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Get a programme approved

Guidance and resources for those proposing award-bearing and non-award-bearing programmes for approval.

All University programmes of study, whether or not they lead to credit or an award, need appropriate approval. Primary responsibility for proposing a programme for approval rests with the Board of Studies (which it may delegate to an appropriate sub-committee), and, for award-bearing programmes, with Faculty Learning and Teaching Group (FLTG) on behalf of Senate. In certain cases, University Teaching Committee (UTC) will consider proposals for approval. Approval involves consideration of the proposal’s academic merit and its strategic and business case. Early consultation should take place with the department's Planning Officer regarding the strategic and business case.


The approval stages for proposals for new undergraduate and taught postgraduate award-bearing programmes (including York Online programmes to be delivered with Higher Ed Partners UK (HEP)* but excluding Higher and Degree Apprenticeships) are:

  1. Board of studies approval (or that of delegated sub-committee)
  2. Planning approval of the business case by the relevant Faculty Dean’s Support Group, or Planning Committee as necessary
  3. Faculty Learning and Teaching Group (FLTG) or University Teaching Committee (UTC) approval of the academic case

The following documentation is required to propose a programme:

1. Programme Approval Process document

The Programme Approval Process (Google Sheet) document must be used to propose award-bearing programmes (except Higher and Degree Apprenticeships). After opening the template below, make a copy of it as the default access is 'view only' for York users.

2. External Assessors

You must submit an external assessor’s report using the form below, your response to any issues the external raises, plus any further correspondence from them. Some proposals may require a second external assessor - your Academic Quality contact will advise you if this is the case. 

3. Module descriptors and information

You must propose full module descriptors, via the module catalogue, for undergraduate stage 1 modules, all postgraduate modules and all other programmes of 1-year in length. For Stages 2, 3 and 4 of undergraduate programmes the following module information should be supplied: title; stage; credit value; short summary; indicative learning outcomes; and the proposed summative assessment method. Ideally this should be via the Module Catalogue, by proposing the module in draft form at the ‘proposer’ stage of the Module Catalogue process only. The AQ Team will advise proposers on using the Module Catalogue in this way. If Departments cannot use the catalogue to provide outline drafts, the module information should be provided using the template for proposing modules outside of the module catalogue, found in the appendix to the Guidance on the New Programme Approval Process (Academic) with a separate template used for each module. (Such modules must be developed in full, for approval at Board of Studies and FLTG/ UTC at a later date. Modules will need to be approved before the annual module availability exercise in the year prior to the module’s commencement.)

See also: Guide to Using the Online Module Catalogue

* Initial proposals for (or any queries relating to) any new online programmes should be sent to the Head of Online Partnerships, Zoe Devlin, in the first instance.

Non-Award Bearing

A non-award-bearing programme is one in which successful completion does not lead to the award of a University Certificate, Diploma or Degree. Non-award-bearing programmes may be credit-rated (students receive credits on successful completion) or non-credit-rated.

Credit-rated programmes

Credit-rated, non-award-bearing programmes require the approval of both the relevant Board of Studies and FLTG (or its Chair). These programmes may also require planning approval by the relevant Faculty Dean’s Support Group, or Planning Committee as necessary. Please contact your Planning Officer to confirm whether or not planning approval is required.

Non-credit-rated programmes

A wide variety of programmes and activities (including short vocational and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses, summer schools, workshops, Learning for Pleasure courses within the Centre for Lifelong Learning, and access to higher education provision) fall into the non-credit-rated non-award-bearing programme category. This category does not normally include conferences and seminars.

Responsibility for the approval of a non-credit-rated programme rests with the relevant Board of Studies.

Pre-sessional programmes

Pre-sessional programmes (all non-award-bearing provision that an applicant would be required to take in order to progress to an award-bearing University of York programme) follow the same process as award-bearing programmes. Contact the Academic Quality Team for advice and guidance.

Forms and Guidance


The programme approval process for higher and degree apprenticeship programmes is currently being updated and will be added to this webpage shortly. If you are interested in developing an apprenticeship programme, please contact the Apprenticeships Unit in the first instance.


Contact details:


Information about apprenticeship standards approved for delivery is available by searching the information on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical education website.


FLTG Meetings

Meeting dates:

Arts and Humanities

  • 5 October 2022
  • 8 December 2022
  • 18 January 2023
  • 15 March 2023
  • 24 May 2023
  • 5 July 2023


  • 8 December 2022
  • 24 January 2023
  • 15 March 2023
  • 4 May 2023
  • 28 June 2023

Social Sciences

  • 14 November 2022
  • 9 January 2023
  • 13 March 2023
  • 31 May 2023
  • 5 July 2023


New programme approval documentation must be submitted two weeks before the meeting date.

Contact the relevant PA for further information:;;

Please check with your AQ contact if you are unsure which committee will be approving your programme. 

Key Deadlines

The link below shows the key deadlines relating to programme approval, modification and withdrawal. They relate to the marketing of programmes for entry in the year given in the first column.