1. Responsibility for the course


1.1. Role of Education Committee

Education Committee has overall responsibility for the educational philosophy, policy and standards of all teaching, learning, and assessment (including all aspects of the practical arrangements for examination, in consultation with the Proctors), and the oversight of the standards of the degrees awarded across the University1.

1.2. Role of the division

The division2 is responsible for the oversight of the organisation, development, and delivery of curricula (including postgraduate taught courses), in collaboration with the colleges and PPHs and in consultation with the departments in the division3. It is also responsible for the maintenance of educational quality and standards in the broad subject area.

1.3. Role of the department

The responsibility for the organisation and delivery of a postgraduate taught course rests with the department. Specific arrangements may vary between departments. In some areas responsibility will be shared between a graduate studies committee and a Director of Graduate Studies who will undertake his or her duties as the chair of that committee. In other areas, the course will be managed on behalf of a department by an organising committee and/or by a course director or course organiser. In certain matters a Director of Graduate Studies or a course director/course organiser may be expected to maintain oversight or to take action in his or her own right, and in those cases reference to the graduate studies committee or to an organising committee is not included. The term ‘responsible body’ is used throughout this document to refer to the committee or individual to which the department has agreed that responsibility for that element of the course should be given. Departments must be specific about exactly who is responsible for each element, and ensure that this is clearly articulated to staff and students.

1.4. Role of the colleges

Because at graduate level responsibility for organisation and delivery of a course rests with the department , the role of the colleges is primarily supportive. Each (matriculated) student will be allocated a college advisor, who is an academic member of his or her college, usually a Fellow. The college advisor should not also be the student’s departmental supervisor. The role of the college advisor is additional and complementary to that provided in the student’s department. The college advisor is not expected to perform the role of the department supervisor(s), or to be responsible for directing students’ academic work. Rather, the college advisor provides a focal point for an individual student’s relationship with the college, and general academic or pastoral advice and assistance throughout the student’s course of study. Conference of Colleges has published a standard role description for the college advisor role.


[1]Council Regulations 15 of 2002, Part 2, http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/regulations/520-122aa.shtml
[2] With the exception of the Department for Continuing Education, which has oversight of its own courses
[3] Council Regulations 17 of 2002, http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/regulations/522-122.shtml