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Procedure: Timetabling


To define overarching processes for the production and publication of the University class timetable and facilitation of class allocation.

General Principles

  1. The data required to create the timetable is derived from several key sources in the University as identified in this procedure.
  2. The combination of these data inputs and data analysis create the most optimal timetable for students and staff.

Teaching Staff Availability

  1. Full-time academic staff submit a teaching unavailability request with the recommendation of their line Supervisor/Manager, via the University approved proforma, for consideration of the Associate Dean (Education) or delegate.
  2. Teaching unavailability requests submitted after the preliminary deadline in the timetable production timeline are additionally considered by the relevant College Dean or delegate.
  3. Reasons for teaching unavailability requests include (but are not limited to):
  1. flexible working arrangements;
  2. pre-approved and inflexible research or teaching commitments (e.g. clinic session, research requirements);
  3. pre-approved inflexible administrative commitments;
  4. University commitments (e.g ANU Council, boards, committees).
  1. Full-time academic staff must be available for at least 35 of the 50 standard teaching hours per week out of which teaching time can be allocated, unless there are university-approved contracts that specifically preclude this requirement.
  2. Approved unavailability requests are provided by the College to the Timetabling Office.

Timetable Production Timeline

  1. The release dates of the preliminary and final timetables will be set to best facilitate planning and robust decision making for students and staff while also allowing sufficient processing time for the Timetabling Office, Colleges and Schools.
  2. A detailed timeline for the timetable production is released by the Timetabling Office and aligns with deadlines regarding the notification of course establishment and availability. The timeline specifies deadlines for:
  1. collection of data required for timetabling (see Section Data Required for Timetabling);
  2. release of preliminary timetable;
  3. period(s) of review of the preliminary timetable and deadlines for approved change requests;
  4. publication of final timetable; and
  5. commencement of allocation of students to tutorials by Colleges/Schools.
  1. Changes to the final timetable are minimised and only approved in exceptional circumstances (see Timetable Changes section below).

Data Required for Timetabling

  1. The Timetabling Office source and analyse University data to inform current trends in enrolment and common enrolment pathways. This information is checked, updated and approved by the Colleges/Schools for use by the Timetabling Office.
  2. A reference committee is convened annually by the University Registrar including Timetabling Office staff, student representatives and Associate Deans (Education) or delegate to consider University-wide priorities to be accommodated in the following year’s timetable.
  3. Colleges/Schools provide the Timetabling Office with the following data according to the timetable production timeline:
  1. common enrolment pathways, including core courses and electives;
  2. classes on offer for each semester and non-standard sessions (Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring;
  3. teaching pattern and method of delivery, including contact hours and class sizes;
  4. venue and resource requirements – the type of venue and technology requirements;
  5. where known, teaching staff;
  6. teaching staff unavailability (see section Teaching Staff Availability); and
  7. recommendations in relation to accessibility considerations for students and for staff

Timetabling and Room Allocation

  1. Teaching activities are spread evenly and equitably over the week (8am 6pm, Monday to Friday).
  2. Where a course is taught at the Acton campus, at least one class free hour in each week of semester during the core teaching hours is preserved for student-based activities (1pm - 2pm Thursday).
  3. Intensive classes timetabled for the whole day on Thursdays during semester at the Acton Campus are required to break between 1pm and 2pm.
  4. Timetabling and venue allocation for central teaching spaces, shared teaching spaces, and College/School teaching spaces are to be made available to the Timetabling Office for scheduling.
  5. The University ensures it meets its health and safety obligations, and teaching activities are not allocated to a room where they exceed the size of the venue, unless any of the following circumstances apply:
  1. a direction is given by the University’s Audit and Risk Management Committee;
  2. teaching activities allocated to a venue in a central teaching space can exceed the venue size (teaching capacity) by up to a maximum of 10 per cent;
  3. teaching activities with a recognised online component (such as an asynchronous online echo 360 ‘recording’ or a synchronous online ‘live’ component of dual delivery activity) can be allocated to a venue sized at no less than 80 per cent of its expected total enrolments/allocations for the activity, unless otherwise requested.
  1. Where possible, venues made centrally available by Schools are allocated to teaching activities as first preference for that School unless otherwise specified in the approved venue usage agreement.
  2. Time slots for School allocated venues not required by the Timetabling Office are released back to Schools two weeks after semester commences.

