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					Quality Handbook
Closure of Taught Programmes
Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Timing
All decisions to close programmes must be taken in good time, with due regard for the need to
address the position of existing and potential students.

It should be remembered that applicants may apply for entry to a course up to two years before
taking up their place. The following procedures must therefore be followed for any course
discontinued at less than two years’ notice.

It should be noted that if a decision to discontinue a programme is taken late in the admissions
cycle, the availability of suitable alternatives at other institutions may be extremely limited, with
significant consequences for any applicants affected (e.g. they may have given up employment with
the intention of taking up the programme). Schools should therefore refrain from discontinuing
courses after this stage in the admissions cycle if at all possible.

A school’s decision to close a programme must take full account of the needs of existing students
and should as far as possible aim to support these students through to the completion of their
intended study or put in place appropriate transitional arrangements.

In considering the closure of a programme, the school must consult with all other schools that have
a direct interest in the programme.

Procedures
When a school internally takes a decision that it wishes to close an undergraduate or taught
postgraduate programme, the school should complete the Programme Closure form and submit this
to the Faculty Executive Officer. Schools should at this point also alert Registry Services of their
intentions in writing. If there are strategic implications for the University the DVC (Education) should
also be informed.

The FEO will circulate the form to the Strategic Approval Application Form circulation list for
information only.

The proposal for closure should be considered by the relevant Faculty Sub-committee. In
considering proposals particular attention should be paid to the arrangements made to support
existing students through to completion, including arrangements for students who have suspended
or are following a programme by a part-time or distance-learning route.

For undergraduate programmes, the school concerned should notify the Admissions Office Co-
ordinator in Student Services in writing as soon as a final decision has been reached. Student
Services will then ensure that the programme is removed from the UCAS database and that
notification of the discontinuation is included in the next set of UCAS Handbook amendments to
schools.

The decision to close a programme should also be reported for information to the appropriate
meeting of University AQSC, alongside decisions about new programmes and approved/significant
amendments to programmes.

Where appropriate schools must advise continuing students of any transitional arrangements which
will be put in place to support them to completion.




University of Southampton                       1                      Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                      Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Informing Applicants
Schools should identify any applicants who will be affected by the decision and notify them of it by
completing a Notification of a Discontinued or Suspended course form, sent with a covering letter
(see Appendix A). If the applicant does not reply within the timescale requested in the initial letter,
schools should issue a reminder letter (see Appendix B), advising the applicant that their application
will be withdrawn if no response is received within a specified timescale. Faculties may wish to
consider having sight of a school’s draft letters to such students as part of the closure procedures,
where this is not straightforward.

For undergraduate programmes, the UCAS procedures summarised below must be followed in
corresponding with the applicant.

For taught postgraduates, in some specialist areas (e.g. teaching, social work), there may be
additional procedures dictated by the relevant application scheme and the schools concerned
should ensure that they adhere to these as well as to the internal procedures.

UCAS Procedures
In the event of a decision to discontinue an undergraduate programme, Registry Services will notify
UCAS Research and Statistics Department, using a course amendment form. This will ensure that
the programme is removed from the UCAS database and notification of the discontinuation is
included in the next set of UCAS Handbook amendments issued to schools.

UCAS regulations also require us to follow specific procedures in respect of any students who have
applied for or are holding an offer of a place on the course concerned. As soon as agreement to
discontinue a course has been reached, the Admissions tutor responsible should take steps to
ensure that these are followed.

The steps to be taken will vary according to applicants’ status and the timing of the decision and
are described in detail in the UCAS Admissions Guide.

Usually, where a student has already accepted an offer for the discontinued course, Schools will
be asked to contact him or her with an offer of a place on a suitable alternative course.

If this is not possible or the applicant does not wish to accept the alternative course, he or she
should be given the opportunity to substitute an alternative choice of institution or course on their
UCAS application form. Where an applicant has not yet received an offer or has received an
offer but not replied to it, the applicant may ask the University to consider their application for an
alternative course or to reject the application, so that a substitution of institution and course may
be made. In both cases, the form at Appendix C should be sent to the applicant.

For route B applicants to courses in Art and Design, the form at Appendix D should be used and
care should be taken not to reject the applicant because the sequential process for route B courses
automatically places rejected applicants into the next referral round, giving no opportunity for the
applicant to select an alternative choice.



