Accreditation of Doctoral Professional Development Courses - Policy statement

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.

Some departments, as well as CDTs and DTPs, provide professional skills training to postgraduate students, complementing the Graduate School’s offer. These 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.

The Accreditation Procedure allows these departments to accredit the training research students have undertaken and gain the required credit(s).

Applying for Graduate School accreditation

Please note that there are two separate routes for departments and programmes to apply for accreditation. Expand the accordions below to find out which form you should complete.

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Departmentally organised courses for cohorts e.g., CDT/DTP programmes

In these cases, the Accreditation requests can only be made for specific cohorts of students, for professional development courses they provide as part of their doctoral programme.

The request for Accreditation should include the following information:

  • Course programme and/or agenda
  • Hours/duration
  • Dates
  • Mode of delivery
  • Learning outcomes
  • Design & materials e.g., slides, hand-outs etc.
  • Summary report of student feedback
  • A list of students who completed the course; included should be full student name, CID and Imperial email address.
  • Any other relevant information that may be useful (e.g., course certification)

*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 Coordinator, Kelly Hayes on an annual basis.

This information should be submitted via the Course Accreditation Application Form.

For all other support services departments/units

For all other Imperial support services departments/units wishing to accredit their own courses to become embedded in the Graduate School’s Professional Development Programme

Other general courses which are organised and delivered by other support services or departments within Imperial College (e.g., Enterprise Lab, ICT, Public Engagement Office, specialised GTA training) may also apply for accreditation. These courses will be then linked to and highlighted from the Graduate School website to promote student registrations, if appropriate.

The request for Accreditation should include the following information:

  • Name of tutor(s)
  • Programme and/or agenda
  • Hours/duration
  • Schedule of delivery (dates planned)
  • Mode of delivery
  • Learning outcomes
  • Design & materials e.g. slides, hand-outs etc.
  • Method for collecting and using student feedback.
  • Method(s) for students to book on the course(s) - if this will be managed by GS using Inkpath, please explain.
  • Method and schedule to be used to inform the Graduate School the list of students who completed the course(s) so can be added in their transcript.
  • Any other relevant information that may be useful (eg. course certification)
This information should be submitted via the Course Accreditation Application – Open courses Form.

Key criteria for evaluating courses requesting accreditation

  • Learning Outcomes – The LOs of the course will be considered and assessed alongside the LOs 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 Pedagogy will review the LOs to ensure that they fit with the Imperial College’s Graduate School aims.
  • Duration of course – this will be considered to ensure that it is appropriate and that all learning outcomes can be/were 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 LOs.
  • Course Level - Graduate School courses have an assigned level, defined around interactivity, pre-knowledge and collaboration and serve as a guideline to students before booking onto a course. The accreditation process will also evaluate the course against these predetermined levels.
  • Course feedback – the course should have in place a process for collecting feedback from students so course tutors/providers can learn how to improve later delivery. When the course applying to accredit was already delivered, a summary report of the student feedback collected should be attached to the application.

Once a request for accreditation has been received, the Graduate School’s Manager of Administration will pass them to the appropriate Graduate School Programme Leader for consideration. The GS Programme Leader 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 Pedagogy before ratification is sought from the Strategic Planning and Operations Committee (SPOC).

Accredited courses due to run annually are required to submit the evaluation/feedback collected from students every year to the Graduate School.

The Graduate School will maintain a database of all courses which are granted accreditation.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the accreditation process, please contact Dr Magdalena Jara, Principal Teaching Fellow & Head of Pedagogy.