Please see Briefing Paper 17 for an overview of the Academic Partnerships Approval process.

Approved Learning Partner Agreements

The University is active in overseas teaching through the provision of distance and distributed learning through Approved Learning Partners (ALPs) that offer support for students on University programmes at centers remote from its home location.

Further information about Approved Learning Partners, including guidelines on the approval process for ALPs, are available via the links below.

Approval documentation:

Approval of a new programme for an existing Partner:

Withdrawal of programmes documentation:

Approved Learning Partners (ALPs) will normally submit applications for their staff to be approved as an Approved Teacher, Tutor or Marker (Off-campus), depending on their duties, in support of delivery of HWU courses at the ALP.

Articulation Agreements

An Articulation Agreement is where another institution delivers a course of study which is determined by the University to provide suitable preparation for entry onto a University course. The partner's course will normally provide certificated evidence of learning either through a transcript or an end of course certificate.

The University has created a clearly defined set of procedures for the approval of such agreements. The guidelines for Articulation Agreements, including guidelines on the approval process for Articulation Agreements, are available via the links below:

Collaborative Partner Agreements

The University is active in establishing collaborative partnerships with both UK and international institutions in order to deliver jointly developed programmes. Further information about Joint Collaborative Partnership Agreements, including guidelines on the drafting and approval process for collaborative agreements and conducting Quality Assurance visits to collaborative partners, are available via the links below:

Memorandum of Understanding

For arrangements where the University and a partner wish to establish a formal agreement confirming their intention to work together on the development of future courses and programmes for mutual benefits, but where there is no obligation on either party for any action undertaken by the other, a Memorandum of Understanding is sufficient.

If a general multi-School arrangement, the University is responsible for monitoring these arrangements.  If a specific School arrangement, the Schools are responsible for monitoring these arrangements and developing additional agreements, if required. For example, a Memorandum of Understanding may lead to articulation or collaborative agreements.

There is no standard template for a Memorandum of Understanding as each arrangement is different. However, it is recommended that the agreement should set out the wishes of both parties and should be no more than a couple of pages in length.

Validation Agreements

The University currently has no partners that deliver validated programmes or courses.

Validated programmes are programmes where particular aspects of the curriculum, styles of teaching, delivery of teaching and assessment are not determined by Heriot-Watt but by the partner, although Heriot-Watt accredits the associated qualifications or learning. For these courses there are several points of interaction with the University that relate to quality assurance.

As part of the approval process the course of study and the academic aspects of the Operational Guide have to be approved by the Postgraduate or Undergraduate Studies Committee on behalf of Senate.

The following document provides guidance for Schools, Partners and the Studies Committees on the approval process for validated Programmes, courses and academic operational matters, as well as the approval of changes:

Approval of Validated Programmes and Changes to Validated Programmes