Academic Regulations 2020 - 2021

01/02/2019

Student and Academic, Staff

SECTION 1 COURSE AND MODULAR FRAMEWORK

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 The Academic Regulations are the legally-binding statements of the regulatory framework for pathways leading to qualifications at all levels of the University of Wolverhampton. In the event of any discrepancy between the Academic Regulations and any other University of Wolverhampton requirement, the Academic Regulations take precedence and are applied in all cases. In the event of any discrepancy between the Academic Regulations and Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), or any other legislative requirements, the PSRB or legislative requirements take precedence. This includes requirements imposed by government agencies such as the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for apprenticeship funding and End Point Assessment (EPA).

1.1.2 Academic Regulations must be approved by the Academic Board and are reviewed annually by the Academic Board or a designated sub-committee. A full list of valid exemptions is held by the Academic Registrar. The relevant exemptions are notified to students in the Course Guides. Exemptions may only be approved by the Academic Board or its delegated authority and will apply for the period of the current course validation.

1.1.3 The University of Wolverhampton aligns the level of its awards and qualifications with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) (QAA, 2014) and where relevant, the requirements of PSRBs.

1.2 Course Framework

1.2.1 All taught courses within this regulatory framework use the Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS), which refers to notional learning hours and includes formal contact, assessment, guided study and independent learning. The University also recognises the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). 1 CATS credit is equal to 10 hours notional learning and 0.5 ECTS credits).

1.2.2 The University Bye-Law No. 5; https://www.wlv.ac.uk/media/departments/office-of-the-vicechancellor/documents/Bye-Law-5-June-2016.pdf describes the criteria relating to the award and management of Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates. The bye-law lists all qualifications approved by the Board of Governors. New qualifications not currently listed must be approved by the Board of Governors prior to the release of any course related marketing or publicity.

1.2.3 Courses are delivered across the University’s academic year which is sub-divided into Semesters. Any variation to the standard academic calendar must be approved by the Academic Board or delegated authority (this will normally be through the Course Validation and Modification Approval processes).

1.2.4 Every course has a Course Specification that must specify the modules required to be taken and any other additional requirements (such as course attendance), which must be satisfied for the award of the qualification. All qualification names (final and interim) must be approved as part of the validation process and no two courses will have the same title. Courses may be; Full-time and contain modules worth 120 credits in each University academic year, taught over two semesters. 3 Accelerated Full-time and contain modules worth 180 credits in each 12 month period, taught over three semesters. Masters Full-time and contain modules worth 120 taught credits and a further 60 credits independent study at level 7. Part-time and normally contain modules worth no more than 80 credits in each University academic year.

1.2.5 There must be at least 33% difference between module diets for courses with different titles, rounded up to the nearest 20 credits. For example, a total of 360 credits is normally required for a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours, and when applying the 33% differentiation rule it will therefore be necessary for the module diet to differ by at least 120 credits compared with any other course which leads to a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours. Independent study modules, normally being generic in nature, are excluded from the minimum 120 credits required in this instance and should not contribute towards any percentage difference between courses. For courses with a common Foundation Year, the level 3 module diet is not included, and the differentiation rule is only applied to credits specified from level 4 onwards. For bracketed course titles, there must be at least 20% difference between module diets. On similarly named routes these will usually share the same diets at levels 4 and 5 given that all of the specialist modules are normally offered at level 6 (see 5.2.3).

1.2.6 Courses will normally consist of 20 credit modules and may be; Single subject specialist. Sandwich in design, in which students will study a period of supervised work experience, the length of which will be specified in the course requirements. Integrated joint in design, in which students will study will normally study modules of 50% from each of two subject areas, with the combination of subjects being fully integrated to provide clear progression and learning outcomes. Research in design, in which students at level 7 will study at least 80 credits in researchrelated modules.

1.2.7 For the award of a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours, students are required to demonstrate the ability to manage their own learning and communicate this effectively through initiation of project and solution-based independent study. Students studying for a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours qualification may study a maximum of 60 credits at levels 5 and 6 by independent study. The composition of independent study must be clearly defined through validation, revalidation and approval processes.

