Study-unit Approval

Study-unit Approval

The process for the approval of new study-units is similar to that for new programmes of study in that they are proposed by the department or division responsible for the teaching of the area of study, and approved by Senate (through the Programme Validation Committee) on the recommendation of the Board. 

The official study-unit approval form should be used by all academic entities when submitting a new study-unit for consideration by the respective approving bodies.


Section A - General

 A1. Study-unit code: Recommend to the Office of the Registrar a unique code comprising 3 letters indicating the department, division or programme and 4 digits.  New codes for departments, divisions or programmes are assigned by the Office of the Registrar on the recommendation of the Faculty, Institute or Centre concerned. The first digit indicates the level at which the study-unit concerned is offered. The second, third and fourth digits are the numbers assigned to each study-unit by the department/division/programme board offering the study-unit. For a detailed explanation of how to assign digits click here

A2. Study-unit title: Please ensure that the title is as concise as possible, informative and unique

A3. Level: Indicate at which level the study-unit is being offered, and whether it contributes towards an undergraduate or a postgraduate award. Click here to refer to schedule 1 of the General Regulations for University Undergraduate Awards which contains full details of the levels of study-units

A4. ECTS credits: The number of credits allocated to a particular study-unit is related to the student workload required to complete it.  In allocating credit value, revision of earlier work that is already credited should not be taken into account. For study-units delivered in the traditional lecturing mode, 1 ECTS credit is equivalent to 25 hours of learning, of which between 5 and 7 hours should be direct contact. Click here for a detailed explanation of the allocation of credit value, available in Schedule 2 of the General Regulations for University Undergraduate Awards 

A5. Study-unit type: Indicate what type of study-unit is being proposed e.g. lecture, clinical, etc. Click here to refer to the list of types of study-units. Study-units which are indicated as blended or online need to be sanctioned by the DEC/PVC sub-committee and must be accompanied by Appendix B or Appendix C of the Distance and E-learning Policy as appropriate.

A6. Period of study: Indicate when the proposed study-unit would be delivered i.e. semester 1, semester 2, year, or summer period / semester 3

A7. Number of occurrences in same semester: If this study-unit will be delivered to more than one group of students concurrently, please indicate the number of occurrences in the same semester 

A8. Department offering unit: Insert here the name of the Department which will be in charge of delivering this study-unit

A9. Faculty responsible: Insert here the name of the Faculty which has overall responsibility for the study-unit

A10. Availability to visiting students: Indicate whether this study-unit can be made available to students visiting for a specified period of time.  Year study-units cannot be taken by students who are only visiting for one semester

A11. Estimated student numbers: How many students are expected to register for and follow this study-unit?

A12. Maximum class size: What is the upper limit on the number of students who can register for and follow this study-unit?  In considering this issue, take into account whether the existing resources are sufficient to enable the study-unit to be delivered according to standards acceptable to the University, and to ensure that students are adequately supported and provided for.  In exceptional cases, a maximum number of students may be indicated for particular study-units


Section B - Rationale

B1. Rationale for new unit: Briefly explain the reasons for introducing this study-unit 

B2. From which academic year will this unit become available? Indicate the academic year in which the new or modified study-unit will be offered for the first time

B3. Withdrawals: If the study-unit is being proposed as a replacement for an existing study-unit, please indicate which study-unit is being replaced

B4. By which Departmental or Faculty Committee has this study-unit been approved?  Reference should be made to the dates of respective meetings


Section C - Study-unit details

C1. Name and status of Coordinating Lecturer: Provide the name and status (i.e. senior lecturer, lecturer etc.) of the coordinating lecturer who is responsible for this study-unit.  The coordinating lecturer will normally be a permanent member of staff, who is accessible to students and to whom all queries concerning the study-unit can be addressed.  If lecturing is to be delivered by an occasional lecturer (those without a Council appointment), a curriculum vitae for the individual will need to be forwarded.

Co-lecturers (if any) and status: If more than one lecturer will contribute to the delivery of this study-unit, provide the names and status of each contributing lecturer

C2. Is this study-unit compulsory, elective or optional for any programme of studies? Programmes which include this study-unit are to be grouped into two lists: firstly programmes in which the study-unit is compulsory; secondly, programmes in which the study-unit is an optional or elective element

C3. Pre-requisite qualifications (if any): In the case of study-units taken by students in the first semester of the first year of a course, entry requirements are assumed to be those for entry to the course and need not be given.  For other study-units any requirements additional to entry or normal progression should be stated.  The requirements should be consistent with the aims and level of the study-unit

C4. Pre-requisite study-units (if any): List any study-units for which students are required to have obtained credit or followed prior to registering for the proposed study-unit

C5. Co-requisite study-units (if any): Indicate whether students are required to follow any study-units during the same semester as the proposed unit

C6. Description of this study-unit: A brief statement of the general content of the study-unit is to be provided here.  This statement will be used for any publication purposes related to the programme

C7. Study-unit aims: Provide a brief, but clear, overall impression of the educational purposes of the unit, ensuring that they are consistent with, and contribute to, the aims of the programme(s) of which the unit is a part

C8. Learning Outcomes: These are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of following the study-unit.  In this section, the skills and knowledge which students will acquire or develop during the study-unit should be listed briefly, ensuring that these learning outcomes contribute to the learning outcomes of the overall programme(s) of which the unit forms part. 

C9. Teaching and learning methods: Give details of the teaching and learning methods that will be used for the delivery of this study-unit, which could include the number of sessions which will make use of each method, as well as the duration of each. If the delivery of the study-unit involves blended or online modalities the study-unit will need to be sanctioned by the DEC/PVC sub-committee. In such instances, Appendix B or Appendix C (as appropriate) of the Distance and E-learning Policy must be submitted together with the study-unit approval form

C10. Method of assessment: Indicate which method of assessment will be used for the study-unit.  If the assessment consists of two or more components (e.g. essay and exam) the percentage weighting for each component is to be clearly indicated.  If the assessment consists of an examination, the duration of this examination should be indicated.  Click here for further guidance and information on assessment at the University of Malta

C11. Main text/s and any supplementary readings: Provide a list of the main text and any supplementary readings for this study-unit, indicating against each entry whether these items are available at the library, and distinguishing clearly between required readings and supplementary readings

Flowchart describing the study-unit approval route for UM courses

A major amendment to a study-unit is one that involves a change in:

  • learning outcomes
  • level of study
  • credit value
  • title due to a change in content
  • mode of delivery (from traditional face-to-face to blended or online)

Where major amendments to a study-unit add up to a substantial change, a new code will be required.  Changes are considered as substantial where, without the new code, the transcript information held in the historical student record could be misleading, or where it is not possible to ensure parity for any student retaking the study-unit in a subsequent year. 

A new code is always required for:

  • a change in the title which signifies a change in content
  • a change in the level of study
  • changes in credit value which are accompanied by a substantial increase or decrease in the content of the study-unit

Similar to revisions to existing programmes of study, changes to existing study-units are to be submitted by the deadlines issued by the Office of the Registrar, in the format specified by APQRU. 

For changes to the mode of delivery please refer to the information which is available under the Online and blended learning tile.