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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Part A: Setting and Maintaining Academic Standards

​​​​​Academic standards are the standards that individual degree awarding bodies set and maintain for the award of their academic credit or qualifications. The Quality Code sets out​ Expectations which higher education providers are required to meet to ensure that academic standards​ are set and maintained.​​​

Qualifications Frameworks

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (Qualifications Frameworks​) are part of the Quality Code - Part A: Setting and Maintaining Academic Standards. 

There is one framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and a separate one for Scotland. Both are combined in the one publication. 

The Qualifications Frameworks describe the achievement represented by higher education qualifications. They apply to degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic awards granted by a higher education provider with degree awarding powers.

Characteristics Statements

Qualification Characteristics Statements​ describe the distinctive features of qualifications at a particular level within the Qualifications Frameworks.

Credit Frameworks​

The national Credit Frameworks​ are part of the Quality Code - Part A: Setting and Maintaining Academic Standards.

​Credit is a means of quantifying and recognising learning whenever and wherever it is achieved. It can be used as a tool to compare learning achieved in different contexts. 

Subject Benchmark Statements

Subject Benchmark Statements​​ are part of the Quality Code - Part A: Setting and Maintaining Academic Standards.

Subject Benchmark Statements set out expectations about standards of degrees in a range of subject areas. They describe what gives a discipline its coherence and identity, and define what can be expected of a graduate in terms of the abilities and skills needed to develop understanding or competence in the subject.​