1.7 Academic Quality Handbook 2016/17: Summary of Key Changes

Section 1: Quality Assurance at Aberystwyth

1.  Section 1.7 Summary of Key Changes has been included to provide a summary of key changes to the AQH for 2016/17.

Section 2: Development and Review

2.  The scheme approval process (Sections 2.2 – 2.4) has been amended to confirm that the practice of advertising schemes ‘subject to approval’ has ceased. The only exception is to permit ‘subject to approval’ schemes to be included in the formal printed prospectus of the University. This change was approved by Senate in June 2016 following a recommendation by Academic Board.

3.  Section 2.4 Approval of New Schemes has been amended to require the External Assessor to submit a written report for scheme approval options (this was previously optional). Scheme approval panels will also include student members, following a decision by Academic Board in May 2016.

4.  Section 2.5 Withdrawal and Suspension includes additional guidance on the procedure for proposing the withdrawal and suspension of Welsh Medium schemes.

5.  Section 2.6 Periodic Scheme Review is new for 2016/17, following approval of the procedure by Academic Board in May 2016.

6.  Section 2.9 Institute and Department Performance Audit has been amended to include student panel members, approved by Academic Board in May 2016. There are also minor procedural changes to the IDPA process.

7.  Section 2.10 Departmental Quality Audit has been added to provide a summary of the process. The questionnaire was previously published as an appendix to AQH.

Section 3: Taught Study Schemes

8.  3.1 Credits and Scheme Structures and 3.2 Assessment Policy and Procedures have been expanded to incorporate the information formerly published as ‘Modular Study Schemes: Summary of University Policy’.

9.   Section 3.2 Assessment Policy and Procedures includes expanded guidance on e-submission and feedback, approved by Academic Board in May 2016. This provides an outline of the University’s principles for assessment, new guidance on the quality of feedback, feedback on written examinations, and the requirement for the return of coursework within 15 working days of the date of submission.

10. Section 3.4 Monitoring Academic Progress has been updated to reflect the introduction of a common attendance requirement, as published in the Academic Regulation on Academic Progress. The guidance is linked to a new template form to be used to report students to Institute Directors.

11.  Section 3.6 Academic Practice includes minor procedural changes and also minor changes to the points-based penalty system to incorporate investigations by Chairs of Examination Boards, where the points system did not previously apply.

12.  Section 3.7 Examinations and Examination Boards has been expanded to incorporate sections from Standing Orders 1 and 2.

13.  Section 3.10 Academic Appeals and Final Review includes changes to reflect changes in the composition of the academic appeal panel and other minor changes.

Section 4: External Examining

14.  Minor changes only for 2016/17.

Section 5: Student Support and Representation

15.  Section 5.4 Feedback includes a reference to the Module Evaluation Questionnaire (MEQ) and revisions to Tell Us Now for 2016/17.

16.  Section 5.5 Withdrawals reflects the revised process for 2016/17, with students to be invited to a meeting with their institute/department before being enabled to complete the online withdrawal form.

17.  Section 5.6 Personal Tutors has been updated to reflect the new Personal Tutor system for 2016/17, approved by Academic Board in May 2016.

18.  Section 5.7 Student Representation includes minor revisions to the procedures for electing student academic representatives, and also refers to the new post of Academic Engagement Coordinator which replaces the Student Representation Coordinator (SREC).

Section 6: Research Degrees

19.  6.5 Research Monitoring and 6.12 Postgraduate Teaching Activities are new sections for 2016/17.

Section 7: Collaborative Provision

20. Minor changes only for 2016/17.

Section 8: Learning and Teaching

21.  New section of AQH, providing an overview of existing policies and guidelines, with links to relevant webpages.

Appendix: Examination Conventions

22.  The Examination Conventions have been updated to reflect the removal of ‘Wipe the Slate Clean’ from the Regulations for Initial Degrees. This was approved by Senate in June 2016 following a recommendation by Academic Board. The change will come into effect for new students starting in September 2016, and the procedure will remain unchanged for students who started before September 2016.

23. The following table provides a list of changes which have been made following the publication of the 2016/17 version of the AQH in September 2016.






Module withdrawal process to include consideration of the wider impact of withdrawing modules on existing study schemes (par. 4).

January 2017


Documentation for scheme approval panels to include a list of modules with hyperlinks to existing modules on the module database and copies of any new or restructured module approval forms.

January 2017

2.3 Link provided to a two year planning cycle and a timeline for the withdrawal and suspension of schemes (par. 4). January 2017
2.9 Guidance on scoring SED questions as part of IDPA process removed. January 2017
4.8 Addition of a timeline for receiving and responding to undergraduate External Examiner reports (paragraph 8). November 2016

5.1, 5.3

References to ‘Resident Tutor’ amended to ‘Residence Assistant’.

January 2017


SSCC meetings to include discussion of the results of external surveys (including NSS) and the reports of External Examiners and PSRB reports (par. 38).

January 2017