RIS Photoshoots; June 2019

Contribute to our review

We're reviewing our core academic regulations to ensure that they're fit for the future

The Review of Regulations project, which was launched in November 2020, is a ‘root and branch’ review of our core academic regulations for its taught and research degree provision.

All of our regulations are reviewed routinely and individually but this project will review the regulations together, in their entirety.

During this project we want to engage with a range of students, staff and other stakeholders who can help contribute to a set of regulations that are fit for the future.

Core aims

The core aims of the project are to produce regulations that are:

  • Fair and supportive
  • Inclusive of all students
  • Clear in language and purpose
  • Easily accessible
  • Improving the student experience
  • Aligned with sector requirements and best practice

We’re excited to engage with you to co-produce the policies and regulations that will influence the student experience for the years ahead. 

Academic regulation areas

The Assessment Regulations Sub-Group is responsible for the regulations that underpin our student assessment processes on our taught courses. That includes the processes we operate at the University as well as those operated with our partners delivering collaborative courses in the UK and globally. The group will be considering:

  • The information provided to students prior to engaging with assessment tasks
  • How we ensure that our assessment processes and activities are inclusive for students with specific needs
  • The arrangements that apply to different types of assessment, including coursework and examinations, whether undertaken in-person or virtually
  • How we mark student work and provide feedback
  • How we confirm assessment outcomes and progression decisions through our Board processes
  • The algorithms and decision-making processes we apply to our assessment decisions to determine the award that each student receives  
  • The requirements for each of the academic awards that the University is able to confer (including minimum and maximum registration periods and credit requirements)


The Appeals Sub-Group is responsible for reviewing and, as far as possible, harmonising the appeals arrangements for students from application to graduation. Students wishing to appeal a decision we've made may be anxious or upset about an outcome they think is unfair. Our appeals processes therefore need to be as clear and easy to understand as possible, and ensure that students have the appropriate right to challenge our decision-making where there are grounds to do so. The group will be considering:

  • Appeals against admissions decisions 
  • Appeals against assessment decisions at all academic levels
  • Appeals against attendance-related decisions
  • Appeals against decisions taken in relation to student behaviour and well-being (including Fitness to Study and Fitness to Practice)
  • Appeals against decisions about criminal convictions relating to applicants or students
  • Appeals against decisions relating to student status

The Disciplinaries Sub-Group is focussed on the Code of Student Behaviour. The Code sets out the framework through which the University engages with students to investigate unacceptable behaviour on and off campus, including academic offences and those relating to general student behaviour.

The Code also outlines the different disciplinary processes that apply, and through which the University sets appropriate and proportionate penalties where it's necessary to do so.  Students who have been involved in misconduct may find these types of conversations anxiety-provoking, so we must make sure that our regulations are as clear and easy to understand as possible, and ensure that students have the appropriate access to support and guidance throughout. 

The Code of Student Behaviour incorporates the arrangements for considering Fitness to Practise cases for students whose course incorporates a professional or clinical practice component. The group will also be considering the Fitness to Study Policy, which considers individual students’ capacity to engage fully with their studies in safety, and without endangering the safety or wellbeing of themselves or others.

The Postgraduate Research Sub-Group is responsible for the regulations that underpin the postgraduate research student experience. That includes the specific regulations in place for the different routes through which postgraduate research students may be awarded a research degree (including PhDs by research, by publication, or through completion of a professional or integrated Doctorate). 

The group will be considering the University’s Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees, which sets out the overall responsibilities and expectations of all those involved in supporting admission to, and support throughout, a postgraduate research degree. It also addresses expectations around research supervision, training in the development of research skills, and progress monitoring, as well as the final submission and examination processes.

Finally, the group will also review the University’s framework for enabling postgraduate research students to benefit from working across the University and its partner organisations, or entirely off-campus, to pursue a postgraduate research degree.

The Special Considerations Sub-Group is responsible for reviewing the regulations that apply in special or unusual circumstances to ensure that these are readily accessible and easy to navigate, particularly during times of difficulty or distress. The group will be considering:

  • How we make decisions about students with extenuating circumstances
  • How our regulations support applicants and students who disclose a disability, or who require additional support for their academic studies  
  • The regulations that apply when students are suspended or withdrawn from the University
  • How we respond when students are under arrest for a criminal offence
  • How the University responds to the death of a student

The remit of the Design and Accessibility Sub-Group spans the entire project, and will focus predominantly on ensuring that the presentation and organisation of the regulations produced by each of the Sub-Groups are cohesive, intuitive and accessible. The Sub-Group will be supporting colleagues across the project to adopt a common approach to use of language and writing style. They will also be exploring the availability of technological solutions that support staff and students in engaging positively with the regulations that the University publishes.

Project Board

The Project Board oversees the direction of the project and is the primary decision-making body in relation to draft policy changes. The Board is supported by sub-groups that focus on a particular regulation area. All policy changes will be considered and approved by the relevant University Committee. The Project Board is made up of staff from across faculties and professional services and from members of the UPSU. 

The Project Board is Chaired by Rebecca Di Pancrazio, Interim Academic Registrar, and its Secretary is Nichola Shannon, Senior Administrator (Committee Secretariat).