Responsibility and organization of the quality assurance work – University of Copenhagen

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Responsibility and organization of the quality assurance work

As appears from the Statutes of the University of Copenhagen, the responsibility for the study programmes, including quality assurance, lies with the dean, who, in cooperation with the faculty’s departments, study boards and heads of studies, is responsible for the quality assurance.

Policy and strategies

The strategic objectives for quality assurance of study programmes can be found in the University’s strategy and target plan. These are drawn up by the Faculty in a strategy and annual focus areas for the Faculty of Social Sciences. Read more on strategy and focus areas for the Faculty of Social Sciences here.

The Faculty of Social Science’s quality system

The Faculty of Social Science’s quality system consists of the following areas:

The guidelines and descriptions of the sub-elements of the quality-assurance system in the Faculty of Social Sciences are listed under each area.

This quality-assurance system covers all of the faculty’s bachelor, master’s and professional master’s programmes.

Quality culture

The faculty’s quality culture is based on the values that underpin the quality of education and the quality culture at the University of Copenhagen.

The faculty is responsible for the ongoing assurance and enhancement of the quality of study programmes, teaching and learning. Quality assurance consists of a trusting and constructive collaboration between lecturers, students, the administration and management, as part of which everyone shares responsibility for the continued assurance and enhancement of the quality of the study programmes.

The faculty’s interdisciplinary co-ordination

The faculty’s interdisciplinary co-ordination of the quality-assurance work is done in the following faculty forums:

The faculty’s policy for the quality assurance of study programmes and guidelines for quality assurance are developed in the Heads of Studies Forum and the Programme Co-ordinators Forum, and approved by the dean.
Monitoring and follow-up on the implementation of policies, guidelines and procedures on the education area also take place here. 

The faculty’s strategic educational initiatives, e.g. education portfolios, are approved by the dean following discussions in the Faculty Management Team and the Heads of Studies Forum.

The head of studies, study board and study administration implement the quality-assurance work at department level. The lecturers – in dialogue with students – implement it in the study programmes.

The faculty’s departments and study boards

The faculty has five departments:

  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Economics

A study board is linked to each of the five social science departments. Each study board covers several study programmes. There is also a study board for the Global Development programme, which is a joint programme involving two departments.

Read more about the faculty’s six study boards here.

The faculty's programmes

The Department of Anthropology:

  • Bachelor programme in anthropology (BSc in Anthropology)
  • MSc in Anthropology in Danish and English
  • Professional Master in Health Anthropology (MAS)

The Department of Psychology:

  • Bachelor programme in Psychology (BSc in Psychology)
  • Master’s programme in Psychology in Danish

The Department of Sociology:

  • Bachelor programme in Sociology (BSc in Sociology)
  • MSc in Sociology in Danish and English

The Department of Political Science:

  • Bachelor programme in Social Science (BSocSc in Social Science)
  • Bachelor programme in Political Science (BSc in Political Science)
  • Master’s programme in Social Science in Danish
  • MSc in Security and Risk Management in English
  • Master’s programme in Political Science in Danish

The Department of Economics:

  • Bachelor’s programme in economics (BSc in Economics)
  • MSc in Economics in Danish and English

The Department of Economics and Department of Anthropology:

  • MSc in global development in English

Responsibility

The dean

The dean has overall responsibility for the faculty’s study programmes, including their quality assurance. Part of the dean's responsibility is to delegate duties relating to the assurance and enhancement of educational quality to the most appropriate units and individuals.

The dean is responsible for ensuring that, at any time, updated procedure descriptions and/or other relevant documents are available for each sub-area, and that relevant individuals and/or bodies in the departments and in the faculty secretariat are involved in the proposal and informed about additions or significant changes to such documents.

The dean is responsible for:

  • constructive alignment between research, education and research-based public-sector services
  • the quality of education, teaching and research-based public-sector services
  • interdisciplinary quality enhancement of the faculty’s programmes, research and     research-based public-sector services

The dean appoints all permanent members of academic staff. The associate dean of education assists and advises the dean within the field of education.

Head of department

The head of department is responsible for assuring the quality and constructive alignment of the department’s research, education and teaching, including the development of the research and education environment. The head of department is responsible for the day-to-day management of the department and for the prioritisation and allocation of resources in the department. The head of department reports to the dean and the Rector, and is responsible for ensuring that the department is managed in accordance with the latest legislation and rules, the general guidelines, and any specific decisions of the Rector and the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The head of department has HR responsibility for all employees in the department, including the head of studies. The head of department is responsible for the lecturers’ academic and educational skills development and performance and development reviews.

With the participation of the study board and the head of studies, the head of department follows up on evaluations of study programmes and teaching.

Study boards

Under the University Act, the study boards are responsible for the organisation, implementation and development of study programmes and teaching, including:

  1. assuring and enhancing the quality of education and teaching, and following up on the programme and course evaluations
  2. developing proposals for and amendments to curricula
  3. approving plans for the organisation of teaching, tests and other forms of assessment included in exams
  4. processing applications for credit transfers, including credits transferred in advance and exemptions, and
  5. discussing all matters of importance to education and teaching within its area, including issues presented by the Rector

Head of studies

The head of studies is the academic head of one or more study programmes and is responsible for their quality.
The heads of studies are involved in any and all tasks in relation to quality assurance on the study programmes.

The head of studies reports to the associate dean for education on overarching educational questions. In all other matters, the head of studies reports to the head of department at the department at which (s)he is employed. The head of studies of the department's study programmes is a member of the department's management team. The Head of Studies of the MSc in Global Development serves on a separate committee together with the Head of Department at the Department of Anthropology and the Head of Department at the Department of Economics. Several heads of studies are in charge of more than one study programme. The panel of employer representatives acts as sparring partner to the head of department and the head of studies.

The head of studies’ duties are delegated by the dean. At the Faculty of Social Sciences, the chair of the study board acts as head of studies. In co-operation with the study board, the head of studies undertakes the practical organisation of the study programme, the teaching, the tests and other forms of assessment that form part of the exams.
The head of studies is responsible for developing the study programme and the teaching in accordance with the University of Copenhagen's general policy on the study programmes as well as on the basis of the latest research within the field of the study programme and the development on the labour market in order to permanently being able to ensure the quality of the study programme and contribute to the link between research and education.

The faculty director, department administrator and director of studies

The faculty director has the overall responsibility for the faculty’s administrative organisation. The faculty director is the head of the faculty secretariat and acts as liaison between the faculty secretariat and the departments’ administrative management, in collaboration with, among others, the Administrators’ Forum (forum for department administrators).

The department administrators and director of studies are responsible for ensuring that the administrative system supports and generates constructive alignment between the board’s policy, the faculty management and the administrative system.

Student involvement

The faculty facilitates student representation in a number of forums that deal with subjects relevant to the quality assurance of education. These are:

In addition, the faculty also has student political forums, e.g. the study councils, which have the opportunity (but no obligation) to discuss subjects relevant to the quality of education.

The organisational diagram of student organisations in the faculty can be found here (in Danish).