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«EXPLANATORY NOTES AND GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TAUGHT AWARDS 2006 This Diploma Supplement follows the model developed by the ...»

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Intermediate level awards of the University give access to first cycle Honours Bachelor’s degrees with exemptions.

Certificate level awards give access to first cycle Honours Bachelor’s degrees or Intermediate level qualifications, often with exemptions.

Access diplomas give access to undergraduate qualifications at HE Level 1.

5.2 Professional Status (if applicable) The following professions for which the University provides programmes of education and training are subject to statutory regulation by the UK authorities: Biomedical Science, Clinical Physiology, Community Youth Work, Dietetics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Social Work, Speech and Language Therapy, Teacher Training.

Other professions are regulated by a specialist college, society or institute with its own individually prescribed examinations and requirements for membership. A University programme may be accredited or recognised by one or more of these professional bodies on the basis that it meets in full its membership requirements or that success in the University’s examinations, possibly at a prescribed level of attainment, gives exemption from all or some of the professional body’s membership examinations. Holders of University awards accredited/recognised by such a professional body may apply for membership of that body on an individual basis and thereafter maintain or extend their membership by continuing to meet the professional body’s requirements which usually include payment of annual membership fees.

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Candidates for the University’s awards who have previously successfully attended certain courses of study either at the University or at an approved educational institution may be granted exemption from certain modules and their examinations.

Programmes of study may include requirements for substantial study or work experience (industrial placements) outside the University.

Such periods are identified in the transcript element of this Supplement.

Award holders of the University may, in addition to this Diploma Supplement and transcript, also have a Progress file which is their individual record of learning and achievements, progress reviews and plans that are used to clarify personal goals and can provide a resource from which material is selected to produce personal statements (eg curricula vitae) for employers, admission tutors and others.

Progress files also contain information on the structured Personal Development Planning (PDP) processes supported by the University and designed to develop the capacity of its students to reflect upon their own learning and achievement, and to plan for their own personal educational and career development. Further information on HE Progress Files and PDP in the UK HE system is available from www.qaa.ac.uk.

6.2 Further Information Sources

The University’s website is www.ulster.ac.uk. Further information on arrangements for Higher Education in the UK is obtainable from: The UK National Europass Centre, Oriel House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1XP, United Kingdom. www.uknec.org.uk.


7.1 Date 7.2 Signature 7.3 Capacity 7.4 Official stamp or seal

are shown on the transcript element of this supplement.


The following information is a nationally approved statement, last updated in February 2005.

_ In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Higher Education institutions are independent, self-governing bodies active in teaching, research and scholarship and established by Royal Charter or legislation. Most are part-funded by government.

Higher Education (HE) is provided by many different types of institution. In addition to universities and university colleges, whose Charters and statutes are made through the Privy Council which advises the Queen on the granting of Royal Charters and incorporation of universities, there are a number of publicly-designated and autonomous institutions within the higher education sector. About ten per cent of higher education provision is available in colleges of further education by the authority of another duly empowered institution. Teaching to prepare students for the award of higher education qualifications can be conducted in any higher education institution or further education college.

Degree awarding powers and the title ‘university’:

All the universities and many of the higher education colleges have legal power to develop their own courses and award their own degrees, and determine the conditions on which they are awarded: some HE colleges and specialist institutions without these powers offer programmes, with varying extents of devolved authority, leading to the degrees of an institution which does have them. All universities in existence before 2005 have the power to award degrees on the basis of completion of taught courses and the power to award research degrees. From 2005, institutions in England and Wales that award only taught degrees (‘first’ and ‘second cycle’) and which meet certain numerical criteria, may also be permitted to use the title ‘university’. Higher education institutions that award only taught degrees but which do not meet the numerical criteria may apply to use the title ‘university college’, although not all choose to do so.

All of these institutions are subject to the same regulatory quality assurance and funding requirements as universities; and all institutions decide for themselves which students to admit and which staff to appoint.

Degrees and other higher education qualifications are legally owned by the awarding institution, not by the state.

