Overall responsibility for the co-ordination and oversight of the implementation of this procedure resides with the Senior Assistant Registrar (Teaching Quality). This procedure should be followed by departments seeking to establish a new collaborative award involving contribution from a partner organisation, whether public or private, overseas or UK-based.

Separate procedures exist for the development of research collaborations, guidance on which should be sought from Research Support Services and the Graduate School. Course leaders proposing any new collaborative course should also read the section on collaborative academic contact responsibilities and refer to the collaborative course approval diagram.  

If you are putting together a tender or proposal to provide a collaborative course you should follow steps 1-3 and secure "outline approval" before you engage in detailed collaborative discussions or submit a tender or proposal external to the University.


Academic Planning and Approval Chronology


Business Planning Chronology


An outline document should be drafted and approved in principle by the proposing department as below.

The outline should be brief (two sides of A4 maximum) and comprise:

  • Confirmation of availability of appropriate staff expertise in the proposing department or commitment to development of a business plan to invest in target area in appropriate timeframe;
  • Confirmation of suitability of proposed collaborator;
  • Outline information relating to proposed partner institution/organisation (key characteristics; academic strengths; existing collaborations with Warwick, other UK or overseas HEIs)

  • General indication of financial viability;

  • Courses and nature of collaboration proposed, for example; validation, franchise, distance delivery, distance learning, joint, dual/double or multiple award or other collaboration

  • Indicative student numbers;

  • Proposed start date and related timelines;
  • Potential progression routes at Warwick where applicable.

If a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding is desired by the partner, the department should contact the Departmental Finance Link Officer (and the International Strategy and Relations team where International) regarding approval of this document prior to signing and forwarding the final version to the Partnerships Committee Secretariat (collaborative at warwick dot ac dot uk).


Contact the Secretariat for the Partnerships Committee (collaborative at warwick dot ac dot uk), who will, in conjunction with proposing department, establish a schedule for preparation of documentation, obtaining necessary approvals, signature of contract and admission of students.
It is important that the proposing department keeps the partner organisation informed of the progress of the proposal through the approval procedures.

Contact with Departmental Finance Link Officer, Finance Office, to discuss preliminary issues surrounding financial model and general financial viability of the venture.

Contact with other Professional Service Departments where necessary to understand specific requirements of any novel administrative or delivery arrangements.


Outline Approval

This stage of approval grants permission for the proposing department to proceed to develop a full proposal with the potential partner. It is not possible to advertise or recruit students to new collaborative courses prior to their full approval as specified at outline stage.
An outline of the proposal (as set out in step one and approved in principle by the proposing department) should be submitted to the Secretariat to the Partnerships Committee (collaborative at warwick dot ac dot uk) for circulation to:

  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)
  • Chair of the Partnerships Committee
  • Chair of AQSC
  • Chair of BGS (if postgraduate)
  • Chair of relevant Faculty
  • Representative from International Strategy and Relations (for overseas collaborations)
  • Head of Immigration Services, International student Office (for collaborative programmes requiring student travel to, or residency in the UK)
  • other colleagues, if appropriate

If the proposed collaboration is deemed to be non-controversial and responds to the University’s strategic objectives and accords with its collaborative policy, it will be granted outline approval by this panel.
Otherwise, the proposal will need to be submitted to the Steering Committee (meets fortnightly) for further consideration. The departmental course proposer will be expected to attend the meeting of the Steering Committee.

Where a proposal is particularly complex or requires specific measures to mitigate and manage risk, further conditions or requirements for approval may be imposed on the proposal by the outline panel.

Department seeks advice from the Immigration team in relation to the viability of any programme requiring face to face teaching in the UK (regardless of the duration) where Tier 4 students will be eligible for admission.



Build-up of Financial Model and Contract Template Review:
Contact with the Departmental Finance Link Officer in the Finance Office to build up the financial model envisaged. Issues to discuss will include the following:

  • The 5 year financial model;
  • The adherence to relevant Financial Regulations;
  • The accounting treatment on SAP;
  • The evidence of demand, if applicable;
  • The justification of costs (e.g. workings for staff costs by category);
  • The financial relationship with the collaborative partner;
  • Sensitivity analysis of the financial model, if applicable (e.g. worst case scenario where unit income/costs are variable);
  • Breakeven analysis of the financial model, if applicable (e.g. how many students required on a course to break even);

The Departmental Finance Link Officer will coordinate the proposal and liaise with the Contracts team to arrange the drafting of a contract based on the collaborative contract templates. The Contracts team can advise on issues such as insurance and indemnity, intellectual property rights, termination etc. but may refer complex cases to the University's Solicitors for advice.



Following outline approval, the Partnerships Committee Secretariat will agree a schedule for the consideration of the proposal, taking in to account the following:

  • The risk categorisation assigned to the proposal and the appropriate approval route of the collaborative programme;
  • Any additional due dilligence or approval documentation required for collaborative consideration of the proposal;

It is important that the proposing department keeps the partner organisation informed of the progress of the proposal through the approval procedures.

6 Department to undertake a site visit (where required), if not already completed.  

Preparation by department of relevant course approval documentation (see further Approval):

  • collaborative sections of course approval form, including Site Visit report where relevant
  • CVs for non-Warwick staff (including coversheets)

In developing the proposal, the department should agree the following with the partner:

Further consultation with relevant Officers over resourcing implications as appropriate (Library, Academic Technology (ITS) , Space Management and Timetabling etc).

Finalisation of Financial Model

In conjunction with the Finance Link Officer, the financial model is finalised (including completion of the FP11 form and others within the Financial Regulation 16).


Submission of course proposal (including collaborative sections as relevant) via the University’s Course Approval System.

NOTE: This is currently by submission of word documents to courseapproval@warwick.ac.uk, cc'ing collaborative@warwick.ac.uk)

Drafting of contractual documentation (based on a collaborative template) by the Contracts team in conjunction with the proposing department and the Teaching Quality Team. Complex cases may be referred to the University’s Solicitors. In the interests of version control, the University’s Contracts team ask that departments not manage the editing or negotiation of contracts with collaborative partners by themselves or without prior consultation.

Consideration of the collaborative proposal as per the process agreed at outline approval stage, this will be:

  • Low/Medium Risk: for consideration by a course approval panel with a Representative of the Partnerships Committee
  • Medium or High Risk: considered by the Partnerships Committee and/or AQSC or the Senate.

The financial aspect of proposal (as part of course approval) is considered by the relevant Committee (or its representative) as per the University course approval process


When the required approval is reached, The Secretariat of the Partnerships Committee confirms this to:

  • the Contracts contact (Finance Office) to confirm that the required academic approval has been achieved for the contract to be signed on behalf of the University of Warwick
  • the Strategic Planning and Analytics Office to confirm that course records can be set up in SITS.

SAP Procedures

In conjunction with the Departmental Finance Link Officer, Finance Office and the Student Finance Office (for student fee collection), the necessary SAP codes are approved and set up.

11 Signature of collaborative agreement by a legal representative of the University.

Contracts team to arrange signing of contract with partner, archive final signed copy in contracts database and forward final, signed version to Teaching Quality, the relevant department(s) and the partner.


Only following signature of the agreement, may promotion and recruitment activity for the programme commence.  


Admission of students.

  Version approved by the Senate on 24 January 2018