Programme Leader Tasks

Academic Appeals

Students who feel that the assessment process has had a material irregularity, or who have exceptional factors which they were unable to bring to the attention of the university at an earlier date, may appeal an assessment decision following an assessment board. Programme leaders may be asked to provide evidence for the appeals panel.
Further information about academic appeals

July, September

Academic misconduct

Programme leaders should deal with certain cases of academic misconduct directly (generally, first offences of plagiarism or collusion at levels 3 and 4 where the misconduct covers less than 20% of the submission). All other cases are handled by Heads of Department.
Further information about academic misconduct

As needed


Reviewing certain applications, interviews, etc

October-May, August

Course transfers

If a student wants to transfer to your course, they should seek appropriate advice before submitting a request. The student can access the request form online and submit it for processing. Either Programmes Management or Recruitment and Admissions will contact you with the details and to obtain your approval. If agreed, the student will be notified, and their record updated. For further information, see the Student Transfer, Suspension & Withdrawal Policy.


Curriculum review/development planning/management

Once teaching and assessment has finished, the team needs to review units at each level and develop unit improvement plans. These should be informed by considering student success and satisfaction, external examiner comments when available, and tutor reflections. Identify any strategy changes, staff development requirements and curriculum modifications needed. You should also consider your use of Technology Enhanced Learning and any minimum expectations for Moodle areas across the programme. You may wish to look at examples of technology use across the university and identify any additional support needs from your Faculty Technology Enhanced Learning Officer.



Breaches of the student code of conduct will be dealt with by the Head of Department but some responsibility may be delegated to programme leaders, who in any case may be expected to prepare information for an academic issue. Academic misconduct has its own process.

As needed

Educational Annual Review (EAR)

Programme Leaders will be required to provide an analysis of programme performance from data produced at Faculty level for the EAR. This analysis will feed into planning for the Faculty Educational Annual Review (EAR).


Employer liaison/meeting/reports


Exceptional Factors forms and panels

Exceptional Factors (EF) are short-term, unexpected events that have a serious impact on a student’s ability to perform in assessments. These include illness or injury, the death of someone close, or personal problems. Find out more about the process for submitting an EF claim for students on the Exceptional Factors webpage and about the process for staff on the Exceptional Factors – Decision-making process intranet page.



Check who will be attending graduation and who is presenting students. If the department offers any kind of celebration to graduands, check who is organising this.


Internal Student Survey (ISS)

The Internal Student Survey is carried out once per year; the timing depends on the stage of the students. The ISS asks students for feedback on their units as well as on their programmes. You will have access to all of the responses for your programme through your Faculty Director of Planning and Operations and these should inform your Continuous Improvement plan – there is more guidance available on interpretation and action planning.


Liaison with Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies

If the programme receives accreditation or acknowledgement from a PSRB, then you will need to keep in regular contact with them, keeping up to date with any changes in their expectations and informing them of modifications to the programme which may affect the relationship.
Support with this is available as required from the PSRB staff within the University’s Academic Collaboration Team, who can also help with any document submissions and other reaccreditation activity.  See the Academic Collaboration Team intranet page for more details and contact information.

At least annually

Management of student status (suspensions, withdrawals etc.)

It is vital that students who are considering suspending or withdrawing from the university are aware of any implications which this may have, and they should be directed to speak with a Student Advisor in the Hub who can help them make contact with services to support them. Although academic approval is not required for a withdrawal, it is required for a suspension. Where this is considered the best option, the student can access the form online and submit it to the Student Hub for processing. When considering whether a suspension should be approved it is important to agree a return date, and make the student aware of any assessment implications associated with the request. If agreed, the student will be notified, and their record updated.For further information, see the Student Transfer, Suspension & Withdrawal Policy.


Management of team roles

Programme teams vary hugely in size. Larger teams will be able to delegate many of the tasks in this list, and the programme leader needs to manage this process: negotiate workload release for roles with the Head of Department/line manager, agree role allocations and plans, and monitor progress at least termly


Open and Visit day planning

The programme team needs to decide what will be presented on each occasion and who will attend each session.


