Graduate School Accreditation of Doctoral Professional Development Courses
The College requires all doctoral students (PhD, MD[Res] and EngD), to achieve a minimum of four Graduate School credits, by the Late Stage Review (LSR), in order to satisfy the Professional Development Attendance Requirement. Credits should be accumulated as follows:
- By the Early Stage Assessment (ESA) - 2 credits
- By the Late Stage Review (LSR) - a further 2 credits
Further information about course types and the credits attributed to them can be found on the Graduate School’s attendance requirement webpage.
The Graduate School provides a broad range of courses for students to choose from, but it is recognised that some departments, and in particular the College’s CDTs and DTPs, also provide professional skills training to students. Such courses may be delivered internally by members of academic staff, academic staff within partner HEIs, external consultants, funding bodies, employers of Imperial Graduates or industry representatives.
Where students undertake professional skills training elsewhere there is a process to accredit this training and offer exemption for part or all of the Early Stage Assessment professional skills training requirement. It should be noted that should students receive full exemption from this requirement they must still complete two Graduate School courses by the Late Stage Assessment. This is to ensure that students benefit from interacting with other students across College and to facilitate the development of cohorts.
Applying for Accreditation of Doctoral Professional Development Courses
Accreditation and exemption requests can only be made by staff for specific cohorts of students, for professional development courses they provide as part of their doctoral programme.
The following material should be submitted along with the online Non-Graduate School Course Accreditation Application Form to the Graduate School’s Manager of Administration,
- Course date, programme/agenda
- Course learning outcomes
- Course material, including slides, handouts etc.
- A list of all students attending the course*
*If the course is due to be delivered on an annual basis, a list of students taking the course should be sent to the Graduate School’s Professional Development Programmes Manager, Kelly Hayes, each year.
Once this information has been received, the Graduate School’s Manager of Administration will pass them to the appropriate Graduate School Programme Lead for consideration. The GS Programme Lead will consider the course material, deciding whether accreditation and the level of that accreditation, should be recommended. All comments and feedback will then be passed on to the Head of Postgraduate Professional Development before ratification is sought from the Course Quality and Strategic Development Committee (CQSD).
Please note that if your course is due to run annually, you will be required to re-submit all course material for review every three years. The accreditation documentation will be subject to the same process as above. The Graduate School’s Manager of Administration will write to inform you of the date of the review.
The Graduate School will maintain a database of all courses approved, including the expected review date and a list of students who have received exemption. Should additional requests for exemption relating to this particular course be received, exemption will be granted to students on the same terms and until such time that the course is reviewed.
The list of accredited courses will be presented annually to the Postgraduate Professional Development Committee (PPDC).
All applications will be assessed according to the following criteria,
- Learning Outcomes – The learning outcomes of the course you are applying to accredit will be considered and assessed alongside the learning outcomes of the equivalent Graduate School course. If the course you are applying to accredit does not map to the Graduate School’s programme, the Head of Postgraduate Professional Development will review the learning outcomes to ensure that they fit with the ethos of Postgraduate Professional Development at Imperial College.
- Duration of course – Course duration will be considered to ensure that it is appropriate for the programme and that all learning outcomes can be met within the timeframe specified.
- Mode of Delivery – The mode of delivery is an important consideration when designing learning activities that will support students to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to meet the intended learning outcomes. As such, this will be taken into account as part of the review process.
- Course Level - All Graduate School courses have an assigned level*. These levels are defined around interactivity, pre-knowledge and input during the session and serve as a guideline to students before booking onto the session. The course you are applying to accredit will also be evaluated against the predetermined levels.
- Cohort Size – to ensure that class size is appropriate for the mode of delivery, to ensure the intended learning outcomes are deliverable etc., please ensure that the cohort size is specified on the application form.
- Certification – If the course you are applying to accredit has certification, please ensure that it is included in the supplementary information. Any additional endorsement will assist in assessing whether the course conforms to the requirements specified above.
*Further information about the course levels can be found on the Graduate School's website.
All members of the Graduate School’s Professional Development Unit are highly trained and are exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable in the field of postgraduate professional development. Based on the information you provide; they have the background and expertise required to gauge whether a course fits with the ethos of the programme and can be mapped against existing professional development opportunities offered by the Graduate School.
Review of Accredited Courses
The review of accredited courses will normally take place every three years and will take the form of an evaluation of the most recent course material, programme and learning outcomes.
The Graduate School’s Manager of Administration will contact the relevant member of staff to ascertain whether the course is still running and if so, to request the most up-to-date information.
Once the information has been received, the Graduate School’s Manager of Administration will pass them to the appropriate Graduate School Programme Lead for consideration. The GS Programme Lead will consider the course material, deciding whether accreditation and the level of that accreditation, should be recommended. All comments and feedback will then be passed on to the Head of Postgraduate Professional before ratification is sought from the Course Quality and Strategic Development Committee (CQSD). The Committee will review the material and decide whether or not to accredit the course for a further three years and re-confirm exemption.
If you have any questions or queries regarding the accreditation process, please contact Bethan Ritchie, Manager of Graduate School Administration.
Please click on the following link and complete the online form.
The Graduate School will contact you once a decision has been made.