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Annexe 2 - Guidance notes on completion of business case template

Business cases submitted to University Executive Board that request additional resources are subject to more detailed requirements. These are specified below.



1) The UEB will consider business cases that seek to fulfil the core objectives related to Research and Learning and Teaching contained in the University Strategy 2016-21 and the enabling strategies related to Estates, Finance and People.

2) Business cases can be submitted at any point in the academic year. The process for consideration aims to be sufficiently flexible to take account of opportunities as and when they arise, whilst taking account of the competition for the overall level of resource available within the University in any one year.

3) All business cases must be proposed by the relevant Head of Department/Professional Service and sponsored by a member of the UEB. Their advice should be sought on: (a) the relative priority of the business case, compared to other existing or potential investment proposals originating from the Faculty/department, School or professional service department; and (b) whether they might be any overlap or interdependencies with other existing or potential proposals.

Criteria for reviewing business cases

4) Business cases must seek to address one or more of the following key criteria:

  • demonstrable potential for income generation, such as additional tuition fee income;
  • potential for efficiency gains, defined as quantifiable improvements in business processes and/or reductions in resource requirements; gains should be identified as ‘cashable’ or non-cashable’;
  • demonstrable enhancement of the student experience;
  • a well-founded, benchmarked, plan to build research profit in a key area;
  • compliance with external regulation, as far as deemed necessary; and
  • judged by the UEB to be of strategic importance for the University.

Completion of the template

5) Departments should consult their Faculty/School or Professional Services Accountant on the financial analysis supporting the business case. The financial analysis must be approved by the Head of Management Accounting before submission to the UEB.

6) Costs should be specified as far as possible in terms of whether capital/start-up and recurrent, directly related to the proposed investment or (e.g. staff time, IT and other equipment etc.) or indirectly incurred by support services (e.g. Computing Services).

7) Income should be estimated according to the standard assumptions used by the Finance Office, e.g. the additional tuition fee income generated by the recruitment of a specified number of additional UG or PGT students. Proposals focused on research should estimate overhead recovery.

8) If space is required, an indication should be given of the amount and type, and how will the requirement could be met (e.g. by reallocation of the department’s current space envelope). It should not be assumed that new space will be made available.

9) A business case will not be approved by the UEB unless a clear indication is given of how the success or otherwise of the investment is to be measured and evaluated, preferably by quantitative metrics, and over a specified timeframe.

Version information

Owner: Vice-Chancellor’s Office

Version number:

Approval Date:

Approved By:

Date of last review: July 2023


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