Quality Processes and Reporting
Semesterly reflection on our courses
The core of our reflection process on our teaching takes place at course level. That's the building block upon which everything else, described below, sits. Every time we run one of our courses the course organiser collects feedback from students at the mid-semester point and then through Course Enhancement Questionnaires at the end of the course. This information is used as a basis to reflect on the course overall - a process that includes thinking about the course structure, readings, components of assessment, and student attainment. The course organiser shares these thoughts with the External Examiner (see below) and with other members of the School's teaching staff at our Boards of Examiners.
The role of the External Examiner
All course conveners write a report on their courses for an appointed ‘external examiner’ (typically an academic at another UK university who has expert knowledge in the area covered by the course). External examiners review a sample of assessed work - essays and exams - and give written feedback to the course convener. This feedback is then discussed when our Boards of Examiners meet to determine grades. This is a core component of how we reflect on, and work to improve, our teaching.
Annual reflection on our programmes
Schools are responsible for the annual monitoring, review and reporting of all credit-bearing provision. The annual review process allows the University, the College and the Schools to systematically reflect on academic standards and to take action to enhance the student learning experience.
Our programmes - undergraduate and postgraduate - are clustered in appropriate ways and relevant members of the academic staff write an annual report reflecting on the strengths of, weaknesses of, and challenges facing their programme or programmes.
This does not require a separate process and should be carried out in tandem with exisiting structures including School learning and teaching committees or small group discussions between School and subject area staff. Annual programme reports are fed into School annual and strategic planning.
Annual reflection on the School's overall provision of teaching
All Schools are required to prepare an annual quality assurance and enhancement report. This is completed by the School Director of Quality. The reports are a means for Schools to review the past academic year, to highlight what has gone well and and to identify any issues or actions that require College or University attention. These reports are submitted to Academic Services in August each year and inform the annual College Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report.
The process from School to University is presented here.
If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will find links to the School's most recent Annual Quality Reports (note because of changes to the reporting process there is no report for 2015/16).
Periodic teaching and postgraduate programme reviews (TPRs and PPRs)
Every few years all of our degree programmes are reviewed through a process of Programme Reviews. Identifying and sharing good practice in teaching and learning is a key part of these reviews. Reviews are conducted across subject areas or degree programmes with input and insights from academic colleagues across the University as well as academics from other Universities who ensure external input into the process.
The next reviews in our School - to be carried out during 2019/20 - are for Politics & International Relations undergraduate degrees, Social Policy undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees, and the School’s overall postgraduate taught and research degrees.
Reports from recent reviews within our School can be read below:
- 2017/18, MA Sociology and MA Sustainable Development
- 2017/18, MA Social Anthropology, and 14-week response
- 2016/17, Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work, 14-week response, and year on response
Ad hoc University-wide thematic reviews
Download and read our Annual School Quality Reports
- SSPS Quality Assurance Report 2003-2004 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2004-2005 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2005-2006 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2006-2007 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2007-2008 (MS Word Document)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2008-2009 (MS Word Document)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2009-2010 (MS Word Document)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2012-2013 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2013-2014 (PDF File)
- SSPS Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report 2014-2015 (PDF File)