Academic Board – Bath Spa University

Academic Board is responsible for the academic leadership of research, scholarship, teaching and courses at the University.

Terms of reference

The Academic Board will be responsible for:

  1. The academic strategy of the University in accordance with the character and mission determined by the Board of Governors
  2. Authorising the award of degrees (including honorary degrees), diplomas, certificates and other academic awards made in the University’s name
  3. The regulations and frameworks that govern the University’s academic awards
  4. The policies and procedures relating to the student lifecycle from admission to graduation, including the Quality Management Framework
  5. The approval and review of the University’s academic awards
  6. The standards of awards made in the University’s name and the quality and enhancement of the student experience
  7. Ensuring compliance with any statutory or regulatory responsibilities that relate to the scholarly activities of the University, providing advice to the Board of Governors accordingly
  8. Advising on any other matters referred by the Vice-Chancellor or the Board of Governors.

Context

The Academic Board works within the context established by:

  • The Education Acts in force
  • The Articles of Government and the associated Rules and Bylaws
  • The power, conferred on the University by the Privy Council, to award degrees and other qualifications under its own name
  • The Academic Regulations agreed by the Academic Board
  • The requirements of relevant external bodies (e.g. the Office for Students).

Academic Board membership

2021/22

  • Professor Sue Rigby - Chair (Vice- Chancellor)
  • Professor Neil Sammells - Deputy Chair (Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost)
  • Dr Dawn Albertson - Subject Leader in Undergraduate Psychology Programmes (elected member)
  • Dr Dan Allen - Head of School: Art
  • Professor Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou - Head of School: Education
  • Professor Georgina Andrews - Vice-Provost
  • Alison Baud - Director of Library and Learning Services
  • Polly Derbyshire - Head of School: Business
  • Dr Kristin Doern - Head of School: Design
  • Marianne Evans - President, Students' Union
  • Dr Alison Hems - Head of School: Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
  • Natasha Kidd - Subject Leader Art (elected member)
  • Mark Langley - Head of School: Music and Performing Arts
  • Dr Mark McGuinness - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning)
  • Professor Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus - Head of School: Science
  • Dr Jermaine Ravalier - Professor in Organisational Psychology and Social Justice - Board of Governors Representative
  • Professor Trish Reid - Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Kingston University (external member)
  • Dr Andy Salmon - Pro Vice-Chancellor (External)
  • Dr Rebecca Schaaf - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)
  • Dr Matthew Sergeant - Reader in Music, Bath School of Music and Performing Arts (elected member)
  • Pearl Slater - Head of Academic Governance and Policy
  • Jasmine Smail - Vice-President: Education, Students' Union
  • Rachel Smith - Postgraduate Research Student Representative
  • Professor John Strachan - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
  • Dr Samantha Walton - Reader in Modern Literature, School of Writing Publishing and the Humanities (elected member)
  • Rachel Whitty - Postgraduate Taught Student Representative

Academic Board subcommittees

Academic Board fulfils many of its responsibilities through an infrastructure of executive sub-committees, listed below. The Vice-Chancellor is an ex-officio member of all sub-committees of the Academic Board.

Curriculum Committee

Membership

  • Dr Mark McGuinness - Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Planning (Chair)
  • Dr Becky Schaaf - Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience (Deputy Chair)
  • Professor Hilary Grainger - Professor of Architectural History, London College of Fashion (External Member)
  • Jasmine Smail - Students’ Union Vice President Education
  • Dr Kristin Doern - Head of Bath School of Design
  • Mark Langley - Head of Bath School of Art
  • Professor Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus - Head of School of Sciences
  • Richard Swales - Deputy Director of Library Services (Learning Enhancement)
  • Emily Shaw-Leam - Assessment and Graduation Coordinator
  • Dr Andy Salmon - Pro Vice-Chancellor External
  • Dr Charles Wiffen - Head of Academic Portfolio Development
  • Sophia Ward - Academic Policy Advisor (Secretary)

Purpose

To support the work of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Planning in ensuring that the University’s portfolio meets the strategic needs of the University and its students.

