This paper examines some of the ways in which subject review can contribute to the scholarship of teaching. Subject review was a quality assessment process conducted under the auspices of the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. A preliminary discussion considers the potential and pitfalls of using subject review as a basis for learning about current academic practice. The analysis draws on 162 institutional reports, covering business and management provision and produced during the period 2000–1. The pedagogic principles that underpinned subject review judgements, such as flexibility, transparency and pedagogic pluralism, are identified. These suggest that, while ‘fitness for purpose’ was the explicit criterion for judging institutional standards, in practice, reviewers were guided by a series of implicit evaluative principles. To some extent, these principles may be linked to learning theory and the ongoing debate concerning the scholarship of teaching. Copyright © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.