Classification of Change Type


The curriculum governs the student journey and is published in the Academic Programme Catalogue and Book of Modules and Marks and Standards. Any change to the curriculum should be considered in the context of all three publications. Colleagues should note both the schedule of university level dates for making changes and the local deadlines as communicated by Colleges/ACE/Schools/Depts.



Changes to the Curriculum are classified according to three change types:

  • Major Changes to Existing Programmes
  • Minor Changes to Existing Programmes
  • Changes to Marks and Standards.

* This classification applies to changes to existing programmes only. The process for proposing a New Academic Programme is outlined here.


MAJOR CHANGES are sub-divided according to the approval pathway, as follows:


Major Changes requiring initial approval at College/ACE Academic Standards Board and final approval at Academic Board level may include the following:

  • Change in programme title
  • Addition of a minor award/exit route
  • Addition of an external partner
  • Permanent deletion of a programme from the University Portfolio
  • Change to the subject listing in the CAO Handbook
  • Creation of a new subject area not previously offered in UCC/Change in title of a subject area
  • Change in the overall credits for the programme
  • Change to undergraduate entry/admissions requirements/CAO admission procedure
  • Change to English language requirements.


Major Changes requiring approval at College/ACE Academic Standards Board* level may include the following:

  • Opening up an existing exit award for recruitment
  • Substantive change in programme structure and/or regulation(s)
  • Substantial change in programme content and/or Programme Learning Outcomes
  • An appreciable change (e.g. 20%) in the number of students taking a programme
  • Creation/Withdrawal of Subject Areas/Pathways/Streams within a programme
  • Introduction of full-time or part-time option for existing programme
  • Change in the mode of delivery or learning environment (e.g. blended learning of an existing programme)
  • Change in Entry Requirements for postgraduate taught programmes (e.g. if the proposal excludes a cohort previously allowed apply for the programme, or makes the entry requirement harsher). Note: Consult with GSO in advance of submission of the change for approval to College (Changes to Postgraduate Entry Requirements - process and form)

* If the intention is to temporarily suspend an academic programme, refer to the Policy and Procedure for the Temporary Cessation of an Academic Programme and complete a TS1 form.


Note: In some instances, APAR may deem a proposed change so substantial that it warrants consideration by Academic Board (e.g. changes leading to the decision to classify and process as a new programme). The Registrar will bring a recommendation to Academic Board for final decision on the classification of the proposal if necessary.


MINOR CHANGES TO EXISTING PROGRAMMES include changes to programme structure or module descriptions which are not defined as Major (above). Approval of Minor Changes is devolved to Colleges/ACE Academic Standards Board (in accordance with their own local procedures); Colleges/ACE Academic Standards Board are requested to consider the impact of any Minor Change on the overall integrity of the programme as originally approved, especially where minor changes are introduced to a programme over a number of years consecutively.

Minor Changes to programme structure may include the following:

  • Change in module title(s)
  • Change in credit weighting of a module – note: this requires the creation of a new module
  • Addition or Removal of module(s) from programme(s)
  • Editorial Change (e.g. change in descriptive text for programme-specific pre-requisites)
  • Change to regulations governing quotas for pathways in programmes
  • Change in Entry Requirements for postgraduate programmes – see also “Change in Entry Requirements for postgraduate programmes” above. Note: Consult with GSO in advance of submission of the change for approval to College (Changes to Postgraduate Entry Requirements - process and form)


Changes to modules may include changes to the following:

  • Creation of a new module
  • Minor Change in title and description of an existing module under the following headings:

Module Code

Module Title

Subject Area

Credit Weighting


No. of Students



Teaching Methods

Module Co-ordinator


Guest Lecturer(s)

Module Goal

Module Content

Learning Outcomes

Examination and Assessment


Pass Standard

Special Requirements for Passing Module

Requirements for Supplemental Examination



Marks and Standards are the rules and regulations governing examinations, and are used in the presentation of results to examination boards. Approval and implementation of changes to Marks and Standards, and compilation of Colleges’/ACE composite Marks and Standards for publication, is devolved to Colleges/ACE (in accordance with their own local procedures). Changes to Marks and Standards may include changes to the following:

  • Timing of the formal Examination Boards
  • Total Marks for each year of the programme (e.g. arising from the inclusion of a pass/fail module)
  • Pass (and progression) standard for the award
  • Calculation of honours
  • Carrying forward of marks towards final award
  • Regulations governing approved exit awards for the programme
  • Exemptions
  • Rules governing examination in a Supplemental Examination and/or Repeat Year.


Academic Programmes and Regulations

Cláir Acadúla agus Rialacháin

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