School of Engineering

Ensuring the Quality of your Degree

The University is responsible for ensuring the quality and standards of all academic awards made in its name. You should have confidence that there are a number of people – inside your School, across the University, and outside the University – who review your degree programme and ensure that it is up-to-date, consistent in its treatment of students, appropriate in its forms of teaching and assessment, and of the highest standards. The key mechanisms are described below:

Annual Monitoring and Review (AMR) – Every year Schools are asked to comment on what went well and what could be improved (and to provide evidence) regarding programmes. Schools are also required to develop an action plan that lists new projects and activities to improve a degree programme. This AMR is reviewed at Faculty level each year and at University level to identify effective practice to share or issues to address. 

Learning and Teaching Review (LTR) – Approximately every six years each School or subject area is reviewed by a panel of University staff and at least one external member who is a discipline-specialist. This review examines the teaching and learning process and speaks with students and staff about their experiences of the programme. 

External Examining – Each programme will have at least one external examiner, someone who works at a different University or in industry. The function of external examiners is to assist the University by providing assurance that in their expert judgment the standards of all awards at Newcastle are at least comparable to those in similar subjects in other universities in the UK and with relevant external referents. External examiners are asked to review programme aims and learning objectives as well as assessment questions and feedback. In order to help ensure the quality of the education it provides and the maintenance of the standards of its awards, the University places significant reliance on its external examiners by:

  • Requiring them to provide independent and impartial advice, as well as informative comment on the University’s standards and on student achievement in relation to those standards
  • Drawing upon their professional advice and expertise and giving full and serious consideration to their reports.

You should not contact external examiners directly, but you may be asked to meet with them when they come to visit the University. You can also engage with the process through which the University considers and responds to external examiners by participation in Boards of Studies, Student Staff Committee, and Faculty Education Committees.

You can engage directly with a LTR by volunteering to meet with the panel (if there is an LTR while you are a student) or by volunteering to serve as a student panel member for an LTR in another School. You can engage with AMR and external examining through the student representation system and by participating in School and Faculty committees.

Changes to your programme – The University recognises that students invest time and personal effort in their studies and need timely dialogue and clarity of options when changes occur. Your School will act transparently and enter dialogue with students to identify options and minimize the impact on students affected by changes to programmes.