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FAQs

Timetabling FAQs for staff

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 in 2022-23

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. This also affects the NSS score for the University, as the survey includes a question on timetabling, and an inconsistent or regularly changed timetable can lead to poor feedback.

Timetable Publication

When is the draft timetable published?

The 2022/3 draft timetable will be published on 13th June and will be available for three weeks for staff to review.

Following feedback from Schools, the Timetabling Team will open a short review window in 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.

 

Should I book meetings based on the draft timetable?

No, all days and times of activities are subject to change.  Although you may be happy with the days and times of your activities, they may need to be moved to accommodate changes requested by other colleagues.

 

When is the final timetable published?

The 2022/3 timetable will be published to returning students and staff on 1st September 2022.

Timetables will be published on 17th August for a small number of programmes whose teaching commences in early September (Pharmacy, SLT, IoE).

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

New students who have optional modules to select may not receive a complete timetable until the end of the second week of term (Friday 7th 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 17th 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 in 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.

The most common reason for a timetabled session being changed is to resolve a clash for students caused by another timetabled session being moved.  The Timetabling Team receives hundreds of requests per week from Schools asking for sessions to be altered or moved; often student experience is cited as the reason the change is required.  Consultation with students revealed that a clear and consistent timetable helps their wellbeing and therefore it is important to keep changes to a minimum.

 

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 in 2022-23

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.

 

Key timetabling dates for Schools for 2022/3

This timeline meets the desire for the publication of a full year’s timetable in September with a draft timetable available in June.

New students (particularly Parts 0, 1, and Master’s) who have optional modules to select may not receive a complete timetable until the end of the second week of term (Friday 7th October).  Schools must ensure that new students (particularly PGT students) are made aware of this.

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 17th October).

 

Key dates timeline

Date

Activity

14 January

CQSD deadline for:

  1. Requesting changes to key module information for the 2022/23 academic year
  2. Requesting that modules to be taken out of use or put back in use for the 2022/23 academic year.
  3. Requesting the creation of new modules for the 2022/23 academic year (new module setup request forms).

January and February:

4 February

 

18 February

Schools to work with Support Centres to build programme diets for all Parts:

 

Deadline for undergraduate diet discussions with Programme Managers to be completed

Deadline for PGT diet discussions with Programme Managers to be completed

28 February to 25 March

Schools to consider their workload allocation and gather together their timetabling requirements for all module and programme activities for 2022/3. Schools must ensure timely communication with Departments with whom modules are shared.

4 March

Deadline for undergraduate diets to be input into RISIS

11 March

The deadline for:

  1. Requesting changes to the content of an existing module description for the 2022/23 academic year.
  2. Providing completed module description templates for new modules created by 14 January 2022 deadline.

18 March

Deadline for PGT diets to be input into RISIS

25 March

Deadline to submit timetabling requirements for all module and programme activities for 2022/3 to the Timetabling Team

29 March

Module information is rolled forward to 2022/23 and published on the University webpages.

22 April

Deadline for Heads of Schools to return staff availability information for inclusion in scheduling

April

Browsing and module selection takes place for returning undergraduate students

13 June to 1 July

Timetable available in draft format for Schools to review

1 July

Deadline for return of comments on the draft timetable

17 August

Timetable published to programmes with early start dates

1 September

Timetable published to all returning students and all staff

19 September

Welcome Week commences and new students (undergraduate and PGT) allocated to compulsory modules

26 September to 7 October

New students (undergraduate and PGT) allocated to optional modules, and to module groups

31 October to 11 November (TBC)

Two week window for staff to further review spring and summer term timetables

7 December (TBC)

Revised timetable published to students and staff

 

 

 

 

Latest news

The 2022/23 timetable is now live for staff and returning students.

 

When next accessing CMISGo, please note that you will need to clear your browser cache to ensure optimal performance. A guide to this can be found here.

See also

View Calendar (including week numbers & term dates):

Calendar 2022-23

 

Contact us:

Email

Room Bookings

Timetabling

Telephone

Timetabling:

+44 (0) 118 378 7314

Room Bookings:

+44 (0) 118 378 6506

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