Routes for Ethical Approval

Routes and Reasons for Ethical Approval

Why does my project need to undergo an ethical review?

The University must ensure that all its projects undergo appropriate ethical review before commencement.  This covers both internally and externally funded projects, and includes undergraduate and postgraduate projects.  In addition to the institutional requirement, main research funders (e.g. Research Councils) now require assurances that projects have been through an appropriate ethical review and that the research will be conducted within a research governance framework embedded within the institution. 

Which form should I use?

The University has moved from using multiple forms and all projects should now use the University Ethics Form: 

What are the possible routes for approval?

There are different routes for obtaining ethical approval, which are dependent on; the type of project, the participants, whether approval has been given by another institution, academic unit and student / staff status.

The University supports a two stage process within the form.. The first stage is a preliminary review. This is a simple questionnaire that assesses whether you project is high risk and which directs you to the appropriate internal or external committee for further review if it is required. All projects whether unfunded or funded, staff / student / course should go through this preliminary process before any work at all begins.

At completion of the preliminary section there are several outcomes.


Next Steps


Involves the NHS

Go through external NRES approval route:


Involves Animals

Go through internal approval route, use part two of the University form.

Animal Welfare Ethical Review Board (AWERB)

Other areas noted as high risk

Go through internal approval route, use part two of the University form.

Faculty Ethics Committee(s) or Psychology sub-committee

Already obtained (and agreed)

No further action required


Not required

No further action required


If the preliminary form directs you for further review by one of the University Committees (AWERB or faculties) then you will need to provide some additional information.