Annual Programme Review (APR)

Annual Programme Review is Lancaster University’s core monitoring and review mechanism for its taught programmes and research awards. It reflects the University’s stated commitment to ‘an ethos of continuous improvement in all of its activities, including the delivery of academic programmes.’ (CR1.1) and it allows the University to regularly review performance against the Office for Students’ quality conditions 1-5:

  • Condition B1 - The provider must deliver well designed courses that provide a high quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievement to be reliably assessed.
  • Condition B2 - The provider must support all students, from admission through to completion, with the support that they need to succeed in and benefit from higher education.
  • Condition B3- The provider must deliver successful outcomes for all of its students, which are recognised and valued by employers, and/or enable further study.
  • Condition B4 - The provider must ensure that qualifications awarded to students hold their value at the point of qualification and over time, in line with sector recognised standards.
  • Condition B5 - The provider must deliver courses that meet the academic standards as they are described in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications at Level 4 or higher.

The QAA also places high value on monitoring and evaluation of higher education, describing it as, 'an essential process within providers, forming a fundamental part of the academic cycle.' Looking at all aspects of the higher education experience, it provides assurance on the integrity and threshold standards of courses and qualifications aligned to national frameworks, and an opportunity to consider how learning opportunities for students can be enhanced.

Annual Programme Review (APR) facilitates monitoring of our ability to meet the mandatory core practices of the QAA’s quality code for Higher Education, including delivery of high quality courses, sufficient and appropriate facilities and learning resources, engagement of students, and (via external examiners’ reports) ensuring that threshold standards for our qualifications are consistent with relevant national qualifications frameworks and that students who are awarded qualifications have the opportunity to achieve standards beyond the threshold level that are reasonably comparable with those achieved in other UK providers.

Programmes of study are divided into undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research, and each department reports on each relevant level using the template forms below, further divided where departments straddle multiple subject areas. Please see the ‘Department Plus’ listing for details of the Departmental subject groups: Department + Listing for APR 2020-21

Once completed, each report is submitted first to the administrating department and then to Faculty Teaching Committee for discussion. A summary Faculty Report is then prepared highlighting emerging themes, areas for concern, and practice to be disseminated more widely. Faculty Reports are then considered by the Academic Standards and Quality Committee which uses this information to inform an annual institutional review of academic quality and standards. Departments should consult with QAEM for the faculty schedule & specific timing for reports.

Bailrigg forms:

The ITPs (Leipzig, LU Ghana, LUC@BJTU, Sunway) also undergo the APR process, but with bespoke templates which can be found in the list below (with the exception of EMBA which is managed through LUMS irrespective of delivery location). Templates for UA92 and Frontline can be also found below.

RTPs (Blackburn and Blackpool Colleges) have a separate annual review process. Please contact the relevant Assistant Registrar if you have questions about the review process.

Provision at Furness College is reviewed through the Engineering Department of the Faculty of Science & Technology.

If you have any questions relating to APR, please contact either your Faculty QAEM or ASQ directly.