Managing academic quality

De Montfort University (DMU) operates a devolved approach to managing academic quality, believing assurance and enhancement is best done as close as possible to where the quality really matters – at programme and module level. This ensures that all teaching staff and student representatives have a role in assuring quality, which is underpinned by the academic quality management framework managed by the Department of Academic Quality (DAQ).

This section details the roles and responsibilities of key faculty roles and DAQ in terms of quality management. It also includes reference to external quality bodies, such as the Office for Students (OfS), the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Ofsted, statutory national returns and surveys, and managing Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) relationships.

  1. Roles and responsibilities of the module leader

    Each module has a module leader designated by the faculty. Module leaders are responsible for academic leadership, management and assessment, for the modules they have been designated to lead on.

    Specific areas of responsibility relating to academic quality management include delivering the module using appropriate teaching and learning and assessment methods, effecting any necessary modifications, and communicating information to students. Module leaders are responsible for conducting monitoring, evaluation and review activity, responding to student feedback and external examiner input, and liaison with collaborative partners. They should be responsive to the national agenda, including Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements, and engage with peer observation. Module leaders should liaise with programme leaders and other key roles, as required.

  2. Roles and responsibilities of the programme leader

    Each programme within the university has a programme leader designated by the faculty. Programme leaders are responsible for academic leadership, management and assessment, for the programme they have been designated to lead on.

    Working closely with the module leaders and the faculty Associate Dean (Academic) and Associate Professors (Quality) or equivalent, programme leaders are responsible for delivering the programme using appropriate teaching and learning and assessment methods, effecting any necessary modifications, and ensuring accurate and timely communication of information to students. They ensure the effective planning, management and review of the programme, adhering to specified monitoring and evaluation procedures. Programme leaders are also responsible for taking forward any new programme proposals following due process and in accordance with faculty strategy.

    In doing so, programme leaders should respond to feedback from students, external examiners, Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) and industry. They are required to ensure student representatives are allocated to the programme board, and that all students have access to a personal tutor. Programme leaders should therefore have good communication with colleagues across the university and collaborative partners (if applicable), and with external bodies and national organisations.

  3. Faculty Associate Deans (Academic)

    Associate Deans (Academic) (ADA) lead on strategic developments relating to all academic issues and learning and teaching matters.

    The ADA leads on the management and development of all taught programmes within the faculty and is supported by the Associate Professors (Student Experience) when dealing with student matters.

    Faculty Role Contact
    Art, Design and Humanities Associate Dean (Academic) Dr Claire Orwin
    (0116) 257 7553
    Academic Support Officer Tina Masani
    (0116) 366 4400
    Business and Law Associate Dean (Academic) Chris Goldsmith
    PA/Administrator Heather Cadman
    (0116) 207 8365
    Computing, Engineering and Media Associate Dean (Academic) Zoe Allman
    CEM Advice Centre (0116) 207 8499/8497
    Health and Life Sciences Associate Dean (Academic) Dr Nicola Brooks
    (0116) 201 3860
    HLS Advice Centre (0116) 257 7749
  4. Faculty Associate Professors (Quality)

    On behalf of the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean, the faculty Associate Professors (Quality) (APQ) and BAL Faculty Head of Quality (FHOQ) have responsibility for:

    • The implementation of changes arising from new university policy relevant to quality and standards
    • Ensuring academic quality processes are followed and implemented
    • Raising issues at higher levels where appropriate

    The APQ and FHOQ prioritise academic quality and standards, being alert to instances where quality might become at risk, and helping to identify and share best practice to continually enhance the student experience.

    They are responsible for the management of faculty quality assurance arrangements relating to programme development and validation, modification, and the continuous monitoring of subjects, programmes and modules. These arrangements include periodic review, module enhancement and student feedback, and performance analysis at module and programme level.

    They provide an important link between the faculty, university level quality committees and central departments such as the Department of Academic Quality (DAQ). APQs and FHOQ are members of their Faculty Academic Committee (FAC).

    Faculty Role Contact
    Arts, Design and Humanities Associate Professor (Quality) Caroline Smith
    (0116) 366 4481
    Administration Team Leader Sallyann Robinson
    (0116) 250 6044
    Business and Law Faculty Head of Quality Sarah Easton
    (0116) 207 8956
    Quality Assurance Officer Sophia Welton
    Computing, Engineering and Media Associate Professor (Quality) Chris Fidler
    Quality Administrator CEM Quality
    Health and Life Sciences Associate Professor (Quality) Emma Reith-Hall
    Quality Assurance Administrator Liz Benge
  5. External quality requirements

    The Department of Academic Quality is responsible for ensuring adherence to external quality requirements, supporting relationships with external bodies, and for keeping the university informed of national developments in quality management.

    Office for Students (OfS)

    The Office for Students (OfS) is an independent public body. The OfS is not part of central Government but reports to Parliament through the Department for Education (DfE). The OfS aims to ensure positive outcomes for all students and sets requirements for the quality and standards of the courses we offer at DMU.

    Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

    The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is the UK’s independent quality body, advising on standards and quality in UK higher education. The QAA developed, and maintains, the UK Quality Code for Higher Education as a reference point for effective quality assurance.

    Click here to read QAA's latest review report

    Click here to view QAA's action plan in response to outcomes

    Office for Standards in Educations, Children's Services and Skills (OFSTED)

    DMU’s higher and degree apprenticeships are subject to inspection by Ofsted under its Inspection Framework for Further Education and Skills.


    Additionally, our Higher National Diploma (HND) programme is delivered and awarded under the Pearson license agreement. This allows DMU as an awarding body to customise and devise our own higher-level programmes under the license. For Pearson related queries, contact Louise Newell.

    Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs)

    DMU also manages relationships with a number of PSRBs who accredit and inspect some areas of provision. DAQ maintains the central record of PSRB relationships –  contact Laura Sanderson for more information.

    Other external reference points

    There are other external reference points which inform our academic regulations. These assist in setting and maintaining academic standards, and guide on the use of credit in the design of programmes leading to qualifications. Please contact Sally Lloyd for additional information.

    Surveys and returns

    Strategic Planning Services (SPS) are responsible for most of the university's statutory returns including Unistats and annual student surveys (not all of which are compulsory). These external surveys and returns are national initiatives conducted annually across most HE and FE institutions.