School of Social and Political Science

Quality assurance and enhancement


“The University is responsible for its academic standards and the quality of the student learning experience. It is committed to reflecting on and systematically reviewing its provision and taking action to enhance it. The Quality Framework supports the management of academic standards and the student experience across the University’s academic provision and student services and aligns with external body requirements, including the Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF).”


The School of Social and Political Science takes quality assurance and enhancement (QAE) issues seriously. The School’s Director of Quality (Interim) is Professor Richard Baxstrom, our Deputy Head of School and Director of Learning and Teaching. Professor Baxstrom is responsible for quality assurance and enhancement issues within the School. He is the School’s representative on the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ Quality Assurance Committee. That College committee, in turn, reports to the University-level Senate Quality Assurance Committee.

Students are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to become involved in the University’s QAE processes.

At its core, QAE is about something very simple. It is about ensuring that we maintain the highest standards in teaching and learning. It is about ensuring that we regularly reflect on how we teach, how we professionally deliver and support our courses and programmes, and how we can improve. It is about ensuring that we comply with the external agencies and bodies that regulate the provision of higher education in the UK (and in Scotland).

Although a lot of activity around QAE can be procedural - for example, each year every postgraduate programme and every undergraduate programme in SPS have to write quality reports - much of the activity is about embedding reflective practices in our everyday lives as University staff members, whether we are academics or professional services staff. So, whilst each of our subject areas has a QAE representative, and each of our MSc programme directors reports on quality assurance annually, quality assurance only really means something if it is hardwired into the DNA of our School.

The pages in this section are arranged to reflect the activities that we undertake in pursuit of our QAE agenda within the School. They cover: