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Policy: Timetable


To set out the framework within which the University timetables teaching activities and allocates teaching spaces, resources and facilities, to conduct face to face teaching and learning for students with minimal clashes and enables the timely production of the University’s timetable.

This document recognises that published timetables are an important aspect of University life. They establish the relationships between compulsory and elective courses and are widely utilised, particularly by students, for planning their study.


The objectives of the policy are to deliver a timetable that is:

Early: Students and teaching staff are provided with a timetable that is early to facilitate planning and robust decision making. The timetable will be released in accordance with the detailed timeline published by the Timetable Office

Reliable: Information on teaching activities should be accurate and up-to-date, with changes communicated as soon as they occur

Stable: The timetable should have minimal changes after publication and minimise clashes for students to the extent that they are on a common pathway

Personalised: Students should be provided with a full individualised timetable that includes lectures and tutorials workshops, labs, seminars


This policy covers the following aspects of timetabling:

    General Principles
    Teaching Time and Hours
    Room Allocation
    Staff and Students


This policy applies to all teaching activities that have a regular teaching structure in undergraduate and, where appropriate, postgraduate coursework programs.


Casual room booking - ad-hoc room bookings for non-teaching activities

Compulsory courses - as per the University glossary

Course - as per the University glossary

Elective Course - as per the University glossary

Hire - pay for the use of a space

InfoCommons - all centrally managed teaching space.

Regular - A teaching activity that is on at the same time and day, in the same location on a weekly basis.

Session - as per the University glossary

Standard Hours - between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday

Teaching period - as per the University glossary

Teaching activity - a discrete instance of a class i.e. lecture, laboratory, tutorial, practical, workshop etc.

Teaching space - a space that is primarily used for teaching activities. This includes both InfoCommons and departmental teaching space.

Policy statement

Roles and responsibilities

  1. The Timetable Office is:
  1. accountable and responsible for production and management of an early, stable and reliable timetable for all teaching activities in the University.
  1. An ANU College Dean:
  1. is accountable for teaching staff unavailability requests and change requests approval; and
  2. may nominate a delegate (e.g. Associate Dean (Education), Research School Director) for managing individual teaching staff unavailability and change requests, but remain accountable for the outcomes.
  1. Teaching staff are accountable and responsible for:
  1. providing the Timetable Office (or College/School timetabling contact) with the data required for timely production of the timetable and ensuring its stability by providing accurate and reliable data;
  2. submitting requests for unavailability in line with the Teaching Staff Availability section; and
  3. requesting the College/School Timetabling Contact cancel activities when a class will no longer be running.
  1. The College/School Timetabling Contact:
  1. is a single point of contact nominated by each College/School;
  2. manages and assists in co-ordinating the timetabling requirements of the College/School; and
  3. advises the Timetable Office when a class will no longer be running.

General principles

  1. The University academic year includes semester and non-standard session teaching periods.
  2. The University centrally develops one timetable for all teaching activities for undergraduate, and where appropriate, graduate coursework where there are regular schedulable teaching activities.
  3. A timetable is produced each semester to facilitate the delivery of regular teaching activities across the University.
  4. The facilities management of Teaching and Learning Commons and venue hire outside of teaching activities is undertaken by the Teaching and Learning Commons Support Service;

Teaching times and hours

  1. All teaching activities are scheduled within standard hours. Exceptions apply for:
  1. postgraduate teaching activities at the discretion of the College/School; and
  2. selected undergraduate teaching activities as agreed by the Timetable Office with Colleges/Schools.
  1. Any teaching activity scheduled outside standard hours is scheduled in consultation with, or by the request of, the academic staff involved.
  2. Classes commence at five minutes past the published start time and conclude five minutes before the published end time.

Room allocation Principles

  1. All teaching activity room allocation is the responsibility of Timetable Office.
  2. Timetabled teaching activities have priority over any other bookings in allocated teaching spaces.
  3. In addition, a number of casual room bookings are made to utilise space that is not in use by teaching activities at any particular time. The University takes into account the needs of both students and staff while maximising the efficient use of teaching space and resources across campus and facilitate the teaching of a flexible, student-focused curriculum.
  4. Under an automated constraints-based timetable, teaching activities are scheduled to utilise student availability, staff availability, teaching rooms, equipment and facilities.
  5. Teaching activities are allocated to suitable teaching spaces under the automated constraints-based timetable, where available as requested by academics during the data collection and/or verification phase.
  6. During semesters the University allows bookings for ad-hoc research or administrative purposes to be booked during standard hours only after the timetable has been published for the relevant period. This is booked via the Resource Booking solution when implemented.
  7. There are no restrictions on bookings for ad-hoc research, or administrative purposes outside of standard hours during semesters, and no restriction outside of the semester dates.

Staff and students

  1. Teaching activity timetabling takes account of the need for students to be provided with a reasonable range of education options in standard hours to facilitate the completion of their program within the minimum duration recommended.
  2. Schools are responsible for providing teaching staff unavailability data to the Timetable Office in an appropriate format as detailed in the Timetabling Procedure.
  3. The University cannot guarantee a timetable for all preferences or a clash-free timetable for all students, but endeavours to ensure that the most popular course combinations and those covered by the various program orders are scheduled clash free.
  4. The University ensures that the timetable is aligned with the published schedule of dates specified by Academic Standards and Quality Office (ASQO) to ensure information on courses is available prior to the production of the timetable.

Production and publication

  1. The schedule of dates for the timetable production are released annually by the Timetable Office.
  2. To facilitate the production of the timetable according to the published timelines, course and class scheduling finalisation is according to the deadlines specified by ASQO and complies with ongoing Australian National University deadlines regarding the notification of course establishment and availability.
  3. No changes are made to the timetable after the release of the final timetable without appropriate consideration or approval as detailed in the Timetabling Procedure.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Timetable
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_005008
Version 11
Purpose To set out the framework within which the University timetables classes and allocates teaching spaces, resources and facilities, to conduct face to face teaching and learning for students with minimal clashes.
Audience Students, Staff-Academic
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Teaching & Learning
Effective Date 20 Dec 2018
Review Date 20 Dec 2021
Responsible Officer Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Division of Student Administration
Authority Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015