Heriot-Watt University participates in a number of External Partnerships with institutions worldwide. The Academic Partnerships Approval process ensures that we maintain our high standard of delivering a quality student learning experience.

The Guide to Academic Partnerships contains detailed information about the approval process and it is recommended that you read this before beginning your application.

Schools should also contact Emma Cessford at an early stage for support, guidance and advice in relation to quality assurance and operational aspects of a proposed partnership.

All applications for Partnership approvals / re-approvals require the following documentation*:

  1. Approval Cover Sheet
  2. Stage 1 Proposal for Approval and Renewal (Business Case)
  3. Stage 2 Visit Report and Risk Assessment
  4. Risk Register (partner specific)
  5. Agreement
  6. Data Processor/Sharing Agreement

*Completed documentation must be submitted to Academic Quality who will coordinate final University Authorisation of the partnership. This process can take 4 - 6 weeks for the necessary review and approval of each application.

You will find specific advice and documentation templates for each type of Partnership in the drop-down menus below.

Approved Learning Partner Agreements

An Approved Learning Partner (ALP) agreement is formed when the University wishes a Partner institution to deliver a Heriot-Watt University programme of study leading to a HWU Degree. Through ALP agreements, Partners are approved to offer support for students on HWU programmes at centres remote from its home location.

Approved Teacher, Tutor or Marker (Off-campus) status is required of all persons involved in teaching, tutoring and/or marking of courses at an ALP.

The University has a clearly defined set of procedures for the approval of ALP agreements. All documentation listed below must be completed in full and submitted to Academic Quality for the coordination of final University Authorisation.

Documentation required for approval / re-approval of Approved Learning Partners (ALPs)

  1. Approval Cover Sheet
  2. Stage 1: Proposal for Approval and Renewal (Business Case)
  3. Stage 2: Visit Report and Risk Assessment
  4. Risk Register (please open with Internet Explorer)
  5. Agreement Template (ALP)
  6. ALP Data Processor Agreement (please choose the relevant Agreement from the options below):
  7. School Enhancement Plan (template not provided)

Interim Visits

It may sometimes be necessary to conduct an interim visit during the course of a partnership. All interim visits to a partner of Heriot-Watt University must be recorded using the Interim Visit Report.

Monitoring and Review of Partnerships

Reviewing the partnership is an important aspect of ensuring that the partnership is functioning well and is meeting its expectations of delivering a quality student experience. The School is responsible for ensuring it participates in the Partner Annual Monitoring and Review (PAMR) process.

Adding a new programme to an existing ALP arrangement

If you wish to apply for the approval of a new programme for an existing ALP, please complete and send a Stage 2 document and Risk Register (listed in the table above) along with an ALP Approved Programmes Schedule and ALP new Schedule Approval Summary sheet to Academic Quality.

Withdrawing a programme from an existing ALP arrangement

If you wish to apply to withdraw a programme for an existing ALP, please complete and send a Risk Register (listed in the table above) along with a Withdrawal of Programme Schedule Approval Summary sheet and Withdrawal of Programme Schedule

Articulation Agreements

An Articulation Agreement is a partnership arrangement with another institution to accept students who have successfully completed an identified programme of study which is determined by Heriot-Watt University to provide suitable preparation for entry onto one of HWU's programmes.

The University has a clearly defined set of procedures for the approval of ALP agreements. All documentation listed below must be completed in full and submitted to Academic Quality for the coordination of final University Authorisation.

Documentation required for approval / re-approval of Articulation Agreements

  1. Approval Cover Sheet
  2. Stage 1: Proposal for Approval and Renewal (Business Case)
  3. Stage 2: Visit Report and Risk Assessment
  4. Risk Register Template (please open with Internet Explorer)
  5. Agreement Template (Articulation)
  6. Articulation Data Sharing Agreement (please choose the relevant Agreement from the options below):

*List of countries within the European Economic Area (EEA)

For help with choosing or completing the Data Processor Agreement, please contact the Data Protection department.

Interim Visits

It may sometimes be necessary to conduct an interim visit during the course of a partnership. All interim visits to a partner of Heriot-Watt University must be recorded using the Interim Visit Report.

Joint Collaborative Partnership Agreements

A Joint Collaborative Partnership (JCP) agreement is formed when the University wishes to develop a joint programme of study with one or more degree-awarding body. A student can register, study, and graduate from, one or all of the participating institutions. The defining feature of JCP arrangements is that partners have the opportunity to produce a distinctive educational programme that none of the partners could offer - in that form - independently of the others.

Approved Teacher, Tutor or Marker (Off-campus) status is required of all persons involved in teaching, tutoring and/or marking of HWU courses.

The University has a clearly defined set of procedures for the approval of ALP agreements. All documentation listed below must be completed in full and submitted to Academic Quality for the coordination of final University Authorisation.

Documentation required for approval / re-approval of Joint Collaborative Partners (JCPs)
1. Approval Cover Sheet
2. Stage 1: Proposal for Approval and Renewal (Business Case)
3. Stage 2: Visit Report and Risk Assessment
4. Risk Register (please open with Internet Explorer)
5. Agreement Template (Joint Collaborative)

6. JCP Data Sharing Agreement (please choose the relevant Agreement from the options below):

i. For Partner Institutions within EEA*

ii. For Partner Institutions outside of EEA*

iii. For Partner Institutions within EEA who will transfer data outside of EEA*

* List of countries within the European Economic Area (EEA)

For help with choosing or completing the Data Sharing Agreement, please contact the Data Protection department.

Interim Visits

It may sometimes be necessary to conduct an interim visit during the course of a partnership. All interim visits to a partner of Heriot-Watt University must be recorded using the Interim Visit Report.

Monitoring and Review of Partnerships

Reviewing the partnership is an important aspect of ensuring that the partnership is functioning well and is meeting its expectations of delivering a quality student experience. The School is responsible for ensuring it participates in the Partner Annual Monitoring and Review (PAMR) process.

Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding is a non-legally binding document which expresses an intention to cooperate with another organisation but does not commit the University to a specific collaborative programme. 

A commitment to a specific activity is the subject of a separate agreement (e.g. an ALP, JCP or Articulation Agreement).

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.

Please contact Academic Quality for an example template and to obtain the correct Approval Cover Sheet.

You must submit all necessary documentation to Academic Quality who will both conduct a quality check and coordinate final University Authorisation.

Visit Reports

It may sometimes be necessary to conduct an interim visit during the course of a partnership. All interim visits to a partner of Heriot-Watt University must be recorded using the Interim Visit Report and submitted to Academic Quality.

A Visit Report Annual Summary is submitted to the University Committee for Quality and Standards.

Withdrawing a partnership (or partnership programme)
If you wish to apply to withdraw a programme or to close the partnership, please complete and send:
1. Withdrawal of Programme Summary
2. Submission note (detailing the rationale for withdrawing and any financial implications)
3. Risk Register (please open with Internet Explorer)
4. Withdrawal of Partnership/Programme Schedule
5. Covering letter to Partner(s)