1.2.8 For the award of a Master’s Degree, students are required to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, self-direction in solution-based inquiry, comprehensive research evaluation skills and to communicate these abilities effectively. Students studying for a taught Master’s qualification will study a minimum of 60 credits at level 7 by independent study. This may be studied concurrently with taught credits. 4

1.2.9 Students are expected to study the number of credits required for their qualifications and are not permitted to study additional credits to improve the classification of their Degree. Additional credits will be reflected on the student’s Higher Education Achievement Report.

1.2.10 All courses leading to University of Wolverhampton qualifications will be taught in English, unless the course is validated to teach students other languages.

1.2.11 An Award Board of examiners will be appointed for every approved course. Courses must be considered by an Award Board on at least an annual basis.

1.2.12 All courses will be subject to formal review, at an interval of not more than six years.

1.2.13 Changes may be made to an approved course in advance of the next formal review if approved by a Faculty Academic Enhancement Committee in accordance with the limits and criteria set out in the Quality Framework at; http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/registry/qasd/Qual%20Proc/VAAD%20Guidelines.pdf

1.3 Modular Framework

1.3.1 Each course will normally be made up of units of study called modules that consist of multiples of 20 credits. Modules are discrete units of assessed learning at a given level, with coherent learning outcomes.

1.3.2 Every module has a distinct set of learning outcomes that reflect the level of study as articulated in the FHEQ. Learning outcomes must be articulated for each module and specified in the Module Guide.

1.3.3 Modules are described as either core or option. Core modules are compulsory and option modules are usually in an option pool where one or more is selected. Where option modules are provided, the number and availability will be denoted in the relevant Course Guide.

1.3.4 Modules may also be; A Pre-requisite module which must be studied and passed before a student may proceed to study a post-requisite (or subsequent) module. Modules normally only have pre-requisites designated at the previous level of study. A Co-requisite module which must be studied either at the same time (usually the same semester) or in the same academic year as another module and at the same level of study. A Prohibited module is one which may not be studied in combination with other modules.

1.3.5 All modules must include at least one summative assessment designed to enable students to demonstrate that the module learning outcomes have been met. Module Guides will detail all forms of assessment required.

1.3.6 Every module must be allocated to a Module Results Board and be overseen by a named External Examiner. Modules must be considered by a Module Results Board on at least an annual basis.

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 These regulations include essential details about the admissions requirements by which all taught courses and modules are governed. They should be read in conjunction with the Admissions Terms and Conditions presented to applicants as part of the admissions process and Admissions Complaints process (see; https://www.wlv.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/).

2.1.2 Applicants will be provided with timely information and advice needed for them to make informed choices about courses best suited to their individual needs and circumstances and financial support and costs.

2.1.3 The University will inform prospective students as soon as possible of any significant changes to a course which may occur from the time of the offer being made and enrolment, and will inform successful applicants of the arrangements for enrolment, registration and induction, in accordance with the Code of Practice on Informing Students and Applicants of Changes (see; https://www.wlv.ac.uk/media/departments/office-of-the-vice-chancellor/documents/Code-ofPractice-for-the-Management-of-Changes-to-Modules-and-Courses-(approved).pdf)

 2.1.4 For applicants outside the European Union, additional statutory requirements will operate and take precedence over the Academic Regulations. These requirements will be communicated to applicants by the University as part of the admissions process.

2.2 Application to the University 2.2.1 All applicants to the University will be required to follow the appropriate application process for the course. 2.2.2 The University will not admit or allow the continuation of study for any person found to have made a fraudulent application and/or breached other standards and requirements specified by a PSRB (where relevant).

2.2.3 Students who have previously been excluded from any course in the University for reasons of discipline, academic misconduct, professional misconduct or fitness to practise will have no right to study at the University again (see; https://www.wlv.ac.uk/media/departments/office-ofthe-vice-chancellor/documents/Fitness-for-Practice-Procedure-Revised-2018.pdf).

2.2.4 Students who have studied for two consecutive years or more on any University course without attempting summative assessment will not normally be permitted to re-apply for another course within 5 years.

2.3 Entry with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

2.3.1 Students may be admitted to the University with accredited prior learning where they have previously successfully completed relevant study at higher education level, in the UK or abroad. Students may also be admitted with accredited experiential learning on the basis of relevant prior learning which has occurred outside a formal course of study, which may include in-company training or relevant work experience. 

