Approval procedures

Assessment changes made during COVID and updating GCM

Background: In accordance with the University’s adapted approvals procedures which was introduced in March 2020 in response to the pandemic, Schools have been able to set their own internal approvals for assessment changes in this period, including via any specified School committees/groups. 

Formalising assessment changes and updating GCM: At the Learning and Teaching Academic Year Group meeting on the 9th February 2022, the following was approved;

  1. Where “COVID Assessment Changes” have already been approved by a School as permanent changes, GCM should be updated prior to the start of AY2022/23;
  2. Where assessment changes are still temporary or the process of reviewing/redesigning assessment is still in progress, then changes should be finalised and updated on GCM prior to the start of AY 2023/24.

For further information please read the Formalising assessment changes and updating GCM paper.

University Approval Process

The University approval process for approving new disciplines and programmes, and major modifications to programmes comprises of the following:

  • The completion of proposals via the Global Curriculum Management system (GCM)
  • Submission to the School Management Team
  • Submission to the Programme Management Board (where appropriate)
  • Submission to the relevant School Committee
  • Submission to the University Studies Committee (where appropriate)

Schools have the authority to approve new and modified courses as well as minor modifications to programmes.

Section 1: Approval process

For information on the approval process please see documents below


  • There are different approval routes that are taken depending on the type of modification you are making in GCM. The Approval Route Guidance table will help you identify which route to select when creating a programme or course proposal.
Section 2: Global Curriculum Management information and guidance

Advise and guidance on the Global Curriculum Management system (GCM) is available on Academic Quality's, CMAT SharePoint site.

For further advise and guidance on GCM you can contact the Curriculum Management and Approval Team (CMAT) directly at

Section 3: Curriculum and Assessment Design Toolkit

The Curriculum and Assessment Design Toolkit contains practical resources to help you in the creative process of developing a course or programme of study. Whether you are refreshing existing provision or designing a new course or programme, the Toolkit will help you step through the key stages of curriculum design with confidence. 

Using the Toolkit will help you ensure that programme or course development:

  • Reflects HWU’s strategic priorities and practically connects to the graduate attributes our students aspire to; 
  • Meets relevant quality requirements; 
  • Is informed by good practice in curriculum and assessment design.

Successful curriculum design is a creative and collaborative process.  We suggest using these tools as part of a broader teaching team conversation.  Make use of the expertise of colleagues from across the university, sharing practice insights and case studies, and the workshops and support sessions regularly offered by the Learning and Teaching Academy. 

Information is available from the staff SharePoint site The Heriot-Watt Curriculum & Assessment Design Toolkit

Key information

Curriculum Management Approval Team