New programme proposals

 

The information on this page describes the different phases of the programme approval process from initial development, to design, consultation and consideration by the Education Committee Sub-Committee. See Sub-Committee secretaries and proposal deadlines for information about who to contact if you have any questions about the information below.

 

Deadlines for new programme proposals

For programmes introduced in 2023/2024:

 

Deadline

 Committee

Committee meeting date

Undergraduate:

03 November 2021

 USSC

24 November 2021

Postgraduate (taught):

02 March 2022

 GSSC

23 March 2022

Postgraduate (research):   

22 February 2022

 RDSC

08 March 2022

Programme development phase

Departments should initiate informal engagement with a range of stakeholders including students, faculty and professional services to:

  1. make them aware of the proposal;
  2. discuss any potential for overlap or synergies with other provision in relation to academic content or intended aims or learning outcomes; 
  3. discuss any potential resource implications at an early stage with relevant central support services (Planning UnitTQAROSSCDTSLibraryTimetables). For any proposed non-standard provision that does not fit into established programme or administrative structures, please contact the Manager of the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT). 

Please consult with Will Breare-Hall (Student Recruitment and Study Abroad Manager) about the market for the proposed programme and with Admissions via Alex Ingold (UG) or Bryan Pilkington (PGT/PGR). This should be initiated at an early stage prior to Annual Monitoring to ensure the viability of the proposal as new provision in a very competitive HE sector. 

Initial endorsement of the proposed programme by the Department Teaching Committee (or equivalent representative departmental body) should be sought prior to the Annual Monitoring round in which it will be proposed. If this is not possible, DTC approval is a requirement of the approval process via the Education Committee Sub-Committee and should be sought prior to consideration of the proposal.

Timing: Programme proposals must meet established School deadlines for the introduction of new provision which require an 18-month (UG) or 15-month (PGT and PGR) lead-in time for implementation and marketing. This schedule ensures the School remains compliant with CMA requirements for the communication of ‘material information to prospective students, one of the OfS’s national QA baseline requirements. See Sub-Committee deadlines for further information.

Phase 1 - Initial green light to proceed

As previously stated, the School Annual Monitoring process should identify any new programmes that a department may wish to introduce and notification of such intended programme proposal activity should be submitted by departments through the annual monitoring mechanism.

Recommendations from Annual Monitoring are communicated to the APRC for consideration of resource requests where applicable, either in the form of additional staff or student numbers, although other resource implications may also be considered (estate, IT, library etc.). Endorsement via AM is required for all new programmes. Approval by APRC is required for all new programmes which require additional resource.

Phase 2 - design and consultation

Once the proposal is endorsed by Annual Monitoring, the programme proposal will require further development and approval by the DTC, if not already secured. This more detailed work should begin at the earliest opportunity and will often run in parallel with Annual Monitoring and APRC consideration of the programme due to the deadlines for Sub-Committee consideration.

It is essential to ensure that the proposal is sent to the relevant departmental SSLC for feedback in plenty of time before it is submitted to the DTC to allow feedback to be incorporated into the proposal. When SSLC consideration is timed after the DTC decision, DTC approval should be subject to SSLC feedback and any appropriate action recommended as a result.

Consultation with the wider academic community within LSE, and more broadly across the sector, is a fundamental step in the process.

  •  In assessing the proposal within LSE, programme proposers are asked to consider potential overlap with existing provision offered within their department or by other departments; overlap should be avoided. Where other departments or faculty have closely related provision or research interests, proposers should seek to consult at the design phase and in good time before Sub-Committee consideration, to allow for feedback to be assessed and worked into the proposals as appropriate. 

Important: Deciding who to consult is important and proposers should seek to identify and contact specific faculty or programme directors and not rely on generic emails to Heads of Department or Department Managers to seek feedback, although initial contact may be made with these individuals. Proposers might find it useful to refer to the LSE Experts information or existing courses listed in the Calendar to identify who to consult with. Sub-Committee secretaries and the Eden Centre (formerly TLC / LTI) department advisers are well placed to help advise on this process.

