Quality Assurance and Enhancement

Central aims to embed quality assurance and enhancement within the academic community, and to ensure that systems are fit for purpose in relation to the character and portfolio of a small specialist institution. The systems aim to incorporate internal and external peer involvement as fully as possible, and to operate throughout the daily life of the institution.

The School has the following quality assurance processes:

  • Course Validation and Modification
  • Periodic Review of Courses
  • Annual Monitoring of Courses
  • External Examiner Nomination and Reporting
  • Student representation, including Course Committees
  • Student Surveys (e.g. National Student Survey and internal undergraduate and postgraduate surveys)
  • Thematic Review
  • Peer Observation of Teaching.

The School’s Academic Board, chaired by the Principal, is the senior academic body of the institution and as such has responsibility and authority over academic standards in the institution, receiving periodic review and validation reports, as well as approving changes to the Handbook of Academic Regulations. Authority is, however, delegated to a number of its sub-committees, most notably the Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee and the Research Degrees Committee. Under the auspices of the Board, the Dean reporting to the Principal has overall responsibility for the quality assurance and enhancement of the institution. The Dean also oversees the taught HE programmes of the School, chairing the Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee and Examination Board.

The Deputy Dean (Academic) has academic oversight of the development of all HE course specifications and their delivery. They act as a liaison between Course Leaders and the Academic Administration on quality assurance providing guidance and advice on the course specific implications of quality assurance such as the development of aims and learning outcomes and the ways in which generic principles translate into pedagogically appropriate practices. They support course staff in the writing of self-evaluation documents for course periodic reviews and advise on the choice of External Examiner nominations and appropriate external peers for periodic review. They also champion and lead on quality enhancement within Faculty. 

The Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement manages and administers quality assurance and enhancement processes, as well as providing guidance and advice on quality assurance issues generally and draws together oversight of taught and research programmes. The Deputy Dean (Academic) and Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement together oversee the cascade down of QAE information, advice and systems through a structure of committees and briefing sessions. The Deputy Dean leads the programme of internal sessions on learning, teaching, assessment and research (ISTLAR). 

The School’s principal Quality Assurance and academic strategy and governance documents are:

Quality Assurance Agency Institutional Review

Central underwent the QAA Institutional Review process in June 2013. The report and the School's action plan can be found below.

QAA - UK Quality Assured, reviewed 2013