The names of institutions with their own degree awarding powers (“Recognised Bodies”) are set out at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/recognisedukdegrees/ Institutions able to offer courses leading to a degree of a recognised body (“Listed Bodies”) are listed by the English,

Welsh and Northern Irish authorities. The list may be found at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/recognisedukdegrees/ Qualifications The types of qualifications awarded by higher education institutions at sub-degree and undergraduate (first cycle) and postgraduate level (second and third cycles) are described in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), including qualifications descriptors, developed with the sector by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA - established in 1997 as an independent UK-wide body to monitor the standard of higher education provision www.qaa.ac.uk). The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales (ACCAC) and the Council for Curriculum Examination and Assessment, (Northern Ireland) (CCEA) have established the National Qualifications Framework, which is aligned with the FHEQ as shown overleaf with typical credit values. These authorities regulate a number of professional, statutory and other awarding bodies which control qualifications at HE and other levels.

Foundation degrees, designed to create intermediate awards strongly oriented towards specific employment opportunities, were introduced in 2001 and are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In terms of the European HE Area they are “short cycle” qualifications within the first cycle.

Quality Assurance Academic standards are established and maintained by higher education institutions themselves using an extensive and sophisticated range of shared quality assurance approaches and structures. Standards and quality in institutions are underpinned by universal use of external examiners, a standard set of indicators and other reports and by the activities of the QAA and in professional areas by relevant Professional and Statutory Bodies. This ensures that institutions meet national expectations described in the FHEQ: subject benchmark (character) statements, the Code of Practice and a system of programme specifications. QAA conducts peer-review based audits and reviews of higher education institutions with the opportunity for subject-based review as the need arises. Accuracy and adequacy of quality-related information published by the higher education institutions is also reviewed. QAA reviews also cover higher education programmes taught in further education institutions.

Credit Systems There is a national credit system in place in Wales which embraces all post-16 education. Around 75% of institutions in England and Northern Ireland (around 85% of students) belong to credit systems consortia. There are local credit systems in some other institutions. QCAis developing a system intended for further education in England, the Framework for Achievement, designed to articulate with higher education. Many institutions use credit points for students transferring between programmes or institutions, and use ECTS for transfers within the European area and to recognise learning gained by students on exchange visits with institutions elsewhere in Europe.

Admission The most common qualification for entry to higher education is the General Certificate of Education at ‘Advanced’ (A)-level (including the “advanced supplementary”). Other qualifications for entry are the Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education, the kite-marked Access Certificate or other qualifications located in the National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 3 Advanced, or the equivalent according to the Credit and Qualifications Framework in Wales, including the Welsh Baccalaureate and qualifications in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. A-levels are normally taken by students in their 13th year of school or at a college of further education and comprise up to three or four specialist subjects studied in considerable depth, involving coursework and final examinations. Part-time and mature students may enter with these qualifications or alternatives with evidenced equivalent prior learning and experience. Institutions will admit students whom they believe to have the potential to complete their programmes successfully, and set their requirements for entry to particular programmes accordingly.

1 The UK has a system of devolved government, including for higher education, to Scotland, to Wales and to Northern Ireland. This description is approved by the High Level Policy Forum which includes representatives of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland and Wales, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Universities UK (UUK), the Standing Conference of Principals and the National Recognition Information Centre for the UK (UK NARIC).

Diagram of higher education qualification levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland Partner Institutions Annex Institutions of Further and Higher Education in Northern Ireland The institutions below have joined into six area-based colleges from 1 August 2007.

Institution Area Based College Armagh College of Further and Higher Education Southern Regional College Newry and Kilkeel Institute of Further and Higher Education Upper Bann Institute of Further and Higher Education Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education Belfast Metropolitan College Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education Causeway Institute of Further and Higher Education Northern Regional College East Antrim Institute of Further and Higher Education North East Institute of Further and Higher Education East Down Institute of Further and Higher Education South Eastern Regional College Lisburn Institute of Further and Higher Education North Down and Ards Institute of Further and Higher Education East Tyrone Institute of Further and Higher Education South West Regional College Fermanagh College Further and Higher Education Omagh College of Further and Higher Education Limavady College of Further and Higher Education North West Regional College North West Institute of Further and Higher Education

The following public sector organisations and agencies in Northern Ireland are also approved by the University to offer courses:

The Beeches Management Centre, Belfast College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise Homefirst Community Health and Social Services Trust Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust

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Some students of the following overseas institutions have enrolled for programmes of study validated by the University:

Hong Kong College of Technology The School of Hotel and Tourism Management International, Switzerland South China Agricultural University The University of Hong Kong

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