Programme and module management, monitoring and review

The Quality & Academic Standards office works in support of academic colleagues to ensure academic standards are upheld by maintaining rigorous processes for annual monitoring, periodic review and validation of programmes and modules. Relevant guidance, forms and templates for each of these processes can be found below.

Annual monitoring process

LSHTM monitors the quality of its academic provision on an annual basis through a mixture of reviews at module, programme and faculty level. Academic staff responsible for the delivery of modules or programmes are asked to reflect on their teaching practice, to respond to student feedback and to ensure that no major difficulties have arisen and identify areas for enhancement. During the process they will draw upon key datasets from student surveys and student achievement as well as the annual External Examiner report.

Annual programme and module reviews feed into the wider cycle of quality assurance at both faculty and School level, with the overall aim to enhance the student experience at LSHTM.

Annual monitoring is undertaken by Programme Directors and Module Organisers. It is the faculties’ collective responsibility to ensure that the module or programme review is completed by the end of the academic session. It is a requirement of annual monitoring that detailed action plans are produced and monitored, with actions addressed. This should happen though Programme Committees, Faculty Postgraduate Taught Committees, the Programme and Module Review Committee (PMRC) and the Senate Postgraduate Taught Committee (SPGTC) on behalf of Senate. There should be a clear audit trail through the committee structure with a series of separate written reports for each module or programme, summary reports and records of discussions noted in the minutes.

The main divisions are between programme, module, faculty and School level. The breakdown of major elements may be mapped out as follows:

  • External Examining process and reporting
  • Annual Programme Director Review (APDR)
  • Annual Module Reports and Action Plans (AMRAP)
  • Internal Moderators’ reports
  • Student Feedback Surveys (Module and PTES, PRES and UoLW)
  • Faculty summaries of APDR and AMRAP

Please see our Annual Monitoring Reports intranet page to view the most recent written reports for each module or programme and the faculty-level summary reports of annual monitoring.

Annual monitoring forms and templates

Periodic review process

Unlike annual monitoring, Periodic Review takes place once within a five-year cycle and enables LSHTM to take a longer, more holistic view of a programme, looking to the assurance and enhancement of quality in teaching and learning and the student experience, with the benefit of critical advice from a panel that includes an external subject expert. It offers the opportunity to review the appropriateness and effectiveness of the learning outcomes, teaching methods and assessment strategies of a programme beyond annual monitoring and to ensure that quality assurance mechanisms are functioning effectively and efficiently.

Periodic review forms and templates

Periodic review guidance

Information for external reviewers

External Reviewers must be eligible to work in the UK, and must present their passport to be verified and copied by the Human Resources Office. No payment will be made without verification of the External Reviewer’s Right to Work in the UK. Passports should be presented when arriving for the main review visit, although a scanned copy may be requested at an earlier stage to inform recruitment decisions. Any personal documentation will be held in compliance with GDPR regulation.

The standard MSc Periodic review is estimated to represent three days' work with a flat fee of £1000. This works out to one day’s advance reading and preparation, one day’s review visit to LSHTM and one day for writing up the final report. All fees due will be paid once the External Reviewer has returned their completed report to the Programme Director via the Quality & Academic Standards office (QAS). Fees for review work are paid from the QAS budget who will provide the External Reviewer with the relevant payment forms. Please note travel expenses must be approved by QAS and any substantive arrangements (e.g. international travel) must be requested prior to appointment.

External Reviewers should use the Periodic External Reviewer Report Template (doc) to complete their report.

New programme & module approval process (validation)

The process of developing, designing and launching a new award-bearing programme takes two years, including one academic year after final approval to market and recruit for the new programme. The process is split into the following stages:

  • Stage 1: Financial Planning and Approval
  • Stage 2: Development Approval
  • Stage 3: Programme and Module Specification and Curriculum Design
  • Stage 4: Validation Panel Meeting
  • Stage 5: Final Approval

The process is slightly different for credit-bearing short courses and can take less time. For more details on the approval process of both award bearing programmes and credit-bearing short courses please refer to Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual (pdf) which contains LSHTM's regulations relating to programme development, approval, amendment, management, monitoring and evaluation.

Validation forms and templates

Required Content for Award-bearing Course Proposal Documents (pdf) sets out the set of documentation required to propose a new awarding-bearing programme. This set of documentation will be reviewed by the Validation Panel at their meeting. Lead academics are encouraged to consult the Quality & Academic Standards office, Registry and the Finance Office to assist in developing this documentation.

The Example Implementation Plan for a New MSc (pdf) gives outline suggestions of what might be included in an implementation plan (as part of the Validation documentation).

For new modules, a module specification should be drafted and submitted to the PMRC for consideration.

Course and module design code of practice

The Course & Module Design Code of Practice (pdf, internal access only) sets out LSHTM’s approach to the design of new, or amended, programmes and modules, setting out principles of good practice for academics involved in developing programmes. It operates alongside Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual.

Programme and module amendments process and timeline

The Annual Monitoring and Periodic Review processes enable Programme Teams and Module Organisers to identify if there is a need to update and enhance the offering to reflect the latest developments in subject knowledge, pedagogy, student feedback and accrediting body requirements so as to deliver the most effective student experience.

Changes to the content of programmes and modules must have a clear and sound rationale and consultation should take place with relevant stakeholders (including current students and relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies) before a change is submitted for approval.

Amendments vary in scope and are 'Editorial', 'Minor' or 'Major'. Major programme amendments must be approved by the Programme and Module Review Committee (PMRC) 15 months prior to implementation of the amendment. Minor amendments are approved by the Faculty Postgraduate Taught Committee (FPGTC) and noted by PMRC. Only typographical error corrections and staffing amendments to programme specifications may be made after this deadline.

For full detail of the process of proposing changes to provision, including examples of what types of amendments are classed as 'Editorial', 'Minor' and 'Major', please see Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual (pdf).

Programme and module amendments forms and templates

Programme and module amendments can be submitted for consideration using the Programme and Module Amendment Form (doc).

Programme and Module Amendments Approval Notification Email Templates (doc) should be used by FPGTC Secretaries and the PMRC Secretary to notify Module Organisers and Programme Directors about approvals for minor and major amendments respectively.

Suspension and discontinuation of programmes or modules

All proposals to suspend or discontinue programmes of study or modules at LSHTM must be made in advance of the next recruitment cycle.

Suspension: The temporary closure of a programme or module for recruitment after consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

Discontinuation: The formal closure of a programme of study or module.

Responsibility for initiating the withdrawal or suspension of a programme or module resides with Faculty responsible for that programme or module in consultation with key stakeholders (including students). The decision to suspend/withdraw a programme will be based on factors outlined in Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual (pdf).

For full detail of the process suspending or discontinuing a programme or module, please see Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual (pdf).

Programme and module specification templates and guidance

Programme and module specifications are a concise description of the programme/module of study that is published externally on LSHTM’s webpages as part of the programme information. Programme specifications are published a year in advance.

Programme Specifications are published a year in advance on each individual programme webpage, as well as collectively on the programme specifications webpage.

Please see our module specifications webpage for full detail of modules currently offered at LSHTM.

Programme specification template and guidance

Module specification template and guidance

Regulations on programme and module management

Chapter 3 of the LSHTM Academic Manual (pdf) contains LSHTM's regulations relating to programme development, approval, amendment, management, monitoring and evaluation.