Timetable Production and Publication

  1. A Preliminary Timetable is prepared and published on the ANU Timetabling website. The timetable remains in preliminary form for two weeks during which time, Colleges /Schools are responsible for:
  1. checking adequate provisions have been made for the required activities;
  2. ensuring teaching staff are aware of their teaching commitments.

  1. Colleges/Schools are responsible for providing feedback and requesting changes to the preliminary timetable via the Timetabling Office during the review period.
  2. Changes to the final timetable are only permitted as described in the Timetable Changes section for extenuating circumstances and must align with the objective of a student-focused timetable.
  3. The final timetable is published on the ANU Timetabling website, which is accessible for students and staff.

Student Allocation

Semester timetabling (Semester 1 and Semester 2 teaching activities)

  1. Allocate Plus (referred to as MyTimetable), is the official ANU allocation system for student allocation to class activities.
  2. Protocols for student self-allocation in MyTimetable include:
  1. The class allocation system opens for student allocation at least 2 weeks prior to semester commencement. An official date for the opening of the class allocation is set for Semester 1 and Semester 2 and is published on MyTimetable and the ANU Timetabling website.
  2. Timetabled courses not opening for student self-allocation on the official opening date require the approval of the relevant Associate Dean (Education) or delegate and are published on MyTimetable prior to the official opening date. This includes courses where all activities are set to ‘hidden’ (that is, activities that are not viewable in MyTimetable).
  3. Courses which contain only some activity groups or teaching activities not open for student self-allocation (either ‘hidden’ or ‘read-only’), do not require Associate Dean (Education) or delegate approval but do require appropriate messaging/notifications to students in MyTimetable.
  1. Closing MyTimetable for student self-allocation for Semester 1 and Semester 2:
  1. MyTimetable closes for student self-allocation prior to census date and at the earliest, 2 weeks after semester commencement, at a date determined by the Timetabling Office subsequent to consultation with Schools/Colleges.
  2. Upon allocation closure, all activity groups are set to ‘read-only’. Teaching activities set to ‘read-only’ appear on the students’ timetable but are not open for student self-allocation.
  3. School/College staff allocate students after closure of student self-allocation, up until the final system closure.
  1. For final System Closure of MyTimetable all activity groups are set to ‘off’ at the end of the first week of the end of semester examination period. These activities no longer appear on student or staff timetables. Requests for exceptions require the approval of Associate Dean (Education) or delegate.
  2. Publication of opening and closing dates:
  1. Official opening dates, closure of student self-allocation and final system closure dates for Semester 1 and Semester 2 are published for all students and staff in MyTimetable.
  2. All approved exemptions from the above dates are published in MyTimetable for students and staff.
  1. Auto-Allocation of students:
  1. Students who remain unallocated to a teaching activity after student allocation closes will be auto allocated by a bulk action in MyTimetable by the Timetabling Office.
  2. The above action will not allow the allocation of students with clashes. These will require individual management between students and their College/School.

Sessional Teaching Activities (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring Sessions)

  1. The Timetabling Office may implement separate processes for sessional activities falling outside of Semester 1 and 2, and will take into consideration student and staff experiences when determining these processes.

Clashable activities

  1. Live activities that are permitted to clash (known as ‘clashable’ activities) are as follows:
  1. Lectures and Lectorials are clashable timetabled activities by default in MyTimetable, as these activities offer students a recording (echo360 or other means).
  2. The Timetabling Office is notified of ‘Opt-out’ recorded activities in accordance with the ANU Recording of Teaching Activities Policy to facilitate adjustments to ‘clashable’ activities.
  3. Teaching staff may request additional individual activities to be clashable, where a recording is offered to students.
  1. To allow flexibility and optimal timetable management, specific activity types (in addition to lectures and lectorials as mentioned in the previous clause) may be set up in MyTimetable as ‘clashable’. These include non-mandatory teaching activities (for example drop-in sessions and Public Holiday make-up classes).

