As a result of revisions to the QAA Quality Code there has been a change in terminology and some other amendments to the policy associated with awarding credit to students for studies elsewhere, either prior to or during study.
Previously known as ‘Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning’ the policy is now titled ‘Recognition of Other Learning’ or ROL. It encompasses policies on:
- Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) i.e. recognition is given in the form of credits to learning which is certified and at a higher education level but has not led to the award of higher education credits (such as professional development awards or employment-based awards).
- Recognition of Prior Experiential (or informal) Learning (RPEL) i.e. an assessment process on the part of academic staff within the University leads to the recognition of learning gained through vocational or other experience usually through the award of credit.
- Credit Transfer i.e. where the credits or qualification that have been awarded by a UK higher education degree-awarding body in accordance with the higher education qualifications framework are transferred to a course here. Credit Transfer can either be on the basis of an individual application, as covered in this policy, or as part of a formal arrangement with an external institution. Credit Transfer itself comes in two forms
I. Credit Transfer At Entry (CTAE). Here the admitting School determines the status of that award (including considerations of volume and level) as it relates to the programme the applicant wishes to study.
II. Credit Transfer Post Entry (CTPE). Where credit transfer takes place during a students’ period of registered study as a result of mid registration study with another University.
The term Recognition of Other Learning (ROL) is the over-arching term for Certified (RPCL), Experiential (RPEL) and Credit Transfer (CTAE and CTPE).
Other updates to the policy include statements that:
- Schools are responsible for making those who might be eligible for the recognition of prior learning aware of the opportunities available and supporting them through the process of application
- Schools must make explicit their arrangements for making decisions on ROL applications
- The expectation is that all elements of a ROL application will be submitted in English except for official certification or where the subject of study is a language or literature other than English
- Schools must include in their policy on ROL a statement about whether applicants will receive feedback on their assessment on either a successful or rejected case.
Further guidance will be issued shortly to Schools from the Admissions Office.
Policies relating to Assessment:
The assessment section of the Quality Manual has been revised to provide greater clarity and guidance for Schools on their responsibilities in this area. For the most part this has resulted in additional statements which cover practices already in place in Schools, such as the expectation that:
- the setting of assessment is at the level appropriate to the academic standard for each award
- student performance is equitably judged against these standards
- the principles, procedures and processes of assessment are published appropriately
- ‘in-house’ examinations or tests take into account the needs of students with dyslexia, other disabilities and/or long term medical conditions when conducting such assessments
- ‘in-house’ examinations are carried out securely, including appropriate confirmation of student identity and invigilation
- rules and regulations for progressing from one stage of a programme to the next are publicised
- there is transparent communication of student achievement at individual assessment task level
- opportunities for the recognition of prior learning are brought to the attention of students in line with the policy on Recognition of Other Learning (previously AP(E)L policy)
- assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice and subject specific and educational scholarship
- assessment guidance and criteria are published such that staff and students can engage in dialogue to promote a shared understanding of the basis on which academic judgements are made
- students are provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of, and the necessary skills to demonstrate, good academic practice
- feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental
- the School will act responsibly in any circumstance where draft assessment questions/tasks, or students work, are held or transported off-site (including where scripts are sent to an external examiner)
- students are given information regarding where in the assessment process anonymity ends in line with the ‘Marking by Number’ system employed by the University.
The section on moderation in policy on ‘Marking and Grading’ has had a small amendment emphasising the importance of markers keeping their own notes indicating the rationale for the awarding of marks, especially where the assessment will not involve the production of physical evidence such as presentations or performance.
Other policies to receive updates include Assessment Regulations, Assessment Overview, Module Specification Guidance and Information about Provision of Higher Education. Schools are advised to review their understanding of these policies as well as those listed above.
Policies relating to programme and module approval and review:
Changes have been made to the policies associated with the design, development and approval of new programmes to be offered at the University. Any School currently developing plans for new programmes should refer to the Quality Manual for the most up to date guidance, policy and templates. In particular please note that:
- The Policy relating to the above has had a name change to ‘Programme design, development and approval’ and therefore has a new link which is: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/academicservices/qualitymanual/curriculum/programmedesign,developmentandapproval.aspx
- A new section has been included to provide more detailed information to Schools on their obligations and what they should consider in the design of their new curriculum.
