Types of Collaborative Arrangements

The University has in place a number of partnership arrangements and ensures that the models adopted are in line with sector expectations and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. An overview of the models adopted at Keele is provided below.


Where cohorts of students from an identified course at a feeder institution gain advanced standing for entry towards a named programme at Keele University. The entry criteria and/or volume of credit from a programme/programmes of study at an approved feeder partner to be transferred are pre-determined under the agreement. Keele University is responsible for assuring itself that the standards set and achieved by students at the feeder institution are equivalent to those set and achieved by Keele University students taking the programme and entering at the same stage. Examples of such agreements can include direct entry into the second year or third year of a programme at Keele. The programme at the feeder institution will normally be delivered in English, unless at least two thirds of the students’ programme is taken at Keele. For all undergraduate programmes in which students enter into the final year, the degree classification will be based solely on the students’ performance of the final year at Keele.

At Keele there are two formats of articulation, however only one of these is classed as collaborative provision:

i) Articulation Arrangement with Fast Track Recognition of Prior Learning (Non-Collaborative Provision)

These arrangements are for entry into levels 5 or 6 of a Keele programme, with advanced standing considered through a bespoke Recognition of Prior Learning procedure (RPL). These arrangements are recorded in an institutional agreement with a 5 year term, however the RPL is always considered on an individual student basis and entry is not guaranteed. 

ii) Guaranteed Articulation Agreement (Collaborative Provision)

Guaranteed articulation arrangements are made at institutional level and guarantee students entry into level 5 or 6 with advanced standing. No RPL is required. The student successfully completing the agreed part of the programme at the partner will automatically have the right to progress to Keele, providing the English language requirements have been met. Since progression into a designated Keele programme with advanced standing will be guaranteed, institutional approval is required through the standard procedures set out in the Collaborative Provision Code of Practice. 


This describes an arrangement wherebythe awarding institution delivers a programme either on the home campus or away from the home campus with the help of another organisation. Teaching is carried out by both the awarding institution and the partner. In some cases the external organisation may also provide the facilities in which teaching takes place. In most cases all responsibilities for managing the partnership are covered by the awarding body.

Dual Award (Dual Parchment)

A combined package of study leading to two separate qualifications awarded by two separate awarding bodies. The award titles and learning outcomes for the awards may differ depending on the extent of overlap of programme curricula. In some cases students on a dual award programme may study at both institutions, but this is not a formal requirement. While a dual award programme may be based on an existing programme/s either at the partner or at Keele University, it must be a truly joint initiative, designed and developed by both partners to offer a distinctive learning experience.


This is where an existing Keele programme or award is designed, assessed and quality assured by Keele University but delivered by an approved partner institution. An example of a franchise arrangement is a 3+0 undergraduate taught programme. Successful students graduate with a Keele University award. The partner will usually conduct all teaching and initial marking associated with the programme, with Keele undertaking appropriate induction, development and moderation. The University may delegate the recruitment and selection of students to the partner institution subject to agreed admissions criteria and monitoring arrangements. Keele University remains fully responsible for the quality of the student learning experience and academic standards of the award. For this reason, the University would not normally agree to a serial franchise arrangement.

Joint Award

This is where Keele and one or more other degree-awarding institutions collaborate to design, deliver and assess a programme, and where the student will study in one or all of them. At the end, the student will receive a single award and a single degree certificate, which carries the logos of all contributing institutions. The University may enter into joint awards with other recognised higher education providers under Regulation E.1. Normally, for Keele to wish to be part of a joint award consortium, a distinctive and substantial part of the programme would be provided by Keele.

‘Multiple Award’ - There may be occasions when there may be legal or regulatory impediments and further difficulties with the recognition of a single joint certificate which may not be in the best interest of students having an achievement marked in the way described for a joint award. In this instance students may be awarded two (or more) certificates, one from each awarding body involved. This must however make reference to the other awarding bodies and make clear that they refer to a single, jointly conceived programme. Such an arrangement would be referenced a ‘multiple award’.

Off-Site Delivery Overseas (Including Flying Faculty)

This is where members of University staff provide block teaching, often supplemented by distance and e-learning, in an off-campus location overseas. This may be in collaboration with a local ‘host’ institution which is providing access to resources (IT, classroom) or local academic support. Due to the particular challenges presented by flying faculty arrangements overseas (students studying under Flying Faculty arrangements will be expected to understand and study to UK HE conventions whilst not being immersed in it, and the ability of the University to provide ongoing support at a potentially great distance as well as legal and taxation implications), these arrangements are subject to formal approval by UEC, whether they include 'local host’ arrangements or not.


This is where a programme is developed, delivered and assessed by a partner whilst being awarded and quality assured by Keele University. Keele University is responsible for ensuring the standards of the programme are equivalent to its own programmes. In exceptional circumstances, where the University does not offer a comparable programme, the University will carefully benchmark the standards of the validated programme against comparable programmes offered elsewhere in the UK higher education sector. The approved partner institution is responsible for the design of the programme and quality of the student learning experience.

Split-Site PhD

This is defined as a research degree which leads to a Keele award and involves students being registered for a research degree at Keele whilst spending a significant period of their research away from the University, at another approved institution or organisation, which can, but does not have to be, overseas. All split-site PhDs require a learning agreement between Keele and the student, and a formal agreement between Keele and the partner institution(s). The split-site PhD is used to increase collaborative research and develop international partnerships and is therefore classed as collaborative provision. Programmes which lead to awards from Keele and another institution do not fall into this category but are classed as dual or joint awards instead.

Dual PhD

A dual PhD enables students to receive separate PhD awards from two partner institutions involved in a joint research degree programme, following research undertaken by the student at each institution. In most cases both University’s would administer their own quality assurance, standards and examination and regulatory processes. At the end, the student will receive two awards and two degree certificates, one from each contributing institution. 

Joint PhD

A Joint PhD enables students to receive a single joint PhD for the collaborative research undertaken at two institutions. Both University’s would contribute with a jointly agreed framework for administering quality assurance, standards and examination and regulatory processes. At the end, the student will receive a single award and a single degree certificate, which carries the logos of all contributing institutions. Often the arrangement is characterised by:

-Students meeting the academic requirements of both institutions;

-A joint governance and regulatory framework;

-Joint supervision of students by nominated and qualified staff at both institutions;

-A single degree awarded for one PhD thesis jointly recognised by both partners;

-Certificate indicating there has been joint supervision.