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Internal reviews have a central role in the divisional and institutional oversight of the academic, organisational and financial activities of departments and faculties. They are conducted jointly by the divisions and Education Committee on a 6 yearly cycle. An interim review is conducted three years after a review to monitor progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the review.

Departments which are about to be reviewed should read in detail the Education Committee guidance on reviews.

MPLS two-stage review

The MPLS division uses a two stage process for reviews of departments. Learning and teaching issues are given preliminary consideration by an internal ‘learning and teaching’ sub-panel which meets for half a day about a term in advance of the main review meeting.

Learning and teaching sub-panel

The sub-panel is chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Academic), and is attended by a representative of Education Committee, a departmental representative, a Senior Tutor and a student representative from OUSU. In advance of the meeting, the department submits a Self-Evaluation Document (SED) for the sub-panel covering just learning and teaching. The learning and teaching sub-panel meets with the Head of Department, Head of Undergraduate Teaching and Director of Graduate Studies, with other faculty with responsibilities for departmental teaching, and with administrative staff.

Main review

The main review panel meets a term later and consists of the Head of Division (as Chair of the review), a member of MPLS board, the members of the internal panel, and up to 5 external reviewers. The conclusions of the learning and teaching sub-panel are reported as recommendations to the main review panel. The sub-panel also ‘refers’ specific issues to the main review panel for consideration, particularly on those issues where the subject or curriculum knowledge of the external reviewers is of value. In addition to the report of the learning and teaching sub-panel, the full panel also receives the Self-Evaluation Document of the department, covering not only learning and teaching, but also research, staff development, management and finance.

Reviews of departments in MPLS typically last two days. Research is covered on the first day. Learning and teaching is re-visited on the second day, and the panel meets students from the department's courses. Staff development, management and finance is covered in the afternoon.