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Below are a number of FAQs and answers for staff regarding timetabling. FAQs for students can be found on Essentials.

  1. Student Experience
  2. Timetable Publication
  3. Changes to Timetables
  4. My Working Hours
  5. My Timetabled Day
  6. Timetable Build
  7. Consultation on Approach to Timetabling

Student Experience

How does the timetable support student experience?

The timetable is core to the student experience as it sets expectations about how programme and module content will be delivered.  It enables students to plan their time for studying, paid and voluntary work, sporting commitments, and any caring responsibilities which they may have.  Consultation with students (published in the June 2022 CoSED report) revealed that a clear and consistent timetable helps their wellbeing and therefore it is important to keep changes to a minimum.

Timetable Publication

When was the draft timetable published?

The draft timetable was published on 12th June and was available for three weeks for staff to review.

Following feedback from Schools, the Timetabling Team will open a short review window (30th October to 10th November) during which time Schools may submit essential changes for the spring and summer timetables. The Timetabling Team will endeavour to make all changes before the Christmas break so that staff and students have time to plan their activities around their revised timetable.


When was the final timetable published?

The final timetable was published to returning students and staff on 30th August 2023.

New students receive their timetables upon completion of registration and module selection.

Most new students will have completed timetables by Friday 29th September.  Students who arrive late or whose enrolment is delayed may not receive a complete timetable until Friday 13th October.

Students are permitted to change module until the end of the third week of term; therefore, some students will not have complete timetables until the fourth week of term (w/c 16th October).


Changes to Timetables

Can I change my teaching once term has started?

Schools may make only essential changes to the timetable once it has been published. 

Essential changes include sickness absence, access requirements as a result of a disability, adjustments as a result of a Tailored Adjustment Plan, family leave, changes to contractual working patterns, and external meetings of national or University strategic importance e.g. TEF, REF, PSRB or Government panels.


The spring and summer terms were a long way away when I thought about my teaching.  Do I get another opportunity to make changes?

Following feedback from Schools, the Timetabling Team will open a short review window from 30th October to 10th November during which time Schools may submit essential changes for the spring and summer timetables.  The Timetabling Team will endeavour to make all changes before the Christmas break so that staff and students have time to plan their activities around their revised timetable.


Why do my sessions get changed at late notice?

At the start of term, the location of your timetabled session may be changed to ensure that there are enough seats available for all students registered on the session.  The Timetabling Team attempt to allocate rooms based on the predicted number of enrolments; however, students are permitted to change module up until the end of the third week of term, and therefore numbers can fluctuate.

Timetabled sessions are sometimes changed at late notice because of unforeseen problems with the estate, such as a flood or electrical failure.  Occasionally the Timetabling Team are asked to move a timetabled session to make way for a strategic University event. 


My Working Hours

How are my working hours accommodated?

The timetabled teaching week is Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, with a 1pm finish on Wednesdays for undergraduate programmes.  It is assumed that all teaching staff are available during these hours, with the exception of staff who have a part-time contract, a formal flexible working agreement, or a tailored adjustment plan.  Each year, Heads of Schools provide the Timetabling Team with a list of staff whose working pattern differs from the norm.  If you think that your working pattern has not been accommodated in the timetable, please contact your Head of School to discuss what they have on file for you.


Does the Smart Working Policy mean that I can have my teaching condensed into a smaller number of days?

No, the policy under 4.8 is quite clear; the timetable needs to be created and colleagues, save for Reasonable Adjustments and Flexible Working, need to work round it.


My Timetabled Day

Why do I have to teach at both 9am and 5pm?

The University offers a wide variety of modules on many of its programmes.  This means that there are almost as many pathways through programmes as there are taught students, and all of these unique pathways have to be accommodated in the timetable.  Although the students on your two modules may be the same cohort, those students may be taking a range of UWMs, IWLP modules, or other modules outside of the standard programme specification.  The density of the timetabling web can mean that, although all the students were available at 9am, they are not all available again (with a suitable teaching space) until 5pm.


Why are there large gaps between my classes?

See above.  The density of the timetabling web can mean that the students, or a specific room are not available immediately after a previous class has finished, which can create large gaps between sessions.


Why are my classes back-to-back?

Where possible, we have given all staff a lunch break.  In some cases, staff have been allocated more teaching than hours they have available to work, and therefore there are no breaks within the working day.

Classes are scheduled based on student, staff, and space availability.  With the number of unique pathways through programmes available to students, it is not always possible to arrange staff teaching days with breaks between classes.  The Timetabling Team do check staff timetables to see whether it is possible to move sessions, but it is often not possible to do this without creating a knock-on impact on student experience or another member of staff.


Timetable Build

How is the timetable built?

The timetable is built based upon how academic staff wish to deliver their modules, students’ module choices, and staff availability.  Gathering this School-owned data, inputting it, scheduling the timetable, and undertaking data quality checks takes almost five months. 

The Timetabling Recommendations 2022-3 paper includes a full break down of the process in Appendix 1.


Why do I have to submit my timetabling requirements in March for the following academic year?

Once your data has been submitted, it is input into the timetabling software, where it is used alongside data on other modules, student module choices, and staff availability to schedule the timetable.  Following data quality checks, the timetable is then released in draft format.  Consultation with academic colleagues showed that staff wished to view their draft timetable no later than June.  Working backwards from this, timetabling requirements have to be submitted in March to enable us to meet this deadline.


Consultation on Approach to Timetabling

We undertook a consultation with Schools regarding the approach to timetabling in 2022-23.

A link to the feedback and resulting recommendations can be found here.

This consultation was undertaken in autumn 2021 and the document was approved for publication by UBTLSE in February 2022.  CILT recommended that the timetabling process approved for 2022-23 be carried forward to 2023-24.

Consultation as to the approach to timetabling for 2024-25 is ongoing as part of the Portfolio Review Pathway of the Strategic Foundations Programme.

Latest news

The 2023/24 timetable is live for staff and fully enrolled students, and can be viewed on CMISGo.

See also

View Calendar (including week numbers & term dates): 

Calendar 2023-24

Contact us:


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