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Academic Board Terms of Reference

Academic Board

General purpose:  The senior University Standing Committee of Academic Council, established in University statute, responsible for the discharge of functions delegated to it by Council and for the formulation of strategy and policy to meet the University’s education and research objectives.  The Academic Board, as the senior Standing Committee of Council, shall consider and consult on business from other Council Standing Committees and College Councils prior to bringing forward policy recommendations and proposals to Council for approval. The Board shall also bring to the attention of Council developments in the national and international higher education arena concerning academic affairs, staff and student matters and may recommend institutional responses as appropriate.   The Committee shall consult with relevant University Officers as appropriate in relation to specific items and issues of potential significant impact to the University (particularly in relation to resources and operations). 

The Board shall undertake any other duties or tasks assigned to it by Council from time to time.

Reports to:  Academic Council.

Terms of reference:

1. Strategy and Policy

To bring forward for consideration by Council:

a) Strategy and policy relating to education and research, including: academic planning and development; academic cooperation between UCC and another body; the organisation of teaching and examination and the award.

b) Policies, rules and procedures concerning the approval, periodic review, quality assurance and enhancement of academic programmes and the maintenance of academic standards of UCC awards.

c) Policies, rules and procedures for the recruitment, admission, conduct and behaviour, and academic integrity of students in accordance with the University’s commitment to equality of opportunity and access to education and for the overall quality of the student experience.

d) Proposals governing the establishment and conduct of academic partnerships, national and international, and for the assurance of academic standards for taught and research awards delivered in collaboration.

2. Executive functions

Under delegated authority from Academic Council to:

a) Appoint the Chairs of Examination Boards and approval/renewal/removal of External Examiners for taught programmes.

b) Approve annually the assessment regulations and examination procedures and their publication, including College derogations where requested. Major policy changes to the assessment regulations and examination procedures shall be recommended to Council after appropriate consultation with Colleges.

c) Approve new programmes of study leading to UCC awards and the withdrawal/suspension from recruitment of existing programmes.

d) Approve the titles of programmes, the award type and placement on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

e) Approve major changes to existing programmesf.

f) Approve the annual schedule for the periodic review of academic programmes.

g) Approve the award of UCC degrees, certificates and diplomas if not previously approved by the Registrar and Academic Secretary.

h) Approve administrative arrangements and award of University-funded scholarships and prizes.

i) Support institutional preparation for reviews by external agencies concerned with academic quality and to oversee arrangements for Professional, Regulatory and Statutory Body (PRSBs) reviews of UCC programmes in partnership with Colleges.

3. Oversight function

a) Receive reports on the outcomes of internal programme approval and periodic reviews, including reports from Professional and Statutory Bodies (PRSBs) and recommend action as required.

b) Receive from the Academic Development and Standards Committee an annual consolidated report on the outcomes of the examination process and matters identified by external examiners in their reports, including recommendations concerning policy or procedural adjustments, and to propose action as appropriate.

c) Receive an annual oversight report from the Examinations Officer on the outcomes of mitigation and plagiarism cases, in conjunction with the annual reports from the Examination Appeals Officer and the Student Adviser and Ombudsman, and to recommend action to Council as appropriate.

e) Oversee institutional adherence to the external academic quality framework and National Framework of Qualifications and to advise Council as appropriate.

f) Receive minutes from all other Academic Council Standing Committees and regular reports from College Councils and to advise Academic Council as appropriate.

4. Other business as required

a) To submit to Council minutes from each meeting of the Board and to report on specific matters as requested.

b) To advise Council on such matters that Council may refer to the Board from time to time.

Delegation of authority

The Board retains the overall responsibilities defined in its terms of reference as approved by Council.  The Board may establish Sub-Committees to enable it to fulfil its remit and to which the Board may delegate functions with the approval of Council.   The Board may also establish working groups from time to time to assist in its work.  Sub-Committees and working groups shall operate in accordance with the procedures set down in the University’s Committee Handbook.   The Board may also recommend to Council for its approval the establishment of additional standing committees on the basis of business need. 

Reserved Business

Academic Council exceptionally approves the use of ‘Reserved Business’ for Academic Board matters dealing with decisions concerning individual students. The conduct of Reserved Business shall be as advised by Academic Board and approved by Academic Council.   Minutes relating to Academic Board discussions and decisions concerning Reserved Business shall be recorded so as to ensure probity.

Frequency of Meetings

The Board shall meet up to 6 times per year or as directed by Academic Council. 




Interim Registrar (as appointed by the President)

Vice Chair          

Academic Secretary

Ex Officio           

Vice President for Teaching and Learning


Vice President for Research and Innovation


Director of Student Experience


Head of Student Records and Examinations Office


Head of Academic Programmes and Regulations


Director of Academic Services


Director of Recruitment and Admissions


Director of Quality Enhancement Unit


Dean of Graduate Studies


Dean of Undergraduate Studies


Director of Adult Continuing Education


Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit


Heads of College 


Chairs of Academic Council Standing Committees and Sub Committees


Student Union President


Student Union Education Officer


Student Union Postgraduate Officer


4 members of Academic Council, one from each College, nominated by Academic Council

Co-opted members:                                          

Up to 3 members approved by Academic Council


Academic Secretary & Assistant Registrar

Committee Secretary:                                       

Administrative Officer, Academic Affairs & Governance


The Academic Board Terms of Reference were updated as part of Academic Strategy, Priority Six, Action 28: Academic Decision-Making and were approved by Academic Council 15-01-2021.

Queries to Academic Affairs and Governance



Academic Affairs and Governance

Gnothaí Acadúla agus Rialú