Teaching Quality Assurance Manual

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The Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA Manual) is a resource for staff and students containing the processes which underpin the quality of learning and teaching at the University of Exeter.

The Ordinances of the University are made by Council to amplify the meaning of the Statutes which sit above them. The Codes of Practice and Procedures in the TQA Manual contain principles and standards designed to control or govern conduct, or provide direction at a more detailed level than Ordinances.

The TQA Manual is made up of a number of types of documents:

Some content is gathered in Handbooks and in some instances the Handbook introductions specify the level of regulatory requirement set out in them, otherwise the content of Handbooks is divided up into Procedures and Codes of Good Practice.

Procedures and frameworks require Faculties (or delegated Schools) and Partner Institutions to follow specific processes approved by the University.

Codes of Good Practice set a minimum standard, it is expected that they should be observed unless the Faculty (or delegated School) concerned can demonstrate processes that exceed the criteria detailed in the Codes.

Guidance and advice is commended to users to assist in the enhancement of the student learning experience.

To ensure that the expectations of Faculties, students and staff are clear the following verbs are adopted and highlighted throughout the TQA.

  • Must: to indicate a regulation that will be adhered to in all circumstances. Exceptions to such regulations would only be granted by the Deans in exceptional circumstances. For example “The examiners must be agreed that the candidate will be able to complete the amendments necessary for the thesis to meet the assessment criteria for the award in question within no more than 6 months from notification”.
  • Should: to indicate a regulation that should be adhered to unless sound pedagogical reasons prevent this. For example “Examiner(s) should be nominated three months before the expected submission date”.
  • May: to indicate a regulation where action is discretionary but Faculties are expected to demonstrate that taking the action has been considered. For example “The viva may be conducted in accordance with this agenda.” May is used both as an indication of good practice and also in the permissive sense.

The TQA Manual is maintained by the Education and Academic Services with the authority of Council, any changes to the TQA Manual are approved by the DVC (Education) on the recommendation of the Education Board or Postgraduate Research Board. Instances of exceptions to the requirements set out in this Manual, such as to meet Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) stipulations, must be approved by the Dean of Taught Students or the Dean of Postgraduate Research, or both, as appropriate. This Manual is not a static printed document; it is subject to change as policies are revised or guidance is updated. The TQA Manual is reviewed each summer and re-issued and date-stamped for the following academic year to ensure that staff and students can be confident that all information contained in it is current.

Please note that where reference is made to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty in this document, unless otherwise specified, they may delegate their authority as appropriate to the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education (APVC-E) the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global Engagement (APVC-GE) or the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Impact (APVC-RI) / Faculty Director of PGR (FDPGR)/ Department Director of DPGR (DDPGR) as relevant.

In the case of taught programmes, it is normally the responsibility of the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education (APVC-E) to act in the first instance on behalf of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty in fulfilling their responsibility for taught programmes as specified in this Manual.  

In the case of PGR programmes, it is normally the responsibility of the Faculty or Departmental DDPGR to act in the first instance on behalf of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty in fulfilling their responsibilities for PGR programmes as specified in this Manual. 

No further delegation of authority may occur unless explicitly specified.

The list of changes to policies and procedures as approved at both the Education Board and the Board of Postgraduate Research in the 2021/2 academic year will be available below by the beginning of October 2022.

The changes to policies in the 2020/1 academic year are available at Taught Faculty Boards Outcomes Summary 2020/21 and Management Group Outcomes Summary 2020/21.

A list of acronyms has been drawn up to assist you. Please direct any queries or corrections to educationpolicy@exeter.ac.uk.

The University of Exeter has restructured academic departments, the new structure applies from 1 September 2022.  Where there is reference still made to Colleges in the TQA, this now refers to Faculties.  Where there is reference to Dean/s this refers to the Dean of Taught Students and/or the Dean of Postgraduate Research. Any reference to Taught Faculty should be read as Education Board; any reference to or Faculty of Graduate Research should be read as Postgraduate Research Board.

Last updated September 2022

Academic Partnerships Handbook

Document relating to new and existing partnerships

Approval and Revision of Taught Modules and Programmes Handbook

Document relating to the structure for all modules and programmes leading to of taught awards and Professional Doctorates

Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook

Documents relating to the approval and amendment of Taught programmes

Credit and Qualifications Framework

Documents relating to the structure for all modules and programmes leading to of taught awards and Professional Doctorates

Learning and Teaching Support Handbook

Documents relating to the good practice of learning and teaching support.

Postgraduate Research Handbook

Documents relating to postgraduate research.


Quality Review & Enhancement Framework

Documents relating to the quality assurance responsibilites for learning and teaching.


Student Cases Handbook

Student Cases Handbook

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