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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Subject Benchmark review 2013-16

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In order to ensure the continuing currency of Subject Benchmark Statements, QAA initiates regular reviews of their content. The current round of review ​began in October 2013 and ended in 2016. We are keen to seek feedback from users of Benchmark Statements and others with an interest in higher education to inform this. We welcome feedback about any aspect which needs updating in individual Statements. This should be sent to via our contact us form. Any feedback received will be taken into consideration when deciding how individual Statements need to be revised.​

During the course of the review process, we will contact professional, statutory and regula​tory bodies along with any subject associations and networks with an invitation to be involved in the review of the relevant Benchmark Statement. If you would like to signal a particular interest in this, please send appropriate contact details to the address above.
Development of new Statements will continue during the course of the review.​

Phases of the Review

The Subject Benchmark review will consist of a pilot and 3 phases​​. The final phase,  Phase 3 began on 1 July 2015 and finished in July 2016.

​​​Please note that these dates may be subject to changes depending on the scale of the review process for individual subjects. All Statements listed in the Pilot Phase, Phase 1 and Phase 2 are scheduled to be published by the end of July 2015.

Pilot Phase

This phase covers the following Statements:



Phase 1

This phase covers the following Statements:​



Architectural technology


Early Childhood Studies

Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies





Housing Studies


Theology and religious studies​

Phase 2

This phase covers the following Statements:


Biomedical science


Classics and ancient history


Dance, drama and performance

Education studies

General Business and Management

Languages and related studies


Librarianship and information management


Master's Business and management

Mathematics, statistics and operational research (to include Math Annex)



Politics and International relations

Social Policy and Administration

Phase 3

This phase covers the following Statements​:​

Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences

Area studies

Art and design

Communication, media, film and cultural studies

Construction, property and surveying

Health studies

History of art, architecture and design

Hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism

Landscape Architecture



Physics, astronomy and astrophysics


Social Work


Town and country planning


Youth and community work

Review Process​​

Assembly of a representative benchmark review group

The group reflects the subject as it is taught within UK higher education, taking into account different approaches to teaching (for example, if it can be taught with either a vocational or academic slant). It represents the different types of higher education provider offering the subject and will have broad geographical representation, but it may not be feasible to include members from all four UK nations on every group. Each group also includes employers of graduates in the subject.

The benchmark review groups will be able to draw upon feedback from a student reader, who has considered the readability and accessibility of the existing Statement.​

Assessment of level of revision required

The focus of the first meeting of the benchmark review group will be to determine whether and in what ways the Statement needs to be revised. Depending on the revision required, the group may meet again, or changes may be agreed by correspondence.

If a group decides no change to the Statement is needed, it will be reformatted and published with a note confirming no changes were made.


If any changes are made to the statement, there will be an eight-week public consultation, publicised through our website. Following the consultation the benchmark review group may make further amendments taking into account the feedback received.

Final publication

QAA will announce the publication of the revised Statement in our Newsroom​ and by circular letter and the S​​tatement will be made available on the QAA website.

​If you would like to express interest in being a member of a review group please contact us.