Timetable Changes

  1. The following change requests are accepted without approval:
  1. Change in location (within the Acton campus or within the Mt Stromlo campus) where a change to location is not possible to address a Work, Health and Safety concern, a change in time and/or day may be facilitated.
  2. additional teaching activity options for students to select from; this does not include additional mandatory activities;
  3. change in staff (with no resulting change to the teaching activity’s time or day);
  4. Late course approval/cancellations already considered in accordance with the Course/Class Cancellation Procedure do not require a second approval.
  1. Requests for change resulting in a change to teaching activity patterns (e.g. timing, duration and/or weeks on offer) require Associate Dean (Education) or delegate approval. The impact on students must be minimised and detailed in the request. Reasons for late change requests include (but are not limited to):
  1. unexpected decline in enrolment numbers;
  2. unexpected staff turnover;
  3. mandated changes to research requirements unknowable at time of initial availability submission; and
  4. other unexpected events outside of the control of the College/School.
  1. All requests for changes are submitted to the Timetabling Office in writing along with the relevant approval.
  2. All change requests require the following information:
  1. reason for change (e.g. enrolment numbers, staffing etc.);
  2. type of change (e.g. activity deletion, duration change).
  1. The Timetabling Office will notify the relevant College/School and the original change requestor of the outcome of the request.
  2. The College/School will notify all students enrolled in the affected courses of any changes to the timetable after final publication. Once MyTimetable is opened for student allocation, allocated students receive automatic system generated notifications of changes to their timetable.
  3. Requests for timetable changes after student allocation have a significant impact on students. For this reason, change requests (other than those identified in clause 34) are only made in extenuating circumstances and require the approval of the relevant Associate Dean (Education) or delegate. Information provided must include the number of students impacted and proposed solutions for students. If the change involves rescheduling of a teaching activity to a different time, consideration is afforded to determine the optimal time with least impact on students.

Venue Capacity (Temporary Adjustments)

  1. Proposed temporary changes to a venue’s capacity are:
  1. first considered by the Timetabling Office in the context of moving the affected teaching activity to a larger sized venue, taught at the same day and time; and/or
  2. considered by the Timetabling Office in the context of moving the affected activity to a different day and/or time; and/or
  3. considered by the Timetabling Office in the context of creating an additional teaching activity (in consultation with the College/School).
  1. Requests by Colleges/Schools to temporarily increase a venue’s capacity are only progressed by the Timetabling Office if the venue capacity concern cannot be addressed under Clause 41 and:
  1. the venue has a higher approved capacity within Archibus (the University’s space management module); and
  2. Facilities and Services Division are engaged to consider all aspects of the proposed change, in particular health and safety (ventilation and egress as examples); and
  3. Facilities and Services Division approve the change.
  1. If a temporary increase to a venue’s capacity has been approved by the Facilities and Services Division, deploying additional infrastructure to the teaching venue is performed by:
  1. the Division of Shared Services for common teaching spaces; or
  2. Facilities and Services Division for the Kambri precinct; or
  3. Colleges/Schools where they are the owner of the venue.


  1. The Timetabling Office is responsible for ensuring that clashes are avoided where possible and resolving timetable issues in the first instance. Any proposed resolution seeks to minimise impact on students and staff, while optimising venue utilisation.
  2. For requested changes:
  1. the Timetabling Office seeks to resolve any requests and indicate any reasons why the change cannot be accommodated as requested; and
  2. any timetable change requests that cannot be resolved by the Timetabling Office are referred to the Registrar in the first instance and thereafter to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Non-Teaching bookings

  1. Teaching events take priority in all University teaching spaces over other approved activities. If a teaching space is not in use for timetabled activities, it may be booked for other purposes subject to University policies and procedures. Please refer to relevant booking policies and procedures at: learning-commons-tlc-venue-hire


  1. A report is submitted annually to the Teaching and Learning Development Committee demonstrating adherence to the Timetable Policy and Timetabling Procedure. The report contains but is not necessarily limited to, information on the following:
  1. compliance metrics;
  2. venue utilisation data; and
  3. strategic commentary.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Timetabling
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_005009
Purpose To provide a student focused timetable that will support face to face teaching and learning with minimal clashes while optimising the use of available teaching spaces, resources and facilities.
Audience Students, Staff-Academic
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students
Effective Date 29 Nov 2023
Next Review Date 28 Nov 2028
Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Contact Area Division of Student Administration and Academic Services
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) 2021
Delegations 0

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