It is understood that courses of study are dynamic and are subject to modifications from time to time, often as an outcome of the annual course and module review process. Some changes are regarded as minor and may or may not require formal notification to the validating university, whereas others are more major in character. In essence, minor changes do not alter the substantial character of the course, whilst major changes are those which fundamentally alter the character of the course.
The decision as to whether a proposed modification to an approved course constitutes a minor or a major change is made by the Academic Director of Partnerships. Advice on proceeding with changes can be sought from the Partnerships Office. The proposal form for changes to validated provision can also be found on the 'Handbooks, Policies and Forms' page on the main Partnerships website.
A notifiable (major) change to a validated course may not be made without the prior consent of the Academic Director of Partnerships or authorised nominees, acting on behalf of the relevant Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee.
The different forms of changes to validated provison are detailed below.
1. Non-Notifiable Changes
Non-notifiable changes do not require formal notification to UEA.
Examples of non-notifiable changes include:
- minor changes to indicative content that do not affect the learning outcomes;
- updates to reading lists and references in order to maintain relevance;
- minor changes to the ratio of contact time attributed to previously stated methods of teaching and learning, assuming no overall change to the total number of contact hours.
2. Notifiable Minor Changes
Notifiable minor changes are notified annually to UEA through the relevant Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee.
Where relevant, changes may also require approval from professional or awarding bodies.
Documentation regarding the proposed change(s) will normally include a summary overview indicating where the change lies. Examples of minor course variations include:
- a change in the balance of components of assessment within a module;
- adjustments to module learning outcomes;
- modest changes to the mode and content of assessment.
The documentation should detail the name of the award undergoing change, the nature and rationale behind the proposed change, the expected date of implementation and any delivery or resource implications. The documentation should be signed by relevant senior member(s) of staff at the institution concerned, and where appropriate evidence of consultation with the external examiner should be provided.
The Chair of the relevant Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee signs the document to formally record approval of the change, and this is formally reported at the next meeting.
3. Major Changes
Major changes normally require further action and the Chair of the Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee may consult with internal and/or external academics before deciding whether the proposed change would require re-validation or could be considered by appropriate colleagues (including the External Examiner or other external academic).
Examples of major course changes include:
- a change in course or module title;
- adjustments to course outcomes;
- changes in module status (e.g. optional, mandatory);
- key changes to the course structure;
- key changes to delivery methods (e.g. to VLE);
- introduction of a new module;
- changes in assessment strategy for a module or a course;
- significant changes to group sizes;
- a significant number of minor changes.
Where revalidation is not required, changes are notified to UEA through the relevant Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee. Where relevant, changes may also require approval from professional or awarding bodies.