Policy Estate and Facility Management Timetable and Class Registration Policy

Timetable and Class Registration Policy

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This Policy establishes the framework for the James Cook University teaching timetable and class registration, supporting the best possible learning experience for students, whilst maximising the efficient use of University space and resources. It is to be read in conjunction with the Timetable and Class Registration Procedures.


This policy covers timetabling and class registration at James Cook University campuses and study centres in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Mount Isa, Thursday Island and Cloncurry. It does not cover Singapore or Brisbane campuses.


Academic administrative bookings: Activities related to the organisation of teaching, including enrolment and orientation events, classes or placement administration.

Centrally Managed Learning Spaces: Spaces managed by the Estate Directorate on behalf of JCU and included in the timetable for general booking access. These include internal furniture, finishings and upgrades will be maintained by Estate Directorate.

Clash: An occurrence where two or more teaching activities required to be taken by an identified cohort of students are scheduled at the same time or overlap.

Class: Any teaching activity or event such as a lecture, tutorial or laboratory session that makes up the time requirement for a subject.

Flexible Delivery: Refers to how the timing, pace, content, assessment and location (in both virtual and physical environments) of learning can be varied, personalized and chosen by the student to suit their needs, whilst still meeting the desired learning outcomes.  The extent of variability will be determined by course and/or subject requirements.

Locally Managed Learning Spaces: A space used for dedicated purposes by one College or other teaching unit such as an anatomy laboratory or a moot court, or a general space that has been approved by the Estate Directorate for management by a specific College or other teaching unit. .

Teaching Activity: Any event such as a lecture, tutorial, laboratory session that makes up the time requirement for a unit.

Timetabling: The act of scheduling all teaching activities such as lectures, workshops and tutorials into suitable teaching spaces taking into consideration availability of teaching locations, staff needs, and ensuring students are able to attend classes for core units in a course level to satisfy course rules and to complete elective unit combinations that are specified by course regulations to fulfil the requirements of the award.


The timetable is generated annually to achieve five main objectives for all staff and students at JCU: support student learning through appropriate timing of teaching activities; support staff to deliver quality learning outcomes in appropriate learning environments; allocate appropriate resources and facilities to support pedagogic requirements; comply with workplace health and safety and fire code regulations for capacity of spaces; and to improve overall utilisation and efficiency of resources within the University.

1.   The following principles will be utilised to develop the annual timetable:

1.1   The JCU timetable shall provide students and academic staff with a schedule of teaching activities and teaching space allocation for the academic year inclusive of all study periods, and coordinated from a whole of institute perspective using an automated timetable system.

1.2   The timetable will aim to provide fair, responsible and inclusive treatment for both students and staff to support both the student and the academic experience.

1.3   Scheduling priority for the timetable will be developed with consideration to class sizes, commonality of subjects, duration and academic versus other activities.

1.4   Students can expect to attend all core subjects in accordance with standard course progression and to have a reasonable selection of electives from which to choose. Elective subjects will not be guaranteed to be clash free.

1.5   The timetable will actively support the University’s AccessAbility students and staff allowing them every opportunity to successfully complete their studies.

1.6   The automated timetable system business rules and rationale will be reviewed annually.

2.   Timetable Core Hours

2.1   Classes will be scheduled from Monday to Friday for study period one and two periods, between the hours of 8.00am – 5.00pm for day classes and 5.00pm – 9.30pm for night classes.

2.2   Block Class and Intensive Class modes may be scheduled during study period breaks or either study period from Monday to Sunday during day and/or night sessions.

2.3   Teaching outside these core hours must be agreed between the requesting teaching staff,    Timetable Contacts, other teaching unit Contacts, Director Academic Quality and Strategy, and Director, Operations if learning requires support from technical staff.

3.   Teaching Activities

3.1   Classes will be scheduled in a manner that will facilitate student attendance and offer a standard pattern of enrolment including as many student choices in courses of study. See 1.4 above.

3.2   The University is under no obligation to replace classes lost by circumstances beyond the University’s control. However, where classes are scheduled to be held on a day that is lost, Colleges and other teaching units may make alternative teaching or study arrangements if they believe that achievement of student learning outcomes will be adversely affected.

3.3   The timetable will place a priority on accommodating blended learning and flexible delivery wherever possible for individual subjects within a study period.

3.4   Using the automated timetable system, JCU Timetabling staff will apply consistent business rules and utilise the following rationale unless specifically requested otherwise by Colleges and other teaching units:

3.4.1   Limit the number of contiguous class hours in a day for both students and teaching staff;

3.4.2   Disperse or cluster classes to meet optimum teaching requirements;

3.4.3   Allow for reasonable travel time between teaching locations;

3.4.4   Allow for approved non-teaching periods each week as approved by the Education Committee to allow staff to attend University meetings.

4.   Centrally Managed Learning Spaces

4.1   The University owns all rooms and buildings on the Cairns Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa, Thursday Island and Cloncurry campuses, and delegates daily management to Estate Directorate.  All learning spaces owned, or leased by the University, are to be represented in the automated timetable system for the purpose of creating a comprehensive student and staff timetable. This includes Locally Managed Learning Spaces.

4.2   Some subjects will require guaranteed access to computer laboratories or clinics for core subjects and would be scheduled on a preferential basis, but these spaces will also be available for more general scheduling at all other times. Further information can be found in Timetable and Class Registration Procedure Clause 3.1.

4.3   The University will prioritise teaching, research and examination activities over non-teaching activities and venue hire bookings during study periods. There is an exception to this intention only when requesting use of The Cairns Institute as outlined in Timetable and Class Registration Procedure Clause 13.1 and 15.4

5.   Locally Managed Learning Spaces

5.1   All Locally Managed Learning Spaces are to be included in the JCU Timetable and booked as a priority for the managing unit.  If required by Timetabling, these Estate Directorate approved Locally Managed Learning Spaces must also make space available for general requests.

6.   Dispute Resolution

6.1   Any dispute regarding timetabling and class registration will be dealt with in accordance with the practices described in the Timetable and Class Registration Procedure.

Related documents and legislation

Timetable and Class Registration Procedure (Includes Annex A JCU Timetable and Class Registration Timeline)

Blended Learning Policy

Space Utilisation Audit Procedure

Related policies and procedures

Strategic Intent

University Plan

Space Allocation and Management Policy

Space Moves and Requests to Change Space Procedure

Course and Subject Handbook

Videoconferencing & Audio Visual Equipment - Funding Policy for Common Teaching Rooms

Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association

JCU Enterprise Agreement 2016 (PDF, 1370 KB)

Charter of Academic Responsibility

Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching & Course Management chapters

Building Code of Australia


Approval Details

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

DVC Students /  DVC Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next review

November 2015

Revision History

[Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment]

[Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect]


Approval date

Implementation date



18-109/03/201803/05/2018Amended to reflect organisational structureQuality, Standards and Policy Officer




Policy Established

Dana Alexander, Head, Information and Space Planning, Estate Directorate


Timetable, timetabling, schedule, scheduling, Learning space, class registration