Option choices

Programme leaders are responsible for informing Programmes Management about option choices, checking the final offer, and ensuring that information is available to inform students about choices. If students are joining the course late or options are available pre-enrolment, then the Programme Leader needs to put arrangements in place for them to select their options before induction.


Personal Learning Plans

Personal Learning Plans are documents produced by the Disability Service in conjunction with disabled students. You can find out more about their purpose on the Disability Service intranet page. If a student discloses a disability to you, then you have a legal responsibility to follow this up using the agreed procedures.

Download PLP Extension form.

September-December likely to be peak time

Programme committee and programme team meetings

The relevant Programmes Management team associated with your area will service your Programme Committees. Before the start of the Academic Year, the Committee Secretary from this team will liaise with the Chair (usually the Programme Leader) to arrange date, time and venue for meetings to take place over the upcoming year. Prior to the meeting they will meet with you to discuss and prepare the Programme Committee Agenda.


Programme Handbook

This handbook provides a central resource for students and staff. It can be online in the programme Moodle area, or printed. It should be updated following annual curriculum review.


Programme specifications and development plan

Programme and unit specifications are updated periodically, triggered by EAR. A summary of the process is available here.

Risk based process triggered by EAR

Recognition of Prior Learning

The Programme Leader or Programmes Management will receive claims for Recognition of Prior Learning. When a claim is received this needs to be allocated to two independent RPL Assessors with appropriate academic expertise. More information is available here.   It is preferable that RPL claims are approved before the student commences study of the units from which they are being exempted. However claims could be received at any time and so students should always be directed to Student Billings to discuss any financial implications.

As required

Resource planning (including Associate Lecturer (AL) teaching hours)

The programme leader needs to negotiate overall staffing for the programme with the Head of Department/line manager and plan teaching and assessment allocations for the year ahead, with a termly review.


Responding to National Student Survey (NSS) outcomes

Final year students complete this survey, which is about their programmes as a whole. NSS outcomes are usually received by programme leaders in mid-August. Your responses will form part of your improvement plan, usually discussed at an October programme committee. See our guidance on using the data for enhancement planning.


Responding to Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) outcomes

PTES outcomes are usually received towards the end of August. Your responses will form part of your Continuous Improvement plan, usually discussed at an October programme committee.


Student engagement

The University has in place a range of mechanisms for supporting student success and managing engagement with Programmes of study. However, there may be occasions where a student is judged to be at risk of being unable to complete the required academic work to a sufficient standard to secure a pass at the end of the academic year or equivalent session. The student Engagement Team or >Programmes Management will contact you if concerns are identified.

For further information, see the Student Transfer, Suspension & Withdrawal Policy.


Student leave of absence

If a student needs to take leave of absence during term-time, they will need to obtain an approval form from the Student Life office Unit leaders need to sign off student requests in relation to each unit affected by a leave of absence. Programme leaders need to sign off the request at programme level. Students will then submit the form to the Student Life Office, who will update the student record accordingly.

As needed

Student Voice activity

There is a variety of ways of capturing and acting on student comments about the programme. Further information is available here.



Academic Timetabling Contacts send information to Timetabling Services about modules which are rolling forward into next year, and input teaching requirements. Programme Leaders sign off final timetables in July.
Further information on the Timetabling Services intranet page.


Unit transfers

If a student wants to change units within two weeks of the beginning of term, they will need to obtain an approval form from the Student Hub. If agreed, the student will be notified, and their record updated.


Working with course reps

Student Representation is an important part of the University's committee system from and forms the basis of developing a close working partnership with students to develop and improve programmes, a responsibility of the Programme Leader.
Information about student representation on University committees.

As needed

Working with Student and Programme Management

Student and Programme Management delivers high quality administrative and technical support through key aspects of the student life cycle, supporting you in programme delivery. It is made up of Student Management, Programmes Management and Technical Services. You may get requests from key contacts within Student and Programme Management relating to individual students and to your programme. It is important to respond to these in a timely manner.

As needed


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