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QAA Subject Benchmark Statements Advisory Groups


QAA leads the development of Subject Benchmark Statements. These Statements are reviewed on a cyclical basis to ensure they are as useful as possible for discipline communities and can inform a range of purposes across the sector, including course design and providing support for securing academic standards.


In 2021, we are inviting expressions of interest from the academic community, employers, professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) and students to join the subject advisory groups for the subjects outlined below.


Subject Benchmark Statements
SUBJECT AND CHAIR
ArchaeologyProfessor Chris Gerrard, Professor in the Department of Archaeology, University of Durham Chair, Universities Archaeology UK
Chemistry (BSc and MSc/MSci/MChem)Professor Lizzy Ostler, Professor of Chemical Biology, University of Brighton
Classics and Ancient History (including Byzantine Studies and Modern Greek)Professor Helen Lovatt, Professor of Classics, University of Nottingham Chair, Council of University Classical Departments
Computing and Computing (Master's)Dr Alan Hayes, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, University of Bath
Counselling and Psychotherapy (BA &MA)Dr Peter Pearce, Faculty Head for the faculty of Applied Social and Organisational Sciences Metanoia Institute
CriminologyProfessor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Teesside University
Early Childhood StudiesPhilippa Thompson, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University Chair, Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network
Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental StudiesDr Sian Davies-Vollum, Head of School Built and Natural Environment, University of Derby Executive Secretary of Universities Geoscience UK
Forensic ScienceBrian Rankin, Honorary Chair of Quality Standards, The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
GeographyDr Graham Bird, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University
HistoryProfessor Elaine Fulton, Professor of History Education, Director of Education, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham
Housing StudiesProfessor Isobel Anderson, Chair in Housing Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences University of Stirling
Theology and Religious StudiesDr Hannah Bacon, Associate Professor in Feminist Theology and Head of Theology & Religious Studies, University of Chester

Advisory group selection and membership


Each Chair, working with QAA, is responsible for selecting advisory group members. To allow us and the Chairs to appoint sufficiently representative and diverse groups, we want to collate lists of candidates for each subject.


Our aim is for the membership of each advisory group to represent the diversity of the UK higher education sector, cover the four countries of the UK, and be appropriately balanced between academic and professional practice, where relevant to the subject. Please note that academic representatives will only be drawn from higher education providers who are QAA Members. A major benefit of being a QAA Member is the opportunity to shape and inform our policies, standards and sector benchmarks, of which Subject Benchmark Statements are a key aspect. Membership of advisory groups may also include:

  • different types of providers (including different methods of programme delivery and different subject specialism)  
  • industry or employer groups (where applicable for the subject)
  • professional, statutory and regulatory bodies 
  • representatives of the principal subject association(s) and/or network(s), and  
  • a former student, student body or an organisation representing the interests of students in the subject area.

For subject areas where apprenticeship standards exist, it may also be helpful to include a member of the relevant Apprenticeships Trailblazer group.


Expectations and commitment


Your provider/employer will need to release you for between two to three advisory group meetings during normal working hours (9am to 5pm). These meetings will usually be no longer than three hours. We will also require group members to draft, write and review text outside of group meetings, and there may be some out-of-session communications. The review period of existing Subject Benchmark Statements usually takes between six and nine months, so you will need to make a commitment to the time period of the review. There is no remuneration for a role on a QAA advisory group. Initial advisory group meetings will take place virtually. If future meetings are able to take place in person, then QAA will reimburse travel costs.


Additions to the Statements


QAA is committed to ensuring the Statements reflect developments in the subject communities and agendas in the higher education sector. The revised statements will include consideration of the following topics, so we are keen to hear from the academic community who have both subject expertise and awareness or experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Education for sustainable development  
  • Equality, diversity and inclusivity - with a focus both on inclusion in the context of curriculum content and student characteristics
  • Accessibility and the requirements of disabled students
  • Enterprise and/or entrepreneurship education.

How to submit an expression of interest

If you would like to discuss your possible involvement, please contact Amy Spencer, Quality and Standards Development Officer, QAA, at: a.spencer@qaa.ac.uk


To submit an expression of interest, please complete our online survey and return to us by Friday 12 March, 5pm. We will then select the groups with the Chairs, and let you know whether you have a place on the relevant group by 26 March 2021.


A MS Word version of the survey questions is available below to help you prepare your responses in advance.