University Teaching Committee

University Teaching Committee (UTC) reports to Senate.

Terms of reference


Teaching Committee assures the standards of taught programmes of study. It monitors and promotes the enhancement of the quality of the academic experience of students on taught programmes.

Contact us

Chair: Professor Tracy Lightfoot
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students

For all Teaching Committee queries

  1. To lead on the enhancement of learning, teaching and the student experience, through the development and dissemination of good practice and innovation.
  2. To lead on the development, approval and monitoring of institutional quality assurance policies, including for example:
    • academic frameworks, including responsibility for approval of any exemptions from the frameworks
    • collaborative provision
    • assessment and external examining
    • academic approval
    • programme evaluation, monitoring and review
  3. To develop and monitor the implementation of policy and practice to align with the University strategy regarding academic provision and the academic experience of students on taught programmes, including for example:
    • academic support and development for taught students, including supervisory practices
    • admissions, access and widening participation
    • employability
    • inclusivity
  4. To approve proposals, and modifications, for higher and degree apprenticeship programmes, taught programmes delivered with external partners (including collaborative provision [subject to approval by Senate], International Pathway College and York Online programmes).
  5. To recommend to Senate the approval of new awards of the University.
  6. To recommend to Senate the approval of new Boards of Studies and any alternative arrangements for the membership of other Boards of Studies.
  7. To monitor the standards of taught and research degree programmes (in conjunction with the York Graduate Research School Board) and the quality of students' academic experience including through consideration of:
    • reports from Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies and other external bodies, including for examples Office for Students, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
    • reports from periodic and annual reviews
    • external examiners’ reports
    • internal and external student surveys, including the National Student Survey and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey;
    • student progression, academic achievement and employability data
    • data on appeals and complaints in terms of their impact on the student experience and to ensure that appropriate action is taken in response.
  8. To support the development and recognition of achievement of those involved in teaching.
  9. To oversee the Annual Teaching and Learning Conference.
  10. To promote student engagement on all matters relating to the academic experience of students.
  11. To consider any matters concerning the academic experience of students on taught programmes that may be referred to it by Senate, Faculty Boards, Faculty Learning and Teaching Groups, Boards of Studies or other committees.
  12. To refer to the appropriate University committee or body regarding any resource matters arising from its work.
  13. To establish fora and working groups to facilitate its work.
  14. To monitor and review the effectiveness of managing the corporate risk(s) and other key risks related to the Committee's business and advising and assuring any relevant UEB corporate risk owner.
  15. To consider the workload associated with the Committee’s business, including via consideration of the impact of the Committee’s decisions on staff workload; and to oversee the workload associated with being a member of the Committee.
  16. To consider ways of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to all the above.

From January 2021, with the exception of collaborative programmes and proposals which incorporate a new University award, approval of the academic case for a new taught programme resides with the relevant Faculty Learning and Teaching Group (FLTG).

New collaborative programmes (inclusive of provision involving an external provider for example International Pathway College programmes, apprenticeship programmes and online provision delivered in partnership with Higher Ed Partners UK) and proposals which incorporate a new University award, remain with University Teaching Committee.

Find out more about the New Programme approval process

Prior to submission of new programme proposals to UTC it is an expectation that programmes have Stage 1-2 development approval, and that programme proposers have sought advice from their designated Academic Quality Team (AQT) contact.

Ex officio members

  • Tracy Lightfoot, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students (Chair)
  • Jan Ball-Smith, Interim Head of Academic Affairs
  • Tom Banham, Interim Academic Registrar
  • Professor Tom Cantrell, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students for Faculty of Arts and Humanities (School of Arts and Creative Technologies)
  • Zoe Devlin, Head of Online Partnerships
  • Dr Patrick Gallimore, Chair of Standing Committee on Assessment
  • Professor Claire Hughes, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students for Faculty of Science (Environment and Geography)
  • Duncan Jackson, Head of Academic Quality and Development
  • Petros Kefalas, Vice-President, Learning and Teaching, from CITY College
  • Professor Steve King, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students (Deputy Chair)
  • Kirsty Lingstadt, Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services
  • Louise Thurston, Associate Director for Careers and Employability
  • Professor Jill Webb, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students for Faculty of Social Sciences (School for Business and Society)
  • Jen Wotherspoon, Deputy Director of Student Administration and Academic Affairs

Nine academic members

At least two members from each of the three main subject areas, and three members co-opted

Arts and Humanities

Social Sciences


Co-opted members

Student representation

  • Meely Doherty, YUSU Academic Officer (until July 2024)
  • Cytherea Shen, GSA Vice-President Academic (until July 2024)

In attendance

  • David Gent, Acting Secretary


The quorum shall be one third of members of the Committee, including at least one student representative.

When considering new programme proposals, the approval decision must involve as a minimum: the Chair or Deputy Chair, two further members of UTC and one student representative. All other members must also have been given a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposal.


Date Time Paper deadline Paper deadline for new programmes
Thursday 28 September 1.30pm to 4.30pm Thursday 14 September  
Thursday 9 November 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 26 October  
Thursday 7 December 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 23 November  
Thursday 15 February 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 1 February  
Thursday 14 March 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 29 February  
Thursday 16 May 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 2 May Thursday 25 April
Thursday 4 July 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 20 June Thursday 13 June

Reporting structure

University Teaching Committee is a subcommittee of Senate, and reports directly to Senate.

The following groups report to University Teaching Committee:

  • Standing Committee on Assessment
  • Access and Participation Steering Group
  • Faculty Learning and Teaching Groups
  • Apprenticeship Monitoring Board
  • Academic Skills Committee

It receives updates from:

  • Inclusive Learning Steering Group
  • Employability Advisory Group
  • Library and Archives Committee

See the full Senate sub-committee structure (Sept 2023) (PDF , 36kb)

Parent committee and associated subcommittees

Contact us

Chair: Professor Tracy Lightfoot
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students

For all Teaching Committee queries