Centre for Academic Planning and Quality Assurance
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Academic planning refers to the planning and design of new academic programmes at SU.
These are new programmes that are not ​​currently on the Programme and Qualifications Mix (PQM) of the University. These programmes have to undergo an internal approval process as well as an external approval process consisting of approval by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), accreditation by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registration by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Programme review, re-design and renewal refer to major or minor changes to existing programmes offered by SU.

big grey.pngMajor Changes

Major changes to an existing qualification/programme on the PQM of SU include any of the following changes:

  1. The title of a qualification;
  2. The rationale, purpose, exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria of a programme;
  3. An increase or decrease in the total credit value of a programme;
  4. The programme design, including adding new modules and/or changing the credit value of existing modules that influence the total credit value of the programme;
  5. The CESM codes assigned to modules that impact on the 50% rule applicable to the use of designators and qualifiers;
  6. The mode of provision​ (applicable when amending face-to-face to distance learning);

Major changes are often the result of new developments in disciplines, fields of study or domains of practices. Professional bodies (statutory and non-statutory) may also introduce new professional standards that may result in significant changes to an existing programme offered by SU.

Major changes to an existing programme, as outlined in a Programme Specification (Form A) should​ be submitted to the Programme Advisory Committee, Academic Planning Committee and Senate for consideration and approval. External approval from the DHET, accreditation from the CHE and re-registration of the qualification with SAQA are also needed.

XS tag.pngMinor Changes

Minor changes to an existing qualification/programme (including its modules) on the PQM of SU include any of the following changes:

  1. Redefining the name of the module(s);
  2. Redefining the description of the module(s) content;
  3. Redefining the credit value of module(s) based on changes to the module content (less than a 50% change only);
  4. Redefining the learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria of module(s) in an existing programme;
  5. Redefining the rules of combination within the programme design of an existing programme (i.e. pre-requisites and co-requisites);
  6. Revising the mode of delivery and provisioning from face-to-face contact-based to hybrid learning.
  7. Implementation of a new hybrid learning module.

Minor changes to existing module(s) of a programme on the PQM of SU are considered by the Programme Advisory Committee, Academic Planning Committee and Senate. A module specification (Form B) must be completed for each module. Where several modules of an existing programme are revised, a programme review, re-design and renewal specification (Form C) must be completed.

Please refer to the workflow for the internal and external approval process on the development of new academic programmes to obtain more information on the approval, accreditation and registration of a new academic programmes from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) respectively.​

Click click.png for access to all curriculum templates, insitutional dates and resources for the planning of a module (Form B).

In the table below, a distinction is made between new academic programmes, major and minor changes to existing programmes. For additional resources on any of the aspects listed in this table, please click on the hyperlink in the table.  Please take note that some resources are currently being developed or revised and will be made available as soon as possible.


CHE Pr​​​ogramme Accredi​t​ation​

Crite​rion 1: Program​me Design ​New
Qualifi​cation Type​ guide.png
NQF Level​ guide.png
Level Descriptors  guide.png
Credits and Credit Values​ guide.png
Minimum Duration​ guide.png
Mode of Provision​ guide.png
Research credits
Work place based learning  
Professional body requirements  
Programme in relation to SU vision and mission  
Rationale and justification of programme  
Purpose of the programme  
Programme outcomes & associated assessment criteria (AAC)  
Programme structure  
Rules of combination  
International comparability  
Criterion 2: Student recruitment, admission and ​selection ​New
Admission criteria
Selection criteria
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT)
Criterion 3 + 4: Staff ​New
Staff qualifications, size and seniority
Criterion 5: Learning and Teaching Strategy ​New
Teaching and learning strategy for programme
Hybrid learning strategy for programme
Academic support
Student feedback
Criterion 6: Assessment ​New
Assessment strategy for programme
Assessment plan for the programme
Internal and external moderation
Integrity of assessment practices
Criterion 7: Infrastructure and Library resources ​New
Teaching and learning facilities
IT infrastructure and library resources
Criterion 8: Programme administrative services ​New
Administrative support
Programme leader
Learner analytics
Integrity of processes leading to certification
Criterion 9: Postgraduate policies, procedures and regulation ​New
Approval of research proposals
Appointment of supervisors and examiners
Workload models
Monitoring quality supervision
Academic support of postgraduate students
Postgraduate assessment
Research staff development
Criterion 10: Financial Viab​ili​ty ​New
Enrolment targets
Programme comparison
Student fees
Direct expenses
Impact on human resources