Revision History
1.   Approved by AQSC April 2005
2.   Added to QA Handbook August 2005
3.   Revised for new website and UG and PGT versions merged JRC13 -July 2007
4.   New Brand added – July 2008


Keywords
Alternative
Applicant
Notification
Programme closure
UCAS
Undergraduate
Postgraduate


University of Southampton                       2                     Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                     Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Appendix A: Example Letter Notifying an Applicant of
a Discontinued or Suspended Programme
Date
Application code:
Course code:

Dear

I am sorry to have to tell you that the programme you have applied for at the University of
Southampton has had to be withdrawn. We realise that this will be disappointing news and hope
that this letter will be helpful in explaining the options that are now open to you.

We would, of course, be happy to consider you for an alternative programme and a prospectus is
enclosed to provide you with information about possible options. However, you may, if you prefer,
substitute a choice at an alternative institution. It would be helpful if you could let us know how you
would like to proceed by completing the enclosed form, selecting one of the following options:

      Choose an alternative programme (if you choose this option, please return the form to us at
       the above address);
      (for taught postgraduate programmes only)
      Withdraw your application;
      (for undergraduate programmes only)
      Choose an alternative Institution (if you choose this option, please return the form to UCAS);
      Withdraw your choice completely (if you choose this option, please return the form to UCAS).

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have
caused you. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely




University of Southampton                        3                     Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                      Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Appendix B: Example Follow-Up Letter to an
Applicant Whose Programme Has Been Discontinued
or Suspended
Date
Application code:
Course code:

Dear

I am writing to you regarding your recent application to the University of Southampton and to my
subsequent letter informing you of the discontinuation of the programme you have applied for.

Please accept our apologies if you have already responded to the letter. However, our records show
that we are still awaiting your reply. It would be helpful if you could now complete the {UCAS}*
discontinued course form sent to you to notify us of your intentions as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, if we do not hear from you within the next two weeks, we will have to assume that
you no longer wish to be considered for a place at the University of Southampton and your
application will be withdrawn.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely



* omit this for taught postgraduate programmes




University of Southampton                     4                     Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                   Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Appendix C: Undergraduate Programmes:
Notification of a Discontinued or Suspended Course,
excluding Route B Courses
UCAS cannot make changes of institution (Part C) after 30 June or changes of course (Part B) after
31 July

Part A – to be completed by institution
Institution       University of Southampton

Name    student

School name

Course Title      title

UCAS Code         programme

Campus Code       S27

The above course has been discontinued at this institution. Please notify me if you wish to be
considered for an alternative course.
If so, please complete Part B only and return the whole of this form to reach me by [date]. If I do
not hear from you by this date I will assume you no longer wish to be considered by this institution.

If you would prefer to be considered by an alternative choice of institution, please complete Part C
only and send the whole of this form to UCAS. Before selecting your alternative choice please refer
to the UCAS Directory and the UCAS website (www.ucas.com).

If you do not wish to have an alternative choice then please complete Part D to indicate that you
wish to withdraw the choice that has been discontinued and send the whole of this form to UCAS..

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Name ………………………………………………………..Date……………………………………………………..




University of Southampton                      5                     Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                    Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Part B – to be completed by applicant and returned to institution above
To      University of Southampton

From    (Name of applicant)

UCAS Application Number

Please consider my application for the following alternative course:

Course Code

UCAS Code

Campus code     S27

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Name………………………………………………………Date…………………………………………………………

Part C – to be completed by applicant if substitute choice of institution
required

To: UCAS, PO Box 40, Cheltenham, Glos GL52 3ZB
Please substitute the institution named in Part A with the following new choice:

Institution

Campus code

Course Title

UCAS Code

Signature ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Name ………………………………………………………….Date……………………………………………………..

UCAS Application Number: ……………………………………………………………………………………………


Part D – to be completed by applicant if an alternative choice is not
required
(please return the whole of this form)

To: UCAS, PO Box 40, Cheltenham, Glos GL52 3ZB
I confirm that I wish to withdraw my choice detailed in Section A, which is now discontinued. I do
not wish to replace it with an alternative choice

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Name …………………………………………………………..Date…………………………………………………..

UCAS Application Number ……………………………………………………………………………………………




University of Southampton                      6                        Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                       Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Appendix D: Taught Postgraduate Programmes:
Notification of a Discontinued Programme
Part A – to be completed by applicant and returned to institution
above
University of Southampton, Registry Services

To

From    (Name of applicant)

ID Number        if known

Please consider my application for the following alternative course:

Course Code

UCAS Code

Campus code      S27

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Name ……………………………………………………………….Date ………………………………………………


Part B – to be completed by applicant if an alternative choice is not
required
I confirm that I wish to withdraw my application. I do not wish to replace it with an alternative
choice.

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Name ……………………………………………………………….Date ………………………………………………

ID Number ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..




University of Southampton                       7                       Closure of Taught Programmes
Quality Handbook                                                       Undergraduate and Postgraduate

				
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