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University-led reviews of learning and teaching

All Schools in the University submit an annual report to the Academic Monitoring Group reflecting on their previous year's teaching. This regular monitoring of quality and standards is supplemented by a more thorough review, with external participation, every 6 years. A University-led Review of Learning and Teaching (URLT) Schedule (PDF, 57 KB) has been agreed by the Academic Monitoring Group and the current cycle is planned up to 2021.  This programme may be expanded to include special reviews of particular areas as required and includes central units associated with learning and teaching. It also includes review of Collaborative Programmes under the University's 5 stage review of these programmes

Purpose: The reviews are first and foremost by and for the University. The aims are to satisfy ourselves that standards and quality of learning and teaching (and assessment) are being maintained; to alert senior management to areas of concern; and to identify good practice that deserves commendation and dissemination.

Review Team: Normally there are 6-7 reviews of this kind held in any academic year. The review itself will last for one full day. The Schools/Units to be reviewed will be contacted by Ros Campbell, Academic Policy Officer (Quality), to arrange an initial meeting (normally with the Director of Teaching or Director of Unit) to discuss the process and to identify a suitable date. The review team will comprise:

  1. External 1 (from a Scottish institution)
  2. External 2
  3. Dean of Faculty
  4. University staff member (Director of Teaching or other senior role-holder, external to School and from a cognate subject area)
  5. Director of Representation, Students' Association
  6. Postgraduate student representative
  7. Nicola Milton, Head of Education Policy and Quality or Ros Campbell, Academic Policy Officer (Quality)

The external members of the review team are agreed after consultation with the School/Unit; this also applies to appointment of the University staff member (who will be from a cognate area and can give a wider University perspective).

Documentation: The School/Unit will be asked to provide advance documentation as stated in the School URLT Guideline (PDF, 163 KB) and Unit guideline Unit URLT guideline (PDF, 158 KB). The primary document is the Reflective Analysis (RA), which the School is asked to prepare after reflecting on its own practices in learning and teaching. Headings are given in the guideline, which are to be used in preparation of the RA and the evaluative report. Students are consulted during the preparation of the RA (through the School President) and will contribute to the process by providing a short overview directly to the review team of the student experience. Further information on this aspect of the process is available via the Guidance School President (PDF, 92 KB)‌.

Programme: The programme sample programme (PDF, 102 KB) for the review day is agreed with the School/Unit, and will include meetings with staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Student note (PDF, 276 KB) will be provided to give students some background on the review procedure. Notes will be taken at each meeting, but nothing will be attributed to any individual.  The aim for the day is to have full and frank discussions to identify any areas for concern, or for recommendation and dissemination as good practice to the rest of the institution. 

Report: Following the review, an evaluative report will be prepared by the review team under the co-ordination of the Head of Education Policy and Quality and Academic Policy Officer (Quality). When finalised, this will be sent to the School/Unit (within 25 working days of the review itself) and then submitted to the Academic Monitoring Group. The Group will then request a response to this report via an action plan, detailing what the School/Unit intends to do as a consequence of the team's findings.  The outcome of this will be followed up by the Head of Education Policy and Quality.

Documentation from Previous Reviews: University-led review documentation is available for viewing by University staff only.

General enquiries

Nicola Milton
Head of Education Policy & Quality
+44 (0)1334 46 2131

Ros Campbell
Academic Policy Officer (Quality), Proctor's Office
+44 (0)1334 46 3600