UAL Course Quality

The University uses a range of processes to ensure that all its courses are of the highest possible quality. These pages provide a brief guide to these processes and how students can be actively involved.

External examiners

The University works with external examiners to ensure your course meets national quality standards. External examiners ensure that assessment arrangements are appropriate, that assessment processes have been followed properly, that all students are treated fairly and that the standard of work is in-keeping with national expectations and benchmarks. The external examiner for your course submits an annual report to the University, which is available to you through your course Moodle site. Your Course Leader will respond to any key points raised through the continuous monitoring process.

Continuous monitoring

All courses in the University conduct a self-evaluation, looking at a wide range of data including your feedback from Unit Evaluations, course committees and national surveys, and the external examiner’s report. The evaluative report includes a development plan which aims to address any issues that have been raised and share good practice with other course teams. Course Reps play a key role in this process through attendance at Course and Programme Committees and School Boards of Study meetings, where the evaluation and enhancement plan are considered. The final documents relating to continuous monitoring are available on your course Moodle site.

Course validation, revalidation and review

All Higher Education courses at the University undergo a rigorous process of validation before they recruit any students. Once validated, each course will either be revalidated or reviewed about every six years. Validation and review includes external subject experts and academic staff from across the University, who look at the course’s strengths and weaknesses as well as proposals for improvement.

Students play a key role in these processes, working as partners to help us ensure that the course meets students’ needs and expectations. Students might be asked to take part in a focus group or facilitated discussion or they may be appointed as formal members of the Review panel. Student ideas and comments are formally recorded and responded to as part of the course development process.

Quality audit and review

Quality Audit and Review is one of the principal ways in which the University assures the standards of its awards and the quality of the student experience. Reviews are undertaken of each school roughly every six years. A Students’ Union Officer is a member of the Review Team, and the Review Team meets with a group of students during its visit. The Students’ Union also prepares an evaluation of the school or college in advance of the Review visit, which reflects the views of students across courses. This is referred to as the Student Written Submission, and is one of the key documents that the Panel considers, together with student feedback from unit evaluations, student surveys and course committees.

Following the review visit, the Review Team issues a full report summarising its findings and outlining any agreed commendations and recommendations. The school or college is required to respond formally and produce an action plan outlining how key issues will be addressed.