2.3.2 The procedures for the assessment of prior learning are determined by the University Academic Enhancement Committee on behalf of Academic Board and set out in the guidelines for the Recognition of Prior Learning (normally a maximum of 50% from a course is permitted).

2.3.3 Credits acquired from a previous University of Wolverhampton qualification may normally only be used once as RPL for entry onto any future University of Wolverhampton qualification.

2.3.4 The total credit and level value of awarded RPL will be recorded on the student record. Any grades associated with the previous study and/or RPL will not be individually recorded and are excluded from the final classification calculations.

2.3.5 The minimum number of University of Wolverhampton credits students must study and pass on their current course are detailed below;

QualificationsMinimum credits required (from current course)
Bachelor’s Degree (including Joint Honours, Accelerated & Single Honours) 120 credits at level 6
Bachelor’s Degree Top-up (180 credits) 120 credits at level 6
Bachelor’s Degree Top-up (120 credits) 60 credits at level 6
Certificate in Education 60 credits at level 4
Certificate of Higher Education / Higher National Certificate 60 credits at level 4
Diploma of Higher Education / Higher National Diploma 60 credits at level 5
Foundation and Preparatory Studies 120 credits at level 3
Foundation Degree 60 credits at level 5
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education 60 credits at level 5
Graduate Certificate All credits must be studied and passed, no RPL permitted
Graduate Diploma All credits must be studied and passed, no RPL permitted
Integrated Master’s Degree 120 credits at level 6 and 120 credits at level 7
Research Master’s Degree 100 credits at level 7 including dissertation/project
Master’s Degree 100 credits at level 7 including dissertation/project
Master’s Degree Top-up All credits must be studied and passed, no RPL permitted
Postgraduate Certificate  40 credits at level 7 (60 at level 7 for PgC Education) 
Postgraduate Diploma  60 credits at level 7 
Sandwich Bachelor’s Degree with Honours   120 credits at level 6 and 60 at level 5 of which 40 must be sandwich placement credits 
Sandwich Bachelor’s Degree 60 credits at level 6 and 60 at level 5 of which 40 must be sandwich placement credits
Sandwich Integrated Master’s Degree 120 credits at level 7, 120 credits at level 6 and 40 sandwich placement credits at level 5 (or additional 40 sandwich placement credits if studied at level 6)
University statements of credit All credits must be studied and passed, no RPL permitted

2.3.6 Students registered on Foundation Degrees, Undergraduate Certificates/Diplomas and Higher National Certificates/Diplomas will be permitted to progress onto a Single Honours Bachelor’s Degree, Sandwich Bachelor’s Honours Degree or Top-up Single Honours Bachelor’s Degree, prior to completing their first award. Students with only 80 credits at level 4 or 5 may progress if they have not exhausted their reassessment opportunity to gain the outstanding credits.


 

 

3.1 Introduction

3.1.1 The academic year runs from 1st August to 31st July. Modules that begin before 31st July and end after 1st August will belong to the University academic year in which the module ends.

3.1.2 An academic calendar will be published annually by the Academic Registrar. This will include start and end dates for undergraduate and postgraduate semesters. The calendar will include dates for the current academic year, plus the following three academic years.

3.1.3 “Registration” is the activity confirming a student’s place on a qualification or module for its full duration.

3.1.4 “Enrolment” is the annual process through which students formally agree to be a student member of the University for either the whole or part of the academic year, and also agree to abide by the University Regulations, Bye-Laws and their liability for annual fee payments. Third party organisations, such as employers, may be liable for payment of student fees where this is dictated by agreed sponsorship arrangements with the University. A student may therefore be registered for a qualification but not enrolled in a particular academic year (when on Leave of Absence for instance).

3.2 Student Modes of Study

3.2.1 An undergraduate full-time student is normally expected to study 120 credits in each University academic year. An undergraduate full-time student on an accelerated course is normally expected to study 180 credits in each University academic year. A postgraduate full-time student on a Master’s course is normally expected to study 180 credits over a 12 month period.

3.2.2 A part-time student can study a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 80 credits in any University academic year.

3.2.3 A full-time student may request a temporary period of part-time study if they fail to meet the progression regulations on their course. During this period students will remain registered on their full-time course. Students with International status may not normally study part-time.

3.3 Enrolment

3.3.1 Students are responsible for ensuring that they are fully enrolled on the correct course by the course commencement date. Students may be admitted later than the course start date provided they are enrolled no later than the start of the third week of teaching according to the academic calendar.

