Teaching Quality Assurance Manual

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TQA Introduction

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 Regulations of the University are made by Senate. The regulations direct and regulate the University, its authorities and members. 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 and the Regulations.

TQA documents

The TQA Manual is made up of different types of documents:

  • Handbooks: 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.

Language in the TQA

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

  • Must: indicates a regulation that will be adhered to in all circumstances. Exceptions to such regulations would only be granted by the Dean for Taught Students or Dean of PGR 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: indicates 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: indicates 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.

TQA Maintenance and Review

The TQA Manual is maintained by the Education and Academic Services with the authority of Council. This Manual is not a static printed document; it is subject to change as policies are revised or guidance is updated. 

Any changes to the TQA Manual are approved by the DVC (Education and Student Experience) on the recommendation of the Education Board and/or the 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, as appropriate. The date of the last review, and approval by the relevant Board, will be recorded at the end of each chapter, as "Last reviewed, month, year" e.g. "Last Reviewed August 2023"

The TQA Manual is updated 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. The summer updates are not full chapter reviews, but checks to ensure that links work and to identify areas of policy that may need review in upcoming academic years. These updates will be recorded at the end of each chapter as "Last updated, month, year" e.g. ""Last updated August 2023"

Delegated Authority

Where reference is made to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty throughout the TQA, unless otherwise specified, they may delegate their authority to the following, as appropriate:

Taught Programme delegations:

  • Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • Education (APVC-E)
  • Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global Engagement (APVC-GE)

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.  Where specified within Chapters/Handbooks, the Director of Education and Student Experience (DESE) may also be a delegate.

Postgraduate Research Programme delegations:

  • Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Impact (APVC-RI)
  • Faculty Director of PGR (FDPGR)
  • Department Director of DPGR (DDPGR) or PGR Manager (where explicitly stated)

In the case of PGR programmes, it is normally the responsibility of the Faculty DPGR 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.

Changes and Updates from the 2022/3 academic year

The list of changes to policies and procedures as approved at both the Education Board and the Board of Postgraduate Research in the 2022/23 academic year are available at:


A list of TQA Acronyms 2023-4 has been drawn up to assist you. Please direct any queries or corrections to educationpolicy@exeter.ac.uk for matters relating to taught programmes or dcqualitydevelopment@exeter.ac.uk for matters relating to postgraduate research programmes.

Quality Assurance Responsibilities

Day-to-day responsibility for quality assurance in learning and teaching is assumed within the University as detailed in the Quality Assurance Responsibilities.


Last updated August 2023; Last reviewed August 2023

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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