  • Consultation outside of LSE should involve contacting faculty at peer institutions against which the department might benchmark their activity, using insights from employers and Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) to gauge whether the programmes intended learning outcomes will enable graduating students to meet current market needs, or by reviewing associated Subject Benchmark Statements published by the Quality Assurance Agency.
  • Given TEF emphasis on employment outcomes, departments should ensure that programme proposers are consulting with LSE Careers at the design stage of new programmes.

If the programme involves a partnership with another institution (e.g. a double or joint degree), you should consult the Head of Academic Partnerships at a very early stage for advice.

It is strongly recommended that the Eden Centre is consulted at an early stage about new programme proposals. The Eden Centre can advise on: programme design and coherence; aims and intended learning outcomes; teaching delivery; and assessment methods. The Eden Centre team can also advise on different approaches to engaging students in programme design, with benefits for both staff and students of co-creation activities that encourage students to work as partners with faculty in educational design. You may want to refer to guidance for writing programme aims and programme learning outcomes as part of this process. Please contact the departmental adviser assigned to your department for advice.

Similarly, if the proposed programme will use technology to deliver teaching or assessment, it is strongly recommended that the Eden Centre (formerly LTI / TLC) team is consulted at an early stage.

Departments must work to ensure Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are embedded into the curriculum and are addressed from the outset during the design and approval phase of any new programme. Please see Equity, Diversity and Inclusion or contact eden@lse.ac.uk for more information.

Executive Masters proposals must also complete the Major Academic Initiative process.  If you are proposing an executive programme, please read the ‘principles on modular master's programmes’ in TQARO’s Guidance and School Principles.

For research level proposals, either for MRes/PhD or MPhil/PhD programmes, please consult with Dr Pete Mills, PhD Academy Manager and secretary to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee. 

Completing the proposal

To introduce a new programme, you must submit a new programme proposal form (Word).  There is a distinct form for each level of study:

If you are proposing an Executive MSc programme you will need to complete an additional E-MSc programme timetabling form.

Please contact Ard.Capis if you require assistance in completing any of the above forms. 

Phase 3 - approval and implementation

Consideration by the relevant Education Committee Sub-Committee (USSC, GSSC, RDSC). The main purpose of the process is to ensure that:

  1. New programme proposals do not overlap significantly with existing programmes elsewhere in the university;
  2. All new taught provision is academically robust, well-structured and pedagogically sound;
  3. The programme takes account of all relevant internal and external reference points;
  4. Threshold academic standards are met;
  5. Appropriate student learning opportunities are available;
  6. The information provided to students about their studies is complete with regard to programme content, structure, learning outcomes, modes of assessment;
  7. The programme does not contravene any established School regulations or policies.

Consideration by committee provides an opportunity for peer review of proposals and involves the submission of an external assessor’s report. External expertise is sought to verify not only that threshold academic standards are set by rigorous reference to the national reference points, but also as an important opportunity to benefit from externality and learn from sector good practice and innovative practice at peer institutions.

If the proposed programme contains new core courses, the department will need to complete a new course proposal for each via the Course And Programme Information System (CAPIS). New core courses available in any year of study of the proposed programme must be considered by the School sub-committee at the same time as the programme proposal, so they can then be advertised to prospective students at the point of application. Core course are considered as ‘material information’ by the CMA.

Timing: Once completed, the paperwork must be submitted to the relevant Sub-Committee Secretary at least three weeks before the meeting at which it will be considered. See Sub-Committee deadlines. Sub-Committee secretaries are however available to review proposals prior to submission and this is strongly recommended whenever possible. The programme proposer is required to attend the Sub-Committee meeting at which their proposal is discussed in order to answer any questions. The Secretary will invite the proposer to attend.

Decision: If approved by the committee and all associated resource approvers, the programme is then set up for introduction in the specified academic year. It will be added to the Calendar by TQARO and other ARD teams will be notified as necessary, including ARD Systems, Timetables, Prospectuses, Admissions, Financial Support and Registry.

If approval is subject to certain conditions / follow-up, this will be delegated to the Departmental Teaching Committee or considered via Sub-Committee Chairs action as deemed appropriate by the committee at the time of decision. The responsibility for approval of follow-up action will be minuted by the Sub-Committee and audited by TQARO for annual reporting to the Education Committee.

 

Last reviewed: September 2021