3.3.2 Students not fully enrolled by the third teaching week may be de-registered from their course.

3.3.3 All new students will be required to provide evidence of their identity and relevant qualifications as part of the enrolment process.

3.3.4 Students requiring a visa to study in the UK must ensure that they meet, both at the beginning and for the duration of the course, requirements stipulated by the UK Government and conditions of their visa.

3.3.5 Continuing students who do not re-enrol will be assumed to have withdrawn from their course and be presented at the next Award Board for consideration of a relevant interim qualification.

3.3.6 Students must ensure that all academic fees and other academic payments due to the University are paid within the academic year such costs are incurred. Students owing the University money from a previous year or course, outside any agreed limit set annually by the University, will not be permitted to enrol. Students unable to enrol, because of outstanding academic debts, will be obliged to either take a Leave of Absence or withdraw permanently from their course. Third party organisations, such as employers, may be liable for payment of student debts where this is dictated by agreed sponsorship arrangements with the University.

3.3.7 Any student who is not enrolled may not be covered by relevant University policies such as those relating to health & safety. It therefore follows that a student must be enrolled before engaging in any formal learning and teaching activities (including lectures, tutorials, seminars, lab work, fieldwork, clinical and vocational placements). Students who are not enrolled will be excluded from learning activities and any assessment submitted will not be marked.

3.3.8 Students must, at all times, ensure that the data the University holds for them are accurate. The enrolment process allows students to check and update key personal information in their record. Changes which occur at other times in the academic year must be notified to the University via the student portal. This includes notifying the University of their withdrawal, Leave of Absence or changes to contact/emergency contact details.

3.3.9 If an enrolled student does not engage with their course of study within the first 50 days of the start date of the course, the Dean of Faculty will recommend to the Academic Registrar that the student is discontinued and their registration terminated. The Faculty must provide evidence that there have been repeated and reasonable attempts to contact the student and establish their engagement with the course.

3.4 Registration Periods

3.4.1 All students who enrol on a credit rated course validated by the University of Wolverhampton will be registered for the highest qualification validated for the course.

3.4.2 Maximum registration periods will be defined for each qualification offered by the University. Where registration periods differ, this is stated in the relevant Course Guide (apprenticeship students for example, may legitimately have their maximum period of registration extended, depending upon when they complete End Point Assessment). Any significant extension to a maximum registration period should be requested exceptionally by the Course Leader (or the Conduct & Appeals Unit) on behalf of the student for consideration by the Academic Registrar. If the request is approved, the new registration period for the student is subsequently reported at the next Award Board. Extended registration periods may be supported in those instances where student progression has been unintentionally disrupted by the University or a third party and cannot normally be granted retrospectively (academic failure, financial difficulties, poor time management or work pressures for example would not be considered as legitimate reasons). Extensions to registration periods, not including any Leave of Absence entitlements, should be granted in one month blocks and not exceed more than 12 months in total. Students may not be granted extensions on professionally accredited programmes. Students may be liable for fees for any extended period of registration. The following table lists normal and maximum periods of registration according to qualification and mode of study;

 

Final/interim qualificationModeNormalMaximum
Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree with Honours FT 2  
Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree with Honours PT 4  
Certificate in Education FT 1  
Certificate in Education PT 2  
Certificate of Higher Education / Higher National Certificate FT 1  
Certificate of Higher Education / Higher National Certificate PT 2  
Diploma of Higher Education / Higher National Diploma FT 2  
Diploma of Higher Education / Higher National Diploma PT 4  
Foundation Degree FT 2  
Foundation Degree PT 3  
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education FT 1  
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education PT 2  
Graduate Certificate FT 1  
Graduate Certificate PT 1  
Graduate Diploma FT 1  
Graduate Diploma PT 2  
Accelerated Integrated Master’s Degree FT 3  
Accelerated Integrated Master’s Degree PT 5  
Integrated Master’s Degree FT 4  
Integrated Master’s Degree PT 6  
Integrated Master’s Degree with Foundation Year FT 5  
Integrated Master’s Degree with Foundation Year PT 7  
Research Master’s Degree       
Research Master’s Degree      
Master’s Degree      
Master’s Degree      
Top-up Master’s Degree      
Top-up Master’s Degree