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Glossary of teaching quality terms

Please email the Teaching Quality team with any suggestions for additions to this list.

A

APCL
Accreditation of prior certified (or certificated) learning
APEL
Accreditation of prior experiential learning
APL
Accreditation of prior learning
Academic Registrar

Dr Mike Glover, Academic Registrar, University House

Admissions Service Manager, Undergraduate Admissions

Michael Youlton, Admissions Service Manager, Undergraduate Admissions

accredit
Used in relatively few formal contexts at Warwick. When talking about a new module or course, Warwick "approves" modules/courses, rather than "accrediting" them. We do use "accredit" in the context of the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) - the part of the admissions process by which a student can be given exemption from part of a course based on previous study or experience.

C

collaborative course/module
A course or module where the University has an agreement or contract with another organisation to provide some teaching, assessment or student support.
course
Coherent programme of study leading to a named qualification/award. Includes degrees, diplomas, certificates. Courses are made up of modules.
course specification
Sets out the aims of the course, the skills and knowledge a graduate from that course will possess, and how it is taught and assessed. Known in many UK universities as a "programme specification". Warwick publishes course specs through an online course specifications database.

E

Erasmus
European Union student mobility programme. Courses arranged under the ERASMUS scheme are not necessarily Exchanges in the narrow meaning used in the Academic Office and TQ committees, but may be a Year Abroad.
exchange
A student spends all (or part) of one year at a different institution, effectively replacing modules normally taken at Warwick with equivalent ones taken elsewhere. The International Office provides support to departments and students for exchanges and must be informed. One student must come here in place of that going out (to make it a genuine exchange). Exchanges within the EU are dealt with under the ERASMUS guidelines and are generally fee-free, whereas those elsewhere generally attract the regulated half fee. No additional course code is needed; however, departments must inform the Student Records team, preferably by the 3rd term of the preceding year, of who is going out on such an exchange (again so that LEAs etc can be informed). (This is the definition used by the Academic Office in determining student status, and by TQ committees in considering course proposals, etc. It is a specific use of what can sometimes be taken to be a generic term. cf Intercalated Year, Non-mandatory year out, Year Abroad)

F

franchised course
Course designed by the University but delivered by a partner organisation (e.g. a Further Education college). Students on franchised courses are full members of the University. The University transfers money to the partner organisation to cover the costs of delivering the course.

I

intercalated year
a year spent away from the University by a students who is usually undertaking paid work for a company or organisation, normally between penultimate and final years of study. Examples might include Biological Science students working for Glaxo SmithKline, or Computer Science students working for IBM. The degree certificate will state 'with Intercalated Year' subject to the student 'passing' the year (often assessed by project report). Failure here would lead to mandatory transfer back to the non-intercalated course. Intercalated years are NEVER entry points, but students are permitted to transfer at the end of year 2. Notification would be required by the Student Records team in term 3 of the preceding year so that LEAs and other agencies may be informed. (This is the definition used by the Academic Office in determining student status, and by TQ committees in considering course proposals, etc. It is a specific use of what can sometimes be taken to be a generic term. cf Exchange, Non-mandatory year out, Year Abroad)

M

module
Smallest unit of learning recognised in the University's approval processes and records systems.

N

non-mandatory year out
A year out from a student's degree course, agreed between the student and their department, which is in some way 'study-related'. The requirement is not a part of the Course Regulations, there is no assessment but the student spends a year away from Warwick, perhaps gaining other transferable skills. The Careers Service can provide guidance here. There is no need for an additional course code but departments should again inform Student Records term 3 of the preceding year so that LEAs and other agencies may be informed. The student is unlikely to be able to obtain a student loan, but will not be charged a tuition fee. Students are advised to contact the International Office for guidance if considering a non-mandatory year out, as there may be immigration regulations that need to be taken into consideration.  (This is the definition used by the Academic Office in determining student status, and by TQ committees in considering course proposals, etc. It is a specific use of what can sometimes be taken to be a generic term. cf Exchange, Intercalated Year, Year Abroad)

P

PSRB
Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body. An external agency which regulates, accredits or inspects Warwick courses. Students who successfully complete a course accredited, inspected or recognised by a PSRB may be eligible for membership or associate membership of a profession or professional body. In some disciplines the University can only deliver courses which have the appropriate PSRB recognition. Examples include the General Medical Council for the MBChB, Ofsted for some Education courses, the professional bodies which inspect Engineering courses, the Bar Council and the Law Society for qualifying law degrees, and so on. Our PSRB pages include a register of all Warwick courses with PSRB recognition of some variety, and information on how the Teaching Quality section works with departments around PSRB visits, inspections and engagements.

Q

quality
QAA define quality like this: Academic quality is a way of describing how well the learning opportunities available to students help them to achieve their award. It is about making sure that appropriate and effective teaching, support, assessment and learning opportunities are provided for them. (source: QAA website) Also known as teaching quality, quality of the learning experience

S

standards
QAA define standards like this: Academic standards are a way of describing the level of achievement that a student has to reach to gain an academic award (for example, a degree). They should be at a similar level across the UK. (source: QAA website)

V

validate
Warwick may validate a course designed and delivered by another institution, in which case we formally award the qualification. When we are talking about new courses/modules, Warwick does not use "validate" as a synonym for "approve".
validated course
A course (normally) designed by another institution which the University decides meets the standards and quality required for a Warwick award. The course is delivered by the partner institution, but Warwick staff are involved in the assessment process, and Warwick appoints the External Examiner and awards the qualification. Students on validated courses are members of the partner institution, and have limited rights at the University. Partner institutions pay the University a validation fee.

Y

year abroad
Year of study taken by a student as a mandatory part of their degree course. Typical examples include students on language degrees, who might work as a Language Assistant or study at a university in a country where their language of study is spoken. Should there be an additional version of the degree without the requirement to go abroad, there would need to be separate course codes. (This is the definition used by the Academic Office in determining student status, and by TQ committees in considering course proposals, etc. It is a specific use of what can sometimes be taken to be a generic term. cf Exchange, Intercalated Year, Non-mandatory year out)