Become a partner

LJMU has established international partnerships and collaborative links which support various key strands of business such as teaching, research and bilateral student and staff mobility.

LJMU seeks to work with partners around the world whose strategic aims and institutional values are aligned with our Internationalisation Strategy. All new international partnership enquiries must progress, successfully, through the partner approval process, documented below.

Types of collaboration

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Where a partner institution is approved to deliver a programme, or part of a programme, designed by Liverpool John Moores University which leads to an award of Liverpool John Moores University. The programme does not also have to be a programme delivered at Liverpool John Moores University. Students on a franchise programme would be Liverpool John Moores University students and the University retains control and responsibility for academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities.


Where the partner institution develops its own programme and delivers it as a Liverpool John Moores University validated programme leading to a Liverpool John Moores University award. Students on a validated programme are Liverpool John Moores University students and the University retains control and responsibility for academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities.

Dual award

A dual award is defined by Liverpool John Moores University as an arrangement where Liverpool John Moores University, together with one or more awarding bodies, provides a programme leading to separate awards and certificates being granted by all the awarding bodies. Each partner is responsible for its own assessment and quality assurance. A dual award can be established for undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD arrangements.

Joint award

A joint award is an arrangement where Liverpool John Moores University, together with one or more awarding bodies, provides a jointly developed and delivered programme, leading to a single award made jointly by all the awarding bodies. A single certificate is produced, not separate certificates from each awarding body. Responsibility for assessment and quality assurance is in accordance with the agreement between partners.

Articulation arrangements

A process whereby all students who satisfy academic criteria on one programme are automatically entitled (on academic grounds) to be admitted with advanced standing to a subsequent part or year of a programme of a degree-awarding body. The agreement should state that students’ articulation is guaranteed (i.e. all successful students will be offered a place). The agreement will not entitle the successful student to generate Liverpool John Moores University credits or a Liverpool John Moores University award without the further specified period of study at Liverpool John Moores University. In setting up an articulated pathway, the Liverpool John Moores University programme must be able to fully resource the expected additional intake of students.

Split-site PhD award

Split-site PhD award agreements do not require the other academic institution to have research degree awarding powers and result in the student receiving a PhD award from Liverpool John Moores University only with the other academic institution being named as the collaborating establishment on the research degree certificate. This does not require a Cotutelle agreement to be drawn up for the student(s) as they are registered under Liverpool John Moores University Research Degrees Framework.

International student exchange

Where a partner institution is approved to host a student from Liverpool John Moores University to undertake study for credit. Exchange agreements are based on reciprocity and no fees are paid to the host university. Students on an international student exchange would receive approval by the Directorate of International Relations and their programme of study prior to undertaking the exchange. Whilst abroad students will be Liverpool John Moores University students.

Joint research arrangements

96% of our research is of international quality or better (Research Excellence Framework 2014). Our research not only makes a real difference to society but it also greatly enhances the learning experience of our students. We've established ourselves as big players within our areas of expertise with a strong reputation for collaboration between disciplines and with institutions from around the world.

Explore our world-leading research from the sections below including our centres, institutes and research groups, find out about PhD scholarships, learn how like-minded organisations can benefit from collaborating with LJMU and discover our research facilities.

Find out more about the types of academic partnerships.

LJMU partner approval process

Discussions between a partner and LJMU may be initiated in a variety of different ways and take place between the partner and staff from a number of different LJMU departments or faculties. At a point where the partnership is ready to progress from very initial discussions, the enquiry will progress to stage 1, below.

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Stage 1 - Initial business case

The first stage of the partner approval process is completion of the initial business case. This will be led by International Relations for international partners. 

The initial business case should be completed by International Relations based on discussions with the partner and, where relevant, with staff in the proposed link LJMU school or faculty.

Once completed, the initial business case will need to be considered and endorsed by any relevant faculties and finally by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement.

Memorandum of Understanding (if required)

Once a partner has received relevant internal sponsorship, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) can be signed, if required, by both LJMU and the partner.

Stage 2 - Due dilligence

Following relevant internal sponsorship of a new partnership arrangement, the partner approval process can formally commence. This process measures a potential partner’s strategic fit and financial stability, through a process of due diligence. All proposed partners are subject to due diligence.

Financial due diligence will be undertaken as part of the University’s wider financial processes. To support completion of this activity, Financial Services will be informed as soon as internal sponsorship is confirmed and stage 2 of partner approval is initiated.

Due diligence

Due diligence (DD) is the process of examining the financial, legal and reputational status of an organisation. LJMU’s DD process is a comprehensive appraisal of a potential partner’s assets and liabilities, to evaluate its commercial potential, as well as its experience and ability to deliver or support delivery of an LJMU award.  

The QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education – Part B: Ensuring and Enhancing Academic Quality, Chapter B10: Managing Higher Education Provision with Others outlines its expectations surrounding due diligence as follows:

Indicator 6 Appropriate and proportionate due diligence procedures are determined for each proposed arrangement for delivering learning opportunities with an organisation other than the degree-awarding body. They are conducted periodically to check the capacity of the other organisation to continue to fulfil its designated role in the arrangement.

The information and documentation requested to complete full due diligence will be used to establish and test the following:

  • public and legal standing in its own country
  • a review of publicly available information such as prospectuses, website, British Council, Ministry of Education
  • public and legal standing in the UK (if overseas)
  • establish whether there are any relevant professional or regulatory restrictions on the development of the partnership or delivery of the programme, and/or a requirement for government letters of approval

Institutional profile

  • Details of the management structure and academic processes and policies of the organisation
  • The level and type of awards in delivery at the partner
  • Details of the context of the proposal
  • Information about links with the University or other HEIs
  • A copy of the organisation’s current complaints process

Financial stability

  • Interpretation of financial statements and/or the last three sets of audited accounts
  • Credit check
  • What or who supplies the bulk of the organisation’s funding (e.g. Government, a larger multinational company, etc.)

Quality and standards

  • Review of accreditation arrangements
  • QAA or equivalent, PSRB or equivalent reports
  • Information relating to the local national qualifications framework

Stage 3 - University level partner approval

University level partner approval is required to ultimately sign off the completed due diligence activity for all partners. This decision is made by the Chair of the Collaborative Provision Panel (CPP), based on submission of:

  • partnership proposal form
  • due diligence checklist – endorsed by Academic Registry
  • the assessment of risk form – reviewed by Finance

If you are interested in exploring possible international partnership activity with LJMU, please take the time to complete our partner enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch in due course. 

If you have a general enquiry, please contact the International Partnerships Team and a member of the team will be happy to assist.