Joint Honours Programmes

The following guidance describes the specific points that ought to be considered in the design, arrangement and provision of this type of programme at the University of Bristol. The guidance should also apply to those programmes that are single honours but are taught jointly by two or more Schools.


1. One of the contributing schools must 'home' the programme; being responsible for the delivery of the programme and application of the relevant regulations as set out in the University's Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.

2. Joint honours programmes should be firmly embedded in the academic disciplines upon which they draw.

3. The home school will lead upon the organisation and arrangements for the programme, but must involve / liaise with the partner schools in such processes, as appropriate.

4. The home school will provide the dedicated administrative support needed to ensure that the student has a coherent experience in terms of administration and teaching; including a dedicated induction, regular cohort meetings attended by the relevant individuals from each of the participating schools; and student handbook for the programme.

5. A programme director should normally be appointed from the home school, although the post may exceptionally be rotated between the partner schools. A named contact in the other School(s) with the authority to contributing and agreeing proposals for developing the programme and enhancing the integrated experience for students will also be identified.

6. Students undertaking a joint honours programme will be attributed an Academic Personal Tutor from the school that homes the programme. The School will also have a designated senior academic member of staff as a contact where the programme is homed in a different School to the student's.

Programme design and structure

7. Joint honours programmes should devote approximately equal balance between two subjects / components and be titled accordingly (i.e. 'A and B’).

8. Such programmes must align with the University's credit framework.

9. All joint programmes should set out the intellectual basis of the programme in the programme specification. Proposals for new joint programmes should explain how the programme will ensure students have an integrated experience.

10. Programmes are encouraged to dedicate some teaching within the curriculum to linking the two component subjects together.

11. Proposals for new or any high risk change to a joint honours programme must be approved by the school teaching committees of all participating schools. The decision to make any low risk change to a programme must be communicated to all participating schools prior to the change being affected.

Quality assurance

12. It is the responsibility of the home school, in consultation and with the involvement of the partner school, to annually review the joint honours programme as part of the Education Action Planning (EAP) process.

13. It is the responsibility of the relevant Faculty Quality Team, in which the home school resides, to assure the quality of the student learning experience specific to a joint honours programme, by considering the feedback of students on the programme, perhaps in a cohort meeting, and by reviewing the impact of programme changes.

14. The board of examiners for a joint honours programme should include academic staff and external examiners from the participating Schools. The board will be organised by the home School and report to its Faculty Board of Examiners.

A checklist of considerations (PDF, 186kB) [pdf 28.5kb] relating to joint honours programmes can be used as an aid to reviewing issues specific to this type of programme.