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Timetable Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) will endeavour to ensure that processes for timetabling university spaces support the success of students and academic staff and create efficient utilisation of university facilities. 

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This procedure outlines the process for developing and managing the University timetable.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This procedure applies to the timetabling of accredited award and non-award teaching activities at CDU campuses and teaching hubs.

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Section 4 - Procedure

(4) The University will strive to create timetables that enable student attendance at and participation in class activities and provide academic staff with the right resources for great teaching. 

(5) We are committed to ensuring timetabling practices are:

  1. Timely, with the early release of timetables to students so informed choices can be made regarding unit selection and scheduling commitments for the academic year.
  2. Equitable, taking into consideration access requirements and reasonable adjustments of staff and students with respect to family responsibilities, religious beliefs, and disabilities.
  3. Intelligent, avoiding timetable clashes for core units and facilitating student enrolment into a diverse range of elective units where possible.
  4. Efficient in utilising teaching spaces, produced with both students and academic staff in mind.

Standard teaching times    

(6) The University’s core teaching hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 9pm. 

  1. Faculties may approve the scheduling of classes outside these hours with the agreement of relevant staff.

(7) Teaching activities commence on the hour and conclude ten (10) minutes to the hour, allowing a handover between classes.

(8) Teaching activities will usually be a minimum length of one (1) hour and can be extended in multiples of 30 minutes. 

(9) Every effort will be made to ensure that the timetable provides for a one (1) hour lunch break (between 11:00am and 2:00pm) for as many staff and students as possible. 

Creating the university timetable

(10) In creating the University timetable: 

  1. larger classes have precedence over smaller classes.
  2. first year units and service teaching units have precedence over later year units.
  3. lengthy duration activities have precedence over those which occupy smaller blocks of time. 
  4. formal teaching activities (lectures, tutorials) have precedence over ad hoc bookings.
  5. specialist teaching space will be used for their designated purpose. 
  6. activities requiring enhanced teaching facilities will have precedence for those spaces deemed suitable. 
  7. access for students and teaching staff with disabilities takes precedence over other considerations.

(11) Requests to timetable over a reduced number of days or a reduced span of hours will not be prioritised. 

(12) Requests for block-bookings will not be accepted unless there is a corresponding block activity. 

(13) Class timetables will be prepared using the corporate timetabling system. 

(14) Faculties are responsible for providing the required data, using the online data collection form, including preferences or requirements arising from academic staff family responsibilities, religious beliefs, medical conditions or disabilities. 

Draft timetable

(15) Prior to publication of the Higher Education (HE) timetable, a draft timetable will be made available for a two (2) week period for Faculties to provide feedback and identify any scheduling issues. 

(16) During this review period, Faculties are to ensure that: 

  1. adequate provision has been made for all offerings for the coming teaching periods, 
  2. the structure and delivery of teaching activities have been timetabled correctly, and classes are spread or clustered appropriately for the course in the timetable, 
  3. required resources are available i.e., teaching staff, location(s), and equipment, and 
  4. there are no clashes for course core units

 Timetable publication

(17) The official University Class Timetable is published in the CDU Portal. 

  1. For Higher Education, the official timetable will be published no later than six (6) weeks prior to the start of the semester.
  2. For Vocational Education and Training, the official timetable is published no later than four (4) weeks prior to the start of each teaching period.

Timetable changes post-publication

(18) Students plan their unit choices based on the timetable, and as such the University endeavours to minimise any changes after the publication date.

(19) Changes to the timetable after the publication date will require approval from the relevant Faculty and will generally only be accepted in the following circumstances:

  1. to accommodate unexpected staff turnover; 
  2. to add or remove classes where there is an unexpected surge/decline in student numbers enrolled; 
  3. where a location becomes a health or safety hazard; or
  4. reasonable adjustments to accommodate students or staff with disabilities or medical conditions.

(20) Where a change is approved, the relevant Faculty will be responsible for notifying students of such changes. 

Room allocation

(21) Rooms will only be allocated for formal teaching activities via the timetable process.  Ad hoc bookings for supplementary teaching activities can be requested via the online data collection form.   

(22) Conflicts arising from room allocation will be resolved by negotiation between the parties. Where conflicts cannot be resolved they will be referred to the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor(s), Associate Vice-Chancellor(s) or delegate.

(23) Staff can request a booking for non-teaching events (e.g., conferences, meetings etc), by submitting a request through the online booking tool. 

  1. Formal teaching activities will take priority during teaching weeks. 
  2. Non-teaching events will usually only be considered following the publication of the timetable, unless otherwise approved by the Manager Examinations and Timetabling. 

(24) Individuals, groups, or organisations external to the University can request hire of University facilities by contacting the Room Booking Team in Property and Facilities Management. 

  1. University requirements will take precedence over use by external persons, groups, or bodies. 
  2. No adjustments to the academic timetable will be made to accommodate external use, unless otherwise approved by the Manager Timetabling and Examinations. 

Roles and responsibilities

(25) The Manager Timetabling and Examinations is responsible for:

  1. coordinating the timetable process to ensure that the timetable meets best practice principles,
  2. maintaining and upgrading the timetabling system(s),
  3. overseeing the delivery of each of the scheduling stages in the timetable process, and
  4. providing support to Faculties throughout the process. 

(26) Each Faculty is responsible for:

  1. collecting, preparing, verifying, and entering data into the online data collection form,
  2. preparing and publishing course profiles,
  3. ensuring that the Course Catalogue is updated prior to the timetable build process,
  4. checking draft timetables in collaboration with teaching staff to ensure there are no core unit clashes,
  5. ensuring that the calendar for teaching activities matches the appropriate University calendar, and
  6. providing support for administrative and academic staff with timetabling responsibilities.

(27) Course Coordinators and Team Leaders must liaise with Faculty staff to:

  1. adjust draft class timetables as required, including changes arising from staff or student requests for reasonable adjustments due to disability or other factors, and
  2. request timetable changes via the online data collection form if required.

Record management 

(28) The Manager Timetabling and Examinations will maintain a record of all timetable changes following publication, available to Faculties on request.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(29) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(30) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(31) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.