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Directorate of Governance and Legal Services

High Risk Activity

Approval Body

Partnerships Board is the approval body for the following activities:

  • University level Memoranda of Understanding
  • Double and Joint taught awards*
  • Joint Research awards (PhD)
  • Study Abroad (fee-payers) Agreements (after Faculty review) 
  • Study Abroad (third party) Agreements (associate students who enrol at QMUL through partner organisations) (after Faculty review)
  • Summer School Agreements (after Faculty review)

*Currently Queen Mary will only permit joint awards for UG or PGT programmes if the partner is a UK institution or within the Erasmus+ framework subject to Senate approval.

Please be aware that some proposals will require further scrutiny by other university bodies before a final decision can be reached. Collaborative modules and/or taught collaborative programmes that lead to single, double, or joint awards will require approval from Taught Programmes Board. Joint PhD programmes will require approval from the Research Degree Programmes and Examinations Board. Advice on approval processes and timescales should be sought from DGLS for taught programmes or modules and from the RDO for PhD programmes.


The process for seeking approval for high risk collaborative activity is as below:

  1. Initial discussions take place between the School/Institute and partner organisation, with input from the Global Engagement Office for international partners. Input should also be sought from Finance through the Faculty Business Partner regarding any due diligence on the preferred partner. If Intellectual Property is involved, then the JRMO must be consulted and endorsement received from the Global Engagement Executive to ensure strategic alignment. Commitments should not be made to the partner at this stage.
  2. After consulting the risk frameworks, the School/Institute makes a decision on whether the proposal appears to fall into the low or high risk categories. For guidance on this, proposers should contact DGLS.
  3. If the proposal falls into the high risk category, the proposer must complete the high risk proposal form and submit this, together with a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) / Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), to Faculty Executive for consideration through the relevant Faculty contact (see below). Completed forms should only be submitted once all of the relevant signatories are enclosed.
  4. There are two potential outcomes from the Faculty Executive for a high risk proposal:
    • If there are no concerns regarding risk levels, financial due diligence and mitigation, the proposal will be endorsed, and will then be considered at the next Partnerships Board meeting for a decision
    • If there are concerns regarding risks levels, financial due diligence and mitigation, the proposal will either be rejected or will be referred to Partnerships Board for a decision
  5. Once approved by Partnerships Board, high risk agreements will be signed at University level.* After this, and subject to any additional approvals that may be required (e.g. approval of PhD arrangements by RDPEB, and new taught programmes by the Faculty Executive and TPB), the activity can begin, with appropriate management and monitoring arrangements in place.
  6. Copies of all signed MoUs and Agreements should be submitted to DGLS and (for international partners) the International Partnerships Office. No programme may start, nor may offers be made to students, until the MoA or contract has been signed by both Parties.

*MoAs and contracts may only be signed by the Principal or a delegated VP.  Further guidance can be found here.

Faculty contacts

Faculty Contact
HSS Professor Ioannis Kokkoris
S&E Professor Teresa Alonso-Rasgado
SMD Professor Richard Grose 


The High Risk Proposal Form can be found below. Please ensure that it is completed in consultation with the risk framework. For guidance on risk levels and the most appropriate approval process, and for specific queries on completing the form, please contact DGLS.

The information requested on the form is essential to enable the Faculty and PB to determine whether the proposed partnership opportunity has sufficient merit and is in line with relevant QMUL strategies and policies, in particular the Queen Mary Strategy 2030 and the International Strategy.

All sections of the form must be completed in full, including the due diligence section and the declaration of interest. The purpose of due diligence is to manage any risks that might arise in relation to working in collaboration with another institution. A starting point will be an examination of the legal status of the prospective partner, which is relevant to the party’s capacity to enter into a contract. 

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