Terms of reference

The Curriculum Committee will be responsible for:

  • Advising the Academic Board on the currency of the academic portfolio with reference to key data, including enrolments, continuation rates and employment outcomes
  • Oversight of modifications enacted through the Schools of study and any implications for the integrity of awards
  • The review, approval and implementation of policies and procedures relating to the design, approval, review and discontinuation of academic awards of the University
  • Advising on any other matters referred by the Academic Board.

Education Committee

Membership

  • Dr Becky Schaaf - Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience (Chair)
  • Dr Mark McGuinness - Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Planning (Deputy Chair)
  • Professor Alison Honour - Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, Birmingham City University (External Member)
  • Jasmine Smail - Students' Union Vice-President (Education)
  • Jonathan Barden - Head of Schools Administrative and Technical Services
  • Alison Baud - Director of Library and Learning Services
  • Sara Gallagher - Head of Student Wellbeing Services
  • Professor Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou - Head of School of Education
  • Dr Dan Allen - Head of School of Art, Film and Media
  • Alison Hems - Head of School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
  • Diana Reader - Head of Bath Business School
  • Lorna Lewis - Academic Policy Advisor (Secretary)

Purpose

To support the work of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience in ensuring that the quality of the student learning experience meets the strategic needs of the University and the expectations of its students.

Terms of reference

The Education Committee will be responsible for:

  • Advising Academic Board on strategies relating to the enhancement of the student academic experience
  • Oversight of action taken by the Schools of study and professional services to respond to student feedback and enhance the student experience at all levels of study
  • The review, approval, and implementation of policies and procedures relating to learning and teaching
  • The review, approval, and implementation of policies and procedures relating to student wellbeing and learning support
  • Advising on any other matters referred by the Academic Board.

Research and Ethics committee

Membership

  • Professor John Strachan - Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise (Chair)
  • Dr Andy Salmon - Pro Vice-Chancellor External (Deputy Chair)
  • Professor Jeremy Bradshaw - Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Doctoral), University of Bath (External member)
  • Jasmine Smail - Vice-President Education, Students' Union
  • Professor Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus - Head of School of Sciences
  • Dr Tanvir Bush - Early stage researcher, School of Education
  • Eri Mountbatten-O'Malley - Mid career researcher, School of Education
  • Dr Samantha Walton - Research professor/reader, School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
  • Richard Taylor - Deputy Directory of Library and Learning Services
  • Nicky Brothwell - Human Resources Business Partner
  • Sarah Priston - Research Support Manager
  • Dr Neil Strevett - Academic Policy Adviser (Secretary)

Purpose

To support the work of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise in ensuring that the research environment and management of ethical considerations meet the strategic needs of the University and the expectations of external stakeholders. For this purpose, the term “research” includes knowledge exchange and consultancy.

Terms of reference

The Research and Ethics Committee will be responsible for:

  • Advising the Academic Board on strategies relating to the development and enhancement of research and the research environment
  • The review, approval, and implementation of policies and procedures relating to research and ethics
  • Ensuring that external expectations and statutory requirements relating to research and ethics are met
  • Advising on any other matters referred by the Academic Board.

School Quality Management Committees

Membership

  • Head of School (Chair)
  • Deputy Chair nominated by the Head of School
  • Senior Academic Representative(s)
  • Subject Leaders (or equivalent) within the School(s)
  • Link Tutor Co-ordinator(s)
  • Secretary (Administrator/Administrative Assistant, Schools Administrative and Technical Services)

Purpose

To provide transparency to students and assure Academic Board on the implementation of the Quality Management Framework within the Schools.

