Phil Wheater
16 April 2014

Consultation on ES3 Benchmark Statement

We encourage IES members with an interest in Higher Education to comment on the draft of the revised subject benchmark statement for Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies.

Subject benchmark statements set out what a graduate in a particular subject is expected to know, do and understand at the end of their programme of study. They describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific subject areas and in respect of particular qualifications.

Subject benchmark statements are an integral element of Part A: Setting and maintaining academic standards of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. They are used as reference points in the design, delivery and review of academic programmes. They do not represent a national curriculum in a subject or prescribe set approaches to teaching, learning or assessment. Instead, they allow for flexibility and innovation in programme design within a framework agreed by the subject community.
In order to ensure the continuing currency of subject benchmark statements, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) initiates regular reviews of their content. This consultation is taking place as part of a review of all subject benchmark statements which is currently underway. Further details about the review.
Each statement is reviewed by a group drawn from and acting on behalf of the subject community, in a process facilitated by QAA. Membership of the group includes higher education providers, professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, and employers, as appropriate to the subject area. Feedback is also collected from students. Where the group decides that revisions to the statement are required, the draft revised statement is subject to consultation, so that the views of the wider subject community, and others with an interest in higher education may be sought. All feedback received will be considered before the final version is published on QAA's website.

We welcome contributionsfrom all four countries; prospective, current and past students; staff from the full range of higher education providers, including academic staff and staff with responsibilities for quality assurance; and from employers, who depend upon the abilities, skills and knowledge of graduates.

Please submit feedback through the online survey. The consultation will be open until 23 May 2014.

If you would like further information relating to the subject benchmark statements or the review process, please contact