My experience on a Programme Approval Panel | Orion Hall-Turner & Lizzie Wakelin

Being on a Programme Approval Panels is a fantastic way to get involved at Roehampton.

They’re an opportunity to have your say about an existing course’s modules, assignments, and teaching – or even approve an entirely new course!

We caught up with Orion Hall-Turner, final year Journalism student, and Lizzie Wakelin, 3rd year Dance student, to hear about their experiences of being a part of this process, what’s involved and what they learnt.


Orion – Final Year Journalism Student 

At the start of the day, you’ll meet the other members of the panel, who will include staff members at the University who you might know, as well as academics from different universities all across the country, which is really exciting.

You and the panel will then meet with the person proposing the course if you’re approving a new course, and the Head of Department. Next, you’ll meet the programme team, before a private meeting of the panel to discuss whether you want to approve the course. Finally, the programme team will be given some feedback, including whether the programme has been approved to run or re-run, and if there are any conditions to the programme running, like making essential adjustments.

As a member of the panel, I got to ask questions on a whole range of topics, and I was part of the final decision about whether to approve a new course. I also worked with other panel members to discuss potential issues or adjustments on the programme and how changes could be put in place to make it a course as brilliant as all the others offered at Roehampton. I made a real difference by influencing how a new course would be run and being involved in huge decisions and important discussions made me feel very included in how the University operates.

Getting involved with University life is so important, and approval panels are no exception. You can make a difference to courses that Roehampton offer, spend time with academics from lots of Universities – and it looks great on your CV, too, which is always a plus. You get to have meaningful conversations, give back to the University, and know you made a difference.

Lizzie – 3rd year Dance student

Programme Approval panels are always made up of a member of the student voice, and I was selected as a part of my duties as a Department Rep.

Before the panel convened, each member of the panel received documentation regarding the subjects proposed. This paperwork includes the course specification as well as the details for every proposed module, so I recommend taking some time out before the day to give those a read through.

On the day of the meeting, you will meet with your fellow panellists to discuss the points they will bring forward and what everyone thought of the paperwork. Then, you’ll meet the programme team (proposing the course) and once this meeting ends, the panellists meet once more to make a decision to approve or deny the proposed plan.

Being a part of Programme Approval Panel was an amazing learning experience as it enabled me to hold an important role and speak on behalf of other students at the University. It was great to have the opportunity to network with other members of the University from different departments and has allowed me to gain confidence in public speaking and discussion-based conversations.

If you’d like to get involved in a programme approval panel, whether you’re in a student leadership role or you want to shape Roehampton, you can get in contact with Helena Schofield at the RSU (

The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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