Why Partner With Us

Organisations may want to work with Queen Margaret University to develop teaching partnerships for various reasons:

  • Institutions without degree-awarding powers may want to offer their students a recognised academic qualification.
  • Institutions who do have degree-awarding powers in their own country may want to offer a joint or dual award that gives their students an international experience and is more easily transportable around the world.
  • Institutions may want to share their expertise with ours in order to deliver a degree that neither partner could fully support on its own.

Here at QMU we have been working with partners since the 1990s. Our earliest partnerships were with St Columba’s Hospice, local NHS trusts and private education providers in India and Greece. Over the years we have developed considerable expertise in supporting partner organisations and have well-established procedures for quality assurance and staff development.

The Quality Assurance Agency has included QMU’s collaborative provision in its reviews and concluded that QMU has "... an effective set of arrangements that meet sector expectations and are underpinned by robust policies and procedures, in particular programme approval, annual monitoring and review, and thorough processes for the quality assurance of assessment. Partnerships are well supported through Academic Link staff, the operation of Joint Boards of Study, a range of useful guidance and extensive development opportunities."

More information about the different ways in which we work with partners is set out below.

Teaching Collaboration

A partner may work with QMU to offer a taught degree. Normally the degree will be delivered by the partner with QMU providing academic guidance and quality assurance. Graduates would receive a QMU degree certificate. Partners who have degree awarding powers of their own may wish to develop a joint or dual award.

QMU also collaborates with external partners to deliver and quality assure short programmes (shorter than a full degree but assessed at degree level).

For more information see the QMU collaborative model.

Please note that we will only consider partnerships in subject areas where we have the academic expertise to support the programme. Please review our list of subjects and degree programmes to confirm whether the programme you want to develop fits with our portfolio.


Formal articulation agreements may be made, whereby QMU recognises another institution’s qualification as conferring eligibility for entry with advanced standing to a QMU programme. For instance, QMU may allow graduates of an institution’s Diploma to enter directly into the third year of an undergraduate degree. We would need to confirm that the curriculum of the partner’s diploma matched with the related QMU degree. We may also ask for evidence of the academic level of the diploma in order to map it against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Local Support Centre

An overseas organisation may provide support services for students undertaking a distance learning programme from QMU. Normally the services will extend to the provision of facilities and assistance with admissions, although some academic tutorial support may also be agreed. Only a limited number of QMU programmes are suitable for distance learning delivery – check the QMU list of programmes.

Third Party Credit Rating

Organisations may ask QMU to undertake credit rating of their programmes. This means that QMU will make a judgement as to how many credits the programme is worth within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. QMU will not play a major role in the day-to-day quality assurance of the programme and students will not matriculate with the University. The partner may issue certificates with an award of credit but QMU will not award credit directly.

This option is normally suitable for short programmes, as opposed to full degrees or diplomas.


Staff and student exchanges may be possible in shared disciplines. Exchanges are normally only suitable for programmes which are delivered in English. Contact the International Office for more information.

Research Collaboration

QMU staff may wish to collaborate with other institutions on specific research projects. Such projects would normally be set up through direct links between researchers.

Joint PhDs are possible. In some cases there will be an informal arrangement to share supervision. For an award which is made jointly by both institutions, formal governance and shared regulation agreements need to be made. Contact the QMU Graduate School if you want to explore this option.

Do you have a partnership proposal? Please read the information above to confirm whether Queen Margaret University looks like the right type of partner for you. Then contact partnerships@qmu.ac.uk with the specifics of your proposal.

Collaborations and Partnership Development

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Collaborations and Partnership Development

Sheila Adamson Partnership Development Manager 0131 474 0000