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New Academic Programmes

New academic programme approval involves a two-stage process, where Stage 1 (Outline Programme Approval) involves approval of the business case and the new programme title by Academic Board, and Stage 2 (Full Programme Approval) involves consideration of the quality and standards of the proposed programme by a Programme Approval Panel.


The following Process should be followed where a new academic programme is being proposed:


1. The Head of School should be contacted in the first instance to discuss any new programme proposal, who, if supportive of the proposal, will inform the Head of College for an initial assessment against the following criteria:

  1. The introduction of the programme presents a competitive advantage or strategic opportunity for the University including a significant impact on the reputation of the University.
  2. The decision to pause the programme will have a material impact on the finances of the College/University.
  3. The programme is designed to support the professional development of UCC staff.
  4. The programme is in response to a national tender opportunity.
  5. The programme is required as part of an existing contractual obligation.
  6. There is capacity within administrative offices across Colleges, Admissions Offices and Academic Programmes and Regulations (APAR) to support the approval and introduction of the programme.


2. Following the Head of College's endorsement, the programme lead must complete an outline programme proposal on CIM Programmes, which must then be submitted for approval by the College and Academic Board (Stage 1 Approval)*.

Diagram showing the Stage 1 Approval process: School/Dept endorsement of Outline Programme Proposal; College(s)/ACE endorsement of Outline Programme Proposal; AB approval of Stage 1 and determination of Stage 2 approval pathway.






*External Collaborative Partnership(s); Joint/Dual Degrees: You are advised to contact the Academic Secretary,, (in advance of the submission of the outline programme proposal to determine the suitability of the proposed partner and to allow sufficient time for an agreement to be drafted and agreed in advance of Stage 2.


3. Following Stage 1 Approval the full programme proposal must be completed on CIM Programmes and reviewed by the relevant College/ACE/CIRTL curriculum committee before proceeding to a Programme Approval Panel (PAP). Further details may be found in the Handbook Governing Curriculum Approval (PDF Version).

Diagram showing the Stage 2 Approval process: CPAP/ACE PAP/UPAP or College/ACE Curriculum Committee; Outcome of Stage 2 reported to ADSC; Approved New Programme implemented by APAR/ACE.






4. All new programmes are subject to rules and deadlines governing their approval and introduction (whereby new Undergraduate Programmes must be fully approved and signed off by end of February for inclusion in the CAO Handbook (18 months prior to intake) and new Postgraduate Programmes should be fully approved and signed off by 1st October in time for the opening of UCC Apply).


The process governing new programme development and approval is outlined in the Handbook Governing Curriculum Approval (PDF Version)

Reference should also be made to the Policies and Guidelines Governing Academic Programmes (PDF Version) when developing a new programme.


Academic Programmes and Regulations

Cláir Acadúla agus Rialacháin

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