to change a taught course has been revised to include guidance for postgraduate taught course students.
24 March There had been a minor amendment to regulation 12 of the Regulations for Undergraduate Courses to allow supplementary regulations for Integrated Masters courses and certain Honours courses with a compulsory year away from the University to specify a higher progression average across a set of modules within a stage.
24 March The role of a professional proof reader for research theses has been defined in the Research Degree Programmes section.
14 February Within the Students with Disabilities section, Guidelines for Schools have been added which outline the minimum requirements that Schools must satisfy to meet the needs of students with disability, as legislated for under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) 2001. It applies to overseas or EU students as well as to British students, and to those who are only taking part of a course.
10 February Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The revised Section 1 of the QAA Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education stated that “Institutional Regulations for postgraduate research degree programmes (PRPs) will be clear and readily available” (Precept 2) and accordingly at its meeting on 9 February 2006 Research Degrees Committee reviewed the clarity and format of its regulations for research students as well as for students on taught courses and approved a recommendation to introduce a new set of combined PhD and MPhil regulations with immediate effect.
The new Regulations cover both degrees of MPhil and PhD, removing the present duplication between the two sets of Regulations. In addition to the existing provisions, new material has now been added, which has the benefit of putting all the most important provisions from entries on Progression and Assessment in the Research Degree Programmes section of the Quality Manual in one place, as follows:
- A specific Regulation (3) on the issue of whether paid employment may be undertaken by full-time research students
- More detailed information in Regulations 6 to 14 about the annual review procedure (currently available in the entry entitled Student Progress and Annual Review)
- Entitlements during the Thesis-Pending Period (Regulations 16 to 18) (including information currently given in the entry entitled The Thesis-Pending Period)
- More detailed information about the submission of the thesis, e.g. the right of a student to obtain limited assistance with proof-reading
- Additional information on the examination process, including the University’s expectations of the roles to be performed by the examiners and the timing and organisation of the viva voce examination (currently contained in entries entitled Procedures for Assessment, Viva Voce Examinations and Role and Appointment of Examiners)
- Clearer instructions on the requirement to give clear and quick feedback to the candidate under the section Outcomes of the Examination; in addition, this section lays out more clearly the recommendations available to the examiners which are currently contained in two separate documents which were formerly available in the withdrawn Research Students and Supervisors Guide.
The effect of the more detailed Regulations is to put the information currently contained in two sets of Regulations and six Quality Manual entries in one six-page document, which has the advantage of ensuring students have all the important information applicable to their course in one place. The regulations are in the Study Regulations section of the Quality Manual.
17 January The Code of Practice for Student Complaints
has been revised by Student Services Committee. The Code of Practice clearly sets out the procedure to be followed by students to pursue complaints about most matters concerning both teaching & learning (e.g. teaching facilities, supervision arrangements etc) and non-academic issues (e.g. support services, accommodation etc). It includes forms which should be used by students to set out their complaints. There is also a separate procedure for Public Interest Disclosure ("whistleblowing"), to be adopted when staff (and also students and lay members of the University) wish to disclose malpractice. Both procedures can be found in the Complaints and Appeals section.