Analytic Quality Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-17, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 3 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2017.

 

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Dual degree


core definition

A dual degree is an award made by two or more higher education institutions for a single study programme.


explanatory context

Dual degrees are a form of dual award that derives from dual or double programmes.

 

Joint degrees should be distinguished from joint degrees.


analytical review

Hunger and Skalbergs (2007, p. 41) describe a double degree as follows:

Double degree is specified as one or more separate degrees, awarded by two or more institutions after graduation from one jointly agreed programme, and, while the number of degrees depends on the study phases at chosen partner institutions and can differ from the total number of partner institutions, it is complemented and explained by a Diploma Supplement.


The UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2010, p. 82) refers to 'dual awards' and confusingly to 'dual/double or multiple awards', which despite the same label differ in whether the programme is delivered jointly or not:

Dual award describes collaborative arrangements under which two or more awarding institutions together provide programmes leading to separate awards being granted by both, or all of them.

Dual/double or multiple awards describes collaborative arrangements under which two or more awarding institutions together provide a jointly-delivered programme (or programmes) leading to separate awards being granted by both, or all, of them.

 

The UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2014, pp. 8–9) provides an update in a consultation document that describes the different forms of joint award as follows:

Joint qualification

This is defined as an arrangement under which two or more degree-awarding bodies jointly develop and deliver a single programme (whether taught or research) leading to a single qualification awarded jointly by both, or all, participants. The degree-awarding bodies pool their awarding powers to award one qualification together. A single certificate or document (signed by the competent authorities) attests to the successful completion of this jointly delivered programme, replacing the separate institutional or national qualifications. The defining characteristic here is that this is a joint enterprise from conception to implementation and award.

Double/multiple qualification

This is defined as an arrangement where two or more degree-awarding bodies jointly develop and deliver a single programme (whether taught or research) leading to separate qualifications (and separate certification) being granted by both, or all, of them. In some cases, the partners agree to award the same qualification but to issue separate certificates. Each certificate and/or transcript or record of achievement or Diploma Supplement indicates that a jointly delivered single programme is leading to two or more qualifications of the participant partners. Double and multiple qualifications have generally been developed as a result of legal impediments, in some jurisdictions, to a single joint qualification, or as a result of difficulties with the recognition of the certificate and transcript of a single joint qualification.

Dual qualification

This is defined as an arrangement where two separate degree-awarding bodies jointly design a programme of study comprising a joint curriculum, which diverges at a given point leading to two entirely separate qualifications awarded individually by the two degree- awarding bodies (and which may be at different levels). The qualifications attest to the successful completion of programmes, with separate programme outcomes. Each degree- awarding body is responsible for its own award. Students who successfully complete the two programmes receive separate institutional or national certificates, one for each of the two 8 separate qualifications being granted by each of the awarding bodies involved. A distinguishing feature of this arrangement is that the overall study period and volume of learning is longer than for either of the individual awards but typically shorter than if each of the programmes of study had been taken consecutively and applied for separately (because they are designed to lock together).

Concurrent qualification

This is defined as an arrangement where a single programme of study (which may or may not be jointly designed) is delivered primarily by one degree-awarding body but leads to two separate qualifications at the same or equivalent level from two different degree- awarding bodies. One qualification is awarded by the degree-awarding body that delivers the programme and the other qualification is awarded by the UK degree-awarding body that recognises the programme delivered by the other degree-awarding body. On successful completion of the programme, the student receives two separate qualifications (with typically the same title) from the UK degree-awarding body and the degree-awarding body in the other jurisdiction. Both the certificate and transcript state that a single programme of study (delivered by one provider) is leading to two or more qualifications of different awarding bodies.

 


associated issues

The UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2014, p. 9) also provides a not on double counting awards:

A note on the double-counting of learning

Concurrent qualifications raise the question of whether, and to what extent, it is acceptable to count the same piece of learning towards two separate qualifications at the same level (double-counting of credit where credit is being used).

In addition to making the statements above about concurrent degrees, the final version of this document could establish norms for the volume of learning that may count twice - that is, towards the award of more than one qualification at the same level.

Arguments are made that if non-UK awarding bodies are choosing to double-count learning or credit towards a second (concurrent) qualification, this is not the business of a UK degree-awarding body, provided that it is itself securing the academic standards and quality of the UK qualification in an appropriate manner. However, by permitting the same piece of learning or credit to be counted towards two or more qualifications at the same level and in the same subject, UK degree-awarding bodies may be perceived as offering two or more qualifications for the ‘price of one’. In any case, degree-awarding bodies should give serious consideration to instances where double-counting is likely to occur and their response to this.

To a certain extent, the issue of double-counting of learning also applies to double and multiple qualifications. However, these issues are partly mitigated by the joint delivery and assessment of the programmes and also by the fact that the majority of these arrangements have arisen because of impediments to the award of a joint qualification (which would be the preferred option) in some jurisdictions.)

 


related areas

See also

awarding body

degree

joint degree


Sources

Hunger, A. and Skalbergs, I 2007, 'Promotion of quality culture in international cooperation with special focus on joint programmes', in European University Association (2007), Embedding Quality Culture in Higher Education: A selection of papers from the 1st European forum for quality assurance, available at http://www.eua.be/Libraries/EQAF_2010/EUA_QA_Forum_publication_1.sflb.ashx, accessed 11 September 2012, still available 3 January 2017.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2010, Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education. Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning) Amplified version October 2010, available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/Code-of-practice-section-2.aspx, accessed 20 September 2012, not available 3 January 2017.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2014, Qualifications Awarded by Two or More Degree-Awarding Bodies Characteristics: Draft for consultation, December 2014, available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Qualifications-Awarded-by-Two-or-More-Degree-Awarding-Bodies-Characteristics.pdf, accessed 3 January 2017.


copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2017



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