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Have your say on 12 new Subject Benchmark Statements - consultation now open

Date: September 21 - 2022

Higher education staff and students, employers and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) are invited to respond to a consultation on 12 draft Subject Benchmark Statements, which have been reviewed by expert Subject Advisory Groups with the support of QAA.

Subject Benchmark Statements describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific subject areas. They show what graduates might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their studies.

They are intended to fulfil a range of purposes - including as reference points in the design, delivery and review of academic courses. They also sit alongside a suite of resources such as the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Qualifications and Credit Frameworks and Characteristics Statements in supporting aligned approaches to quality across the UK nations.

QAA leads the development of Subject Benchmark Statements and reviews them on a cyclical basis to ensure they continue to serve as useful points of reference for their respective discipline communities. To ensure each review considers a diverse and broad spectrum of intelligence, opinion and experience, each Subject Benchmark Statement is reviewed by an Advisory Group comprising members of the academic community, employers, PSRBs and students.

Alongside discipline-specific information, the revised Statements consider the role of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), enterprise and entrepreneurship, and accessibility for disabled students within the context of the respective discipline area.

The Subject Benchmark Statements open for consultation are:

  • Biomedical Science and Biomedical Sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Business and Management Undergraduate
  • Business and Management Postgraduate
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Languages, Cultures and Societies
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology

Consultations for Anthropology, English and Osteopathy will be published later in the 2022-23 academic year.

Dr Ailsa Crum, Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards at QAA said: ‘The Subject Benchmark Statements are an important part of the suite of sector-wide reference points for which QAA acts as custodian. Regular review of these Statements in collaboration with academic subject experts and key stakeholders, including students and PSRBs helps to ensure they remain an accurate and contemporary reflection of study in the respective fields.

‘I would like to express my thanks to all the members of the Subject Advisory Groups who have supported us in the review of each of these Statements and welcome a wide range of contributions through the consultation.’

How to respond

The consultation documents are published on our consultation web page and responses should be submitted via the online survey for each Statement.

The closing date for responses is Wednesday 2 November at 6pm and we plan to publish the final Statements in Spring 2023.

Call for expressions of interest for Chairs and Deputy Chairs for 12 Subject Benchmark Statements

QAA recently opened expressions of interest for Chairs and Deputy Chairs for the 12 Subject Benchmark Statements due to be reviewed in 2023.

QAA carries out this work on Subject Benchmark Statements in our role as a membership organisation. This activity will continue once we have demitted our role in England as the Designated Quality Body.