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Project Overview

Standard approaches to university admission see students meet the criteria for acceptance and then receive a standardised cohort experience through their induction and initial learning journey.  However, as a sector, we are well aware that students enter our universities with a diverse range of abilities and skills. This project utilises diagnostic tests to help students and staff to recognise the strengths and challenges that individual students bring to their new university.

The partners have utilised diagnostic indicators for whole years, particular programmes or around certain issues. This site offers examples of the presentations, case studies and resources that may be useful in your particular journey with a diagnostic approach.

Project outputs

  • Enabling diagnostic testing at partner institutions and sharing models of practice across the sector;
  • Evaluation and research into impact and outcomes of the diagnostic testing (quantitative and qualitative);
  • Publication of outcomes;
  • Dissemination of findings at events including the Enhancement Themes conference and European First Year Experience Conference (Abertay June 2023).

Annual Reports

Personalised Approaches to Resilience and Community: End of Year 3 Report

Publication date: 26 Feb 2024

Personalised approaches to resilience and community: Collaborative cluster final report

Publication date: 29 Sep 2021

QAA Workshop 2021

The workshop held on 15th June 2021 debated the potential impacts of a PARC approach on macro (institutional), meso (school or faculty) and micro (programme/module/student) levels. This was informed by three brief papers, one per level, and an introductory paper, which sought to shape the discussion, provide a foundation of theoretical knowledge, and offer a challenge to institutions around the topic and the level of engagement. Participants discussed the papers and made suggestions for improvement which the partners will implement as the initiative moves forward.

A video of the workshop is available here plus the three papers that were the focus of the discussion.

Presentations 2022

A Conversation Around Diagnostics and Personalised Approaches to Student Success

Publication date: 14 Sep 2022

Case studies

The Case Studies in this section relate to universities that have engaged with a diagnostic approach. They reflect some of the challenges and successes that have been encountered and reveal the differing approaches that have been taken from mandatory to voluntary student engagement. They offer institutional examples of the macro/meso and micro level challenges and opportunities that were discussed at the earlier workshop and provide link to supporting materials such as questions that could be posed in a diagnostic and how students and staff receive reports.

The initial two case studies are for Abertay University and the University of the Highlands and Islands. Others will follow from partners as they become available.

PARC case study - Building Academic and Social Success: Abertay Discovery Tool

Publication date: 14 Sep 2022

PARC Case study - A (micro)pilot at the University of the Highlands and Islands

Publication date: 14 Sep 2022

If you have any questions about the workshop or next steps for the cluster, please do get in touch via