2015/16 Validations

Every year the University validates a number of new courses. For those that are unclear on what ‘validates’ means, in this context it is where the University scrutinizes a proposed new course and decides whether or not to approve it.
Unsurprisingly validations take place at validation events and these are organised by ADQE. The events are attended by a panel and the course team. The event usually lasts four hours.


Many courses were given the green light this year

The validation events consider seven main areas:

  • Academic coherence;
  • Course regulations;
  • Consistency of outcomes with FHEQ Qualification descriptors and subject benchmarks;
  • Teaching and Learning methods;
  • Assessment strategy;
  • Student experience;
  • Resources;
  • Impact and Sustainability.

Twenty-eight courses were validated in 2015/16 academic year. This involved over twenty-eight Directors of Teaching and Learning, Student Representatives, members of the Professional Services, Internal Subject Specialists and External Subject Specialists and at least 14o hours.

In preparation for 2016/17 validations, we thought it would be helpful to reflect on 2015/16 and identify areas of good practice captured at the validation events through the commendations in the summary reports.

The 2015/16 courses validated with commendations are outlined below:

School Course Title Commendations
BMEc Master of Business Administration (full time variant) The course team were commended on the use of existing resources already provided for part-time students, and the benefit of co-teaching on the student experience for full-time students.
BMEc MSc International Business Economics The Panel commended the strong rationale given for proposing this new course, which had been carefully considered and designed, and was clearly presented to the Validation Panel.

The Panel commended the strong course teaching team, who have good experience of the types of students expected on the course and are well-placed to support these students.

The Panel commended the limited number of optional modules offered on the course, which should provide a more cohesive learning experience for students, and is seen as an area of good practice.

BSMS MSc/PGDip/PGCert Paediatrics and Child Health;


The planned use of technology to enhance student learning.

The enthusiasm and the diversity of disciplines present within the team.

Providing the opportunity for students to have drafts of assessments reviewed is good practice and facilitates formative feedback opportunities.


BSMS PGCert Diabetes in Primary Care The multidisciplinary nature of the course, which harnessed the expertise of the teaching team.

Providing the opportunity for students to have drafts of assessments reviewed is good practice and facilitates formative feedback opportunities.

The Panel commended the limited number of optional modules offered on the course, which should provide a more cohesive learning experience for students, and is seen as an area of good practice.

BSMS MSc/PGDip/PGCert Clinical Radiology;



The innovative response to a regional need for formalised training in this discipline.

The high level of leadership on the course from the clinical area.

BSMS PGCert Simulation in Clinical Practice;


The establishment of primary funding streams to develop the practice, including grants made available for students.

The course puts the School in a leading role in the region for simulation and includes work with other universities.

BSMS PGDip Physician Associate Studies


The innovative response to workforce development needs, providing an important strategic provision for the region.

The course team’s willingness to engage in an iterative development process that has produced an excellent proposal which is new for both universities.

ESW BA Primary and Early Years Education (non-QTS and with QTS variants) The course team’s effective and productive collaboration in developing the course.

The linking of assessments across the modules to ensure a ‘whole student view of assessment’.

The distinctive nature of the course including the relationship between the School of Education and Social Work and their partner Schools.

The student support system developed and the level of individual support available.

ENGINF Intercalating Year in Computing The response from the course team to the questions regarding the formative assessment strategy was excellent.

The approach taken to designing the course with regard to benefitting the student’s employability.

ENGINF Foundation Year in Creative Technologies and Design The course team were commended for working across schools/disciplines and further seeking to foster these relationships between the students and staff, which may lead to future collaborations.

The plans for an Academic Advisor familiar with the foundation year to oversee cohort is a good idea to support and strengthen the cohort identity. However, a second Academic Advisor may be needed as numbers grow.


ENGINF MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems;


MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems (with an industrial Masters placement)


MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems (with an industrial placement year)

The innovative nature of the course, which is a departure for the University and will have very few direct competitors within the UK.

The use of peer assisted learning in the zero-credit modules, which will enhance the sense of community within the cohort and will provide an excellent development opportunity for students with mathematical backgrounds in supporting fellow students.

The offer of two placement variants in order to provide flexibility for both potential employers and for the students themselves, together with the efforts made by the School to establish links with industry in preparation for the placement.

The two-week formative element, which will allow the Course Team to identify the level of support required by students and to calibrate the provision of support accordingly.

GLOBAL MSc Climate Change, Policy and Development The intellectual design of the course structure and the student centred way in which it had been developed.

The breadth of choice in terms of the options available to students across the course.

The reflective discussion of formative and summative assessment and how this contributed to the development of employability skills and career pathways.

LIFESCI MRes Animal Behaviour;


MRes Conservation Biology;


MRes Evolutionary Biology;


MSc Global Biodiversity Conservation;

The course proposals have been carefully constructed to provide a high quality student experience which will be attractive to prospective applicants.

The range of field trips on offer to students will be attractive to applicants.

The Field Biology Conservation and Skills module clearly offers significant opportunities to enhance employability.

LPS LLM Corruption, Law and Governance The well-executed design of the curriculum, particularly the novel mode of delivery being proposed, and the use of technology to facilitate good quality student support.

The ambition of the Course Team and School for the course to have a positive impact in the Gulf Region, with the teaching provision informed by the high quality research and practice that is located within the School.

The provision of bespoke training in cultural awareness and sensitivity for academic staff, prior to the delivery of teaching in Qatar. The Panel that this good practice could have wider utility within the University.


MPS MSc Data Science The panel commended the innovative nature of the course. Due to the complex and fast-moving nature of the area, the panel recognised the challenge in realising this concept as a structured, multi-disciplinary course.

The panel commended the cutting-edge content within the course.

The panel commended the team for designing a course that would be scalable. The structure should allow for the course to grow by accommodating other disciplines and is expected to be an important contribution for the University.

The panel commended the attractiveness of the course for international students. The subject and skills developed through the course are highly desirable for both international and home/EU students.

PSY Foundation Year in Psychology The clear strategic and pedagogical rationale for the introduction of BSc Psychology (with a Foundation Year), which was a positive development for the School.
PSY PGCert Mental Health Practice The panel commended the level of collaboration between the NHS Partnership Trust and the course team, leading to a mutually supportive proposal, with positive integration of the course team in the practice setting.

The panel commended the consideration that had, and actively continues, to be given to partnership working and collaboration with people using services in the development of the teaching and assessment for this course.

The panel commended that the course is well-positioned to satisfy the market need for skilled practitioners, and how well this proposal fits with the School’s strategy.

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