Programme Validation Panels

This year the University and the Students’ Union are working together to engage students as full panel members of the University’s Programme Validation Panels.

The purpose of the Programme Validation Panel

The Programme Validation Panel process is designed to enable the University to assure the appropriateness of each programme’s academic standard and the quality of the learning opportunities for the students on the programme. This assurance results from an examination of the programme provision in relation to a range of internal and external reference points.

The process of the Programme Validation Panel

A panel is formed comprising internal and external members. Internal members are recruited from the University’s academic staff and students (from a different academic area to that under review). External members are drawn from another institute of HE (or related professional area) and are from the same subject area as that under review, in order to provide subject specific expertise.

Panels test and verify statements made in the programme self-evaluation document by analysing a range of written and oral evidence provided by the subject/programme team and by holding discussions with relevant parties. Individual panel members are allocated one or more aspects of the provision to investigate, such as assessment, student progression or programme resources.

The outcome of the Programme Validation Panel

Panel members report back to the Chair regarding the process and their conclusions. From this the Chair decides whether further meetings with the subject team are required or whether the panel can move toward resolution with a final meeting. At this final meeting the panel will decide to advise the University Senate to either a) approve all/part of the programme provision until the next validation, or a defined period b) to refer all/part of the provision back to the subject team for further information, or c) not approve all/part of the provision.

The panel may identify conditions or recommendations pertaining to any issues or examples of good practice for dissemination around the University. The decisions and conclusions of the panel are reported to the relevant representatives and a comprehensive Review Report is studied by the Academic Quality and Standards Committee before being received by Senate.

This year the University and the Students’ Union are working together to engage students as full panel members of the University’s Internal Subject Reviews.  

Students and the Programme Validation Panel

Students will be a key part of the Programme Validation Panel process from now on,  when at least one member of the  Panel will be a current student of the University.  Also, during the review, the Panel meets with groups of students to find out what they think about their learning experience.


Student Panel Members

Student Panel Members will have an important role in providing a student perspective to the panel, particularly when it comes to commenting upon the student experience. Student Panel Members are appointed by the University with the help of the Students’ Union.


Student Panel Members will:

1.  Be an enrolled student of the University. The University is keen to identify students representing a broad spectrum of the student population and as such welcomes interest from students who study full-time, part-time, and by distance learning;


2.  Preferably have experience of representing students’ interests at University, Academic Group or Programme level;


3.  Be able to demonstrate that they have the potential to undertake the required review activities and are able to commit the necessary time.

The Student Panel Member will be expected to:

1.  Take advantage of any training and support opportunities offered, prior to the review itself.


2.  Participate as a full member of the Programme Validation Panel before, during and after the Internal Subject Review. This will include reading the Panel documentation and participating in the Panel itself, which will involve various meetings with both staff and students of the University;


3.  Provide comments on and/or indicate their approval of the Programme Validation Panel Report within 2/3 weeks following receipt of the Report;


Supporting Student Members

Being a Student Panel Member should be a rewarding experience as you will be contributing to the development of the student experience. To support you in this role the University will provide access to training which is delivered jointly by the University and the Students’ Union.  Specifically the University will:

1.  Provide an opportunity for training of student members. This will be delivered jointly by the University and the Students’ Union;


2.  Organise a briefing meeting for the student panel member, providing information on the role and an opportunity for the student member to meet with key staff;


3.  Provide any required information and resources.


If you are interested in becoming a Programme Validation Panel please visit the the Students' Union Office in the Chancellor's Mall or Email:

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