These Guidelines outline the principal responsibilities of programme directors in respect of the programme(s) for which they are responsible. Programme directors manage the day-to-day running of the programmes and are responsible to the Head of School for the safeguarding of academic standards, the quality of education and educational support and the review and development of all programmes for which they are director. Programme directors have responsibility for monitoring adequate delivery of programmes as indicated below.
Where the programme director deems the delivery of the programme to be less than satisfactory it is his/her responsibility to bring this to the attention of the appropriate Head or Heads of School. While these guidelines should be viewed as best practice, it is understood that the organisation of particular activities such as admissions or examinations is often devolved to other designated members of staff, or to committees in the school. In the case of the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, and Medical and Veterinary Sciences, the programme director may be chair of the appropriate Education Committee. This is a practical solution to managing a programme delivered by several schools.
In a number of faculties, these guidelines are supplemented by additional faculty guidelines for programme directors.
1. Recruitment and admission of students
In consultation with other staff, as appropriate, programme directors will have responsibility for monitoring:
1.1 validation of prospectus entry(ies) and the content of any recruitment publicity material
1.2 annual student intake targets
1.3 selection of applicants
2. Overall organisation of curriculum
In relation to each programme for which s/he is responsible, the programme director will chair a suitably constituted curriculum committee, membership of which will include representatives of all schools involved in the delivery of the programme. The committee may be responsible for the curriculum of more than one programme. This committee will monitor all matters relating to the curriculum, including:
2.1 overall organisation and coherence of the programme,
2.2 production and updating of the relevant programme specification/s
2.3 content and delivery of individual units
2.4 monitoring of progress and attendance of all students on the programme
2.5 review and revision of any written materials handed out to students relating to the programme, such as programme handbooks [or the relevant section(s) of school handbook(s)]
2.6 student placements, including academic validity and health and safety issues. (See Guidance on Student Work Placements).
3. Delivery of the programme(s)
Programme directors are accountable for the day-to-day running of their programme(s). This includes monitoring:
3.1 the availability of staff and teaching accommodation
3.2 the provision of tuition cover if a member of staff becomes ill, or goes on study leave or other absence
3.3 agreeing the timetable and requirements for delivery of the programme and the avoidance of clashes.
4. Feedback to and from students
Programme directors are responsible for liasing with staff and students regarding feedback on the programme, including unit /programme questionnaires and other mechanisms and liasing with students and personal tutors in the event of problems or grievances. Each programme director is responsible for:
4.1 analysis of student feedback on the programme
4.2 the processing of such feedback, for example, through a staff/student liaison committee
4.3 follow-up action as required, using appropriate mechanism(s)
4.4 monitoring the assessment and return of coursework to students within the timescale set by the school(s) concerned and the Regulations and Code, or by the programme curriculum committee
4.5 monitoring the provision of personal tutors for the students on the programme
4.6 the inclusion of such feedback and actions taken into the Annual Programme Review process.
Programme directors are responsible for overseeing the assessment processes for the programme, working with the School Examinations Officer, who is likely to have clear delegated responsibility in this area. In particular, programme directors are responsible for:
5.1 advising Heads of School in the nomination of external examiner(s)
5.2 monitoring the preparation of examination papers and ensuring that the external examiner(s) has/have been asked to comment on them
5.3 monitoring the appropriateness of marking arrangements, including checking that procedures for assessing students are fair and well-publicised and conform to the regulations and code
5.4 convening examiners' meetings. A separate meeting may be necessary for each joint honours programme
5.5 preparation of pass lists
5.6 ensuring adherence to the University's Regulations and Code of Practice for taught programmes for the ultimate disclosure of examination results agreed by Board of Examiners
6. General Notes
6.1 It is normally appropriate to appoint only one programme director for each programme, although an individual may have responsibility for a number of programmes.
6.2 In the case of joint degrees, rotation of the post of programme director between the two schools responsible for the programme is advisable.
6.3 The programme director should ensure that the relevant school (s) and services take account of and try to meet the special needs of individual students in collaboration with the relevant Faculty disability officer and staff members of student support services, as appropriate.
Revised and approved by Education Committee 18 February 2000
Revised and approved by Education Committee 5 December 2003
Minor amendments approved by Chair’s powers July 2011