Key external regulatory reference points

  • Regulatory framework for higher education in England (OfS)
  • B1 – The provider must deliver well-designed courses that provide a high-quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievements to be reliably assessed
  • 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
  • B3 – The provider must deliver successful outcomes for all of its students which are recognised and valued by employers and/or enable further study
  • B5 – The provider must deliver courses that meet the academic standards as they are described in the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications at level 4 or higher
  • C1 – The provider must demonstrate that in developing and implementing its policies, procedures and terms and conditions, it has given due regard to relevant guidance about how to comply with consumer protection law
  • UK Quality Code (QAA)
  • Expectations for standards
  • Expectations for quality

Terms of reference

The School Quality Management Committee is responsible for:

  • Advising Academic Board on:
    • programme modifications
    • external examiner appointments
    • subject board membership
    • oversight of partner provision
    • moderation and second marking requirements for partner provision
  • Oversight of any School-wide student feedback or significant matters; and
  • Advising on any other matters referred by the Academic Board or its subcommittees.

Honorary Degrees and Titles Committee

Membership*

  • Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chair)
  • PVC: External
  • Four Heads of School nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Students’ Union President or nominee
  • An independent member of the Board of Governors
  • Secretary (nomination of the Vice-Chancellor)

Purpose

To consider nominations for honorary awards and to make recommendations to the Academic Board for approval and subsequent notification to the Board of Governors.

Key external regulatory reference points

N/A

Terms of reference

The Honorary Degrees and Titles Committee will be responsible for:

  • Determining procedures for securing nominations for honorary awards on at least an annual basis;
  • Considering nominations for honorary awards in accordance with the Regulations for the Conferment of Honorary Awards and Titles approved by the Academic Board;
  • Making recommendations to the Academic Board for the approval of honorary awards; and
  • Advising the Vice-Chancellor as Chair of Academic Board on any proposal to withdraw an honorary award. 

Where membership allows for a nominee, the nomination should be for the full academic year except where a nominee leaves post mid-year.

Assessment Boards: Central Assessment Boards and Subject Boards

Central Assessment Boards

Membership

  • Senior Academic appointed by the Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Chief External Examiner(s)
  • Heads of School (or nominees)
  • Secretary (Student and Registry Services)

Purpose

In concert with the Subject Boards, to assess students and to recommend the grant of awards or progression onto the next stage of study in accordance with the assessment regulations. Following advice from the Subject Boards, the Central Assessment Board makes the recommendation for an award or progression to the next stage of study.

Key external regulatory reference points

Regulatory framework for higher education in England (OfS)

  • 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
  • B5 – The provider must deliver courses that meet the academic standards as they are described in the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications at level 4 or higher

UK Quality Code (QAA)

  • Expectations for standards

Terms of reference

The Central Assessment Board will be responsible for:

  • Determining whether a student has complied with the requirements of the course and its assessment and may proceed to the following stage of the course; and
  • Recommending that the Academic Board grant the appropriate award.

Subject Boards

Membership

  • Senior Academic appointed by the Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Subject External Examiner(s)
  • Academic Staff with a significant responsibility for assessment
  • Secretary (Administrator/Administrative Assistant, Schools Administrative and Technical Services)

Purpose

In concert with the Central Assessment Board, to assess students and to recommend the grant of awards or progression onto the next stage of study in accordance with the assessment regulations. The Subject Board is responsible for all assessments within the modules which it is considering and for providing advice on these to the Central Assessment Board which then makes the recommendation for an award or progression to the next stage of study.

Key external regulatory reference points

  • Regulatory framework for higher education in England (OfS)
  • 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
  • B5 – The provider must deliver courses that meet the academic standards as they are described in the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications at level 4 or higher
  • UK Quality Code (QAA)
  • Expectations for standards

Terms of reference

The Subject Boards will be responsible for:

  • Considering the marks for individual students within each module; and
  • Providing advice accordingly to the Central Assessment Board.

Schedule of meetings

The Academic Board and Committee schedule of meetings for the academic year 2022/23 can be viewed below: 

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