Academic Services


Approvals for courses and programmes involving a partner institution.

Collaborative taught and research programmes (both UK and international) are delivered, supported and/or assessed through an arrangement with a partner organisation.  They allow the University to offer academic programmes that it could not deliver on its own, but also involve practical, academic and financial issues that do not arise when developing programmes internally.

Collaborations – Academic Process

Staff developing a collaborative proposal for a programme involving taught or research students need to make sure that they go through the same School and College academic approval process as proposals for programmes to be taught solely by the University.  School Board of Studies approval and College approval will need to be sought.  If the collaboration is large-scale or high risk, then further levels of approval may be required and, under some circumstances, it will also be necessary to secure approval from the relevant Senate Committee.

Academic due diligence is required to be undertaken in all cases, whether or not the University has already endorsed the institution as a partner. The School should undertake a site visit to the proposed partner as part of the academic due diligence process. For all forms of collaboration, as part of academic due diligence, the School should ensure that the proposed partner has the
necessary academic expertise and capacity to deliver their contribution to the proposed programme to a high standard.
It is essential that a Memorandum of Agreement between the parties is signed as this forms the contract between the University and the partner. The purpose of the Memorandum of Agreement is to set out the detail of the joint working arrangements with another partner university/institution and it is legally binding.  The MoA sets out the terms and conditions for the collaborative provision, tailored to the specifics of the collaboration.  Each separate collaboration requires its own MoA to be in place before any activity starts. 
Where the proposed partner is outwith the UK, a Memorandum of Understanding is usually required.  A Memorandum of Understanding is a non legally binding document which expresses an intention to co-operate with another university/organisation, but it does not commit the University to a specific collaborative programme.  MoUs are generally broad statements of intent. 

Guidance, policies and approval process for academic collaborative agreements

TheAcademic Collaborative Agreements SharePoint site provides guidance and templates to support the process of developing collaborations and includes template agreements and key contacts.