- External Advice is now required on all new business cases and programme specifications even where the programme draws from existing provision. Where a programme is aimed at preparing students for a particular profession evidence of consultation with employers and/or professional bodies should also be sought.
- The approval of programmes to be offered at UNMC and UNNC now includes a requirement for the agreement of the relevant campus Provost.
- Evidence of consultation with other relevant Schools, including a contact in that School, must be submitted with the business case and programme specification.
- The date and School/Faculty committee name which has approved the programme specification and business case for submission to be considered by the Dean/Quality and Standards Committee must be provided.
- Guidance on the number and organisation of Learning Outcomes in both programmes and module specifications has been revised to reflect the PSRB frameworks that some new programmes must operate under.
Policies to receive updates include: Programme design, development and approval (previously ‘Submission and Approval of New Programmes’), External Advice on Programme Approval (previously ‘External Advice on Course Approval’), Business Case for a New Programme, Programme Specification Regulations and Guidance, New Module Approval, Module Specification Guidance, Policy for the Approval of Changes to Programme Specifications and the Policy for the Approval of Changes to Module Specifications. Schools are advised to review their understanding of these policies as well as those listed above.
The Policy for the Provision of Careers Information and Guidance has undergone minor revisions and now has a downloadable 'Statement of Entitlements for students, alumni and staff' attachment available.
A change has been made to the policy on Feedback to Students to remove the reference to Bank Holidays and other days of closure within the time limit for giving of feedback to students within 21 days of the published submission deadline. The policy now reads: "In normal circumstances, marked coursework and associated feedback should be returned to students within 21 days of the published submission deadline, i.e. students submitting work before the published deadline should not have an expectation that early submission will result in earlier return of work. This time limit includes weekends."
The Quality Manual policy on the Minimum Age Requirement for entrants to the University's courses has been amended to reflect that international students under the age of 16 cannot be admitted as the University is not able to sponsor them for their Tier 4 visa.
A new appendix has been added to the Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) to allow for alternative submission types where the thesis might include such things as Musical Composition, Creative Writing or Translation Studies. The regulations for submission by Musical Composition have been moved into this appendix (from Regulations 22 and 23) and the numbering of the subsequent regulations has been updated.
Changes have been made to the regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy) to reflect that the first year of study will no longer be delivered as a Taught Masters but will instead be an MSc (by Research) in Criminological Psychology. These changes take effect from the start of the 2014/15 Session.
A clarification has been made to the Appointment of Supervisor entry to state that a 'Change of Supervisor' form is available for notifying Academic Services or equivalent offices of any changes to supervision arrangements. If schools do not use this form, such changes should always be notified in writing and will act as confirmation that the student has agreed to the change in supervisory arrangements.
Two amendments have been made to the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedure: at 1.11 to state that schools should bear in mind the possible effects on the individual student in making decisions on handling of extenuating circumstances; and at 2.10 to state that it is the responsibility of the student's home school to decide whether or not a submitted claim has been upheld and to decide on the action to be taken, except where the claim relates to extending a coursework deadline, in which case it is the responsibility of the school setting the coursework to decide on the action.
The Quality Manual has undergone a restructure and the table below should assist users with finding content. If you are not able to find what you are looking for, please email Quality-Manual-Enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk
Quality Assurance Structures
China and Malaysia
Programme Design and Approval
Programme Monitoring and Review
||Admissions and Recruitment
Taught Module Enrolment & Registering for Additional Credits
Changes of Taught Course
Regulations Governing Attendance and Engagement
Voluntary Interruption of Study
FMHS Fitness to Practise Committee Procedures
Practice Assessment Panel Procedures
Students required to withdraw on grounds of Health & Safety
Regulations Governing Registration
Maximum Period from Initial Registration
Guidance on Non-Registered Statuses
Guidance on Student Employment During Study
|Teaching and Learning
Scheduled Teaching and Learning Activities for Full-Time Undergraduates
Policy on Occasional Teachers
|Studies away from the University
Accreditation of Prior Learning
E-Learning and Distance Learning Policy
Managing Higher Education Provision with Others (collaborative provision and placement learning)
|Assessment & Awards
Regulations for Undergraduate Courses
Application of Regulations for students who fail to meet Honours Requirements
Regulations for Taught Masters Degrees, PGDiplomas and PGCertificates
Students with Disabilities
Student Support and Development (Personal Tutoring)
|Student Engagement & Complaints
Research Degree Programmes
Regulations for Research Degrees
Policy on Students who Teach
|Mapping Against the Quality Code
||Provision of Higher Education at the University of Nottingham (from Provision of Information)
|Committees and Contacts
||Quality and Standards Committee
The entry on Role and Appointment of Examiners has been amended as a result of a decision by Quality and Standards Committee to allow recently retired academic staff to act as External Examiners for research degrees. Emeritus Professors and academic staff who have been retired for more than three years will only be permitted to act as External Examiners if they can demonstrate that they continue to be research active (10.2).
The Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedure has been updated to clarify that students should not submit new evidence as part of the review procedure (paragraph 1.13) but should submit this to their school, together with an explanation as to why this could not be submitted at the time of making the original claim, and it will then be considered by the school in line with the time limits on submission of claims set out in the Policy.
Regulations in Malaysia which previously required Malaysian nationals to undertake Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysian Studies and Religious Studies modules in addition to their degree have been extended. These will now apply to all nationalities of students who are registered for and graduating with a degree programme from our Malaysia campus. The study regulation relating specifically to the Malaysia campus found at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/academicservices/qualitymanual/studyregulations/studyregulationschinaandmalaysia.aspx has been amended to cover this amendment.
The entry on Feedback to Students has been amended to clarify that the 21 day feedback period includes weekends, Bank Holidays and other days of University closure if such days fall within the 21-day period.
The section covering the University of Nottingham's admissions policies has been re-named "Recruitment, Selection and Admissions" in line with the title of the recently published Chapter B2 of the QAA Quality Code to reflect the intention to cover recruitment activities within the remit of the Chapter. Minor amendments have also been made to the entry on Admissions Procedures.
Documents containing updated guidance and Frequently Asked Questions have been added to the Regulations for the Integrated PhD (see foot of page).
The Extenuating Circumstances Form has been amended to add tick boxes to indicate whether a student has an Academic Referral or Disability Referral form (towards the bottom of page one).
The entry on Appointment and Responsibilities of External Examiners has been updated (sections 9 on Responsibilities and section 10 on Powers of External Examiners).
The entry on Minimum English Language Entry Requirements has been amended to remove references to TOEFL iBT to reflect the fact that the Home Office has recently removed this from the list of secure English Language tests.
An amendment to the Student Engagement entry has been made at 7.4 to clarify that selection of student representatives is undertaken by the students they represent.
The information relating to appeals and complaints for applicants has been amended to allow for the possibility of a Level 2 complaint for applicants within the University's Complaints Procedure, in order to bring the handling of complaints about the processing of applications into line with the procedure for student complaints.
The Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures have been amended to take account of guidance from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator to make it an explicit requirement that where a condition is covered by the Equality Act 2010, claims should be considered up to one month after the notification of a progression or award decision (with full evidence possibly taking longer). In addition, Hall Wardens have been added to the list of people in certain positions from whom schools might accept supporting evidence and 2.11.3 has been amended to limit the ability of students to take first sits should they specifically request these to instances where the affected assessment is worth at least 5 credits. The ECs Form and template letters available for use of schools have also been updated.
The entry on Voluntary Interruption of Study has been amended to include clarification that a student who has interrupted their study will change cohort on their return to study and the regulations applying to the cohort they have joined will be applicable, which may have implications for their progression or final award on the programme.
A new entry entitled Managing Higher Education Provision with Others replaces the former entries containing the University's policies on Collaborative Provision and Placement Learning. A checklist is also available for the use of staff seeking approval for new Memoranda of Agreement from Quality and Standards Committee.
Programme and module specification guidance/regulations have been updated to include the following:
- A description of non-compensation in module assessment element and a requirement that Schools review the necessity of such annually.
- A description of non-compensation in programme course structures and a requirement that Schools review the necessity of such annually.
- An amendment to the requirement to provide a programme fallback award in any circumstances where, due to PSRB requirements, a student has to perform about the university minimums to receive the award. This has been refined to include exceptions as follows: “where PSRB or local government requirements prohibit the award of a ‘fallback’ degree or where no suitable ‘fallback’ can be made available”. In cases where any of these exceptions apply it must be clearly stated in the programme specification.
- A reference to changed marking and grading regulations which now state that viva voce examinations should not be used in decision on borderline candidates.