Policy University Management Student Timetable Policy

Student Timetable Policy

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This policy outlines the responsibilities and principles underpinning delivery of an accurate and stable learning activity timetable that aligns with program offerings and student cohort profile. The development and publication of every timetable is to reflect student-centric principles and offer a consistent experience for both students and staff.

This Policy addresses HESF Standards 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.2, and 7.3.1(h).


The Policy applies to all students and staff involved with undergraduate, postgraduate and Pathway courses and programs offered on campus, and online by James Cook University (JCU) Australia.

This Policy does not apply to JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane until completion of the trimester implementation project.


Enabling teams: University units or teams actively involved in supporting the delivery of learning activities throughout the timetable delivery process. Examples of teams include Space Team, Client Services, Audio-Visual Services, Student Systems and Course Coordinators.

Information systems: Existing University systems that directly manage curriculum information and support the student’s journey from student timetable publication to class registration, i.e., Syllabus Plus, Student Management System, Course and Subject Handbook, Coursework Subject Database, Teaching Roles Database and Facility Management System.

Learning and teaching requirements: Curriculum and subject information provided by Academy to Scheduling Services to inform the timetable draft phase, including activity types, technology requirements, cohort sizes, and specialised location.

Program of study: Essential customised dataset used to schedule priority course combinations and core subjects clash-free for the timetable publication.

Scheduling Services: The centrally managed service team and systems associated with the delivery of timetabling and class registration processes.

Student timetable: A complete schedule for an individual student including learning activities, room locations, teaching staff names and special requirements.


1. Core student-centred timetable principles

All University staff involved in timetabling and class registration activities will be guided by the following principles and make decisions and priority setting with these in mind:

  • Accessibility – Students are supported for a variety of needs using informed scheduling solutions and accessible Learning and Teaching (L&T) spaces and study hubs.
  • Accountability – Students can expect a well-informed timetable with all those involved in the development prioritising their requirements first.
  • Balanced workload – Students and staff can expect an effective timetable. From the consensus point of view, the timetable will be balanced across the teaching day and week with opportunities for breaks between days and/or activities.
  • Connection – Students can connect virtually or physically to suit their learning activity at either formal L&T spaces or study hubs.
  • Consistent information management – Students can trust the details in their timetable are accurate and match the offerings published in the Student Handbook and the Coursework Subject Data Base.
  • Curriculum planned in advance – Staff will prioritise curriculum planning for the next timetable well in advance of timetable draft commencement.
  • Equitable class selection – Students will be able to register for their activities at the same time, as registration dates are published early for all cohorts, and they are provided with core subjects clash-free.
  • Personal timetable – Students are able to access their personal timetable via a mobile application.
  • Staff availability – All Academic and Professional and Technical staff associated with a learning activity are available as allocated in the timetable unless an Individual Flexible Arrangement is endorsed and registered with HR.
  • Suitable L&T spaces – Students will be able to attend classes in L&T spaces that suit the scheduled activity.
  • Time management – Students can plan their preferred study patterns and other personal commitments knowing their timetable is stable once published.

2. Roles and responsibilities

Providing roles and responsibilities shared across multiple units ensures any decision making required leading to the publication of the next timetable is made with student-centred needs at the forefront and with a clear understanding of who is responsible.

2.1 Curriculum Committee:

  • Manage coursework approvals in accordance with the processes, timelines, and authorisations detailed in the Coursework Approval Procedures and associated schedules.
  • Set coursework approval timelines that align with timetable development and class registration opening dates.

2.2 Education Committee:

  • Approve the annual academic calendar in the year before implementation to enable efficient timetable planning.

2.3 Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academy (DVC A):

  • Ensure Academy staff provide accurate and timely information to the Scheduling Services team to enable efficient delivery of timetabling and class registration services.
  • Endorse and monitor the Academy process for managing requests to make changes to the published timetable.

2.4 Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education (DVC E):

  • Inform and direct the future timetable delivery strategy to support new business imperatives, such as student facing events and activities, and campus activation.
  • Align Study Plan development and publishing with coursework approvals procedures and associated schedules to enable efficient delivery of timetabling and class registration services.
  • Ensure student facing services provide accurate and timely timetabling and class registration information.

2.5 Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources (DVC SR):

  • Operationally resource and support the Estate Directorate and Technology Solutions teams to deliver timetabling and class registration services for students and the Academy.
  • Provide dashboard reporting to share information for executive planning, quality assurance and decision making.

3. Scheduling activity

3.1 Class registration open dates will be scheduled at least four weeks prior to commencement of study periods and trimesters so all student cohorts have equal access to class selection.

3.2 Where appropriate, class registration open dates will be earlier over Christmas periods or long breaks between major study periods. This strategy affords the opportunity for students to balance study commitments and lifestyle planning with confidence.

3.3 Activities will only be scheduled for courses and subjects listed in the Course and Subject Handbook for study periods detailed in the Academic Calendar.  Any learning activities outside of the endorsed study period dates are not supported by Scheduling Services.

3.4 Scheduling Services will allocate learning activities for each timetable from Monday to Friday (inclusive) between 8:00am to 6:00pm. Evening or weekend sessions may be available pending discipline level criteria managed by College Deans, Pathways Manager and IERC leadership. Further scheduling guidance will be provided in the Student Timetable Procedure.

4. Accessibility for students requiring reasonable adjustments

4.1 Where a student requires a reasonable adjustment, the AccessAbility team, College staff, Examinations team and Scheduling Services will work together to find suitable timetable solutions.

5. Learning and Teaching spaces

5.1 L&T spaces will be allocated to support an equitable timetable with close consideration of the following factors:

  • student cohort size;
  • teaching approach, delivery and activity type;
  • technology requirements;
  • accessibility requirements, if advised; and
  • time and/or day to suit student cohort pattern.

5.2 All L&T spaces and digital offerings are available to all student cohorts and courses as a shared and valuable resource of the University.

5.3 When using a L&T space, staff will return rooms to their original layout for the activities of the next users of the space.

5.4 To inform future L&T space planning, occupancy studies will be conducted throughout the year.

5.5 Priority for L&T space allocation will be as listed in order below:

  • Priority one - learning activities (detailed order of student cohorts and disciplines will be listed in the Student Timetable Procedure);
  • Priority two - end of study period examinations; and
  • Priority three - all other events, including non-teaching seminars, staff training, external bookings and industry events.

5.6 Release of the published timetable for undergraduate students is priority and changes to release spaces for other activities will not be considered.

5.7 Spaces allocated in the timetable are the only approved L&T locations for those activities.  Staff are not permitted to change locations of activities outside of Syllabus Plus information.

6. Accurate and consistent information

6.1 All course and subject planning is to be completed ready for timetable drafting in August for teaching period one and March for teaching period two.

6.2 Any curriculum information changes will be made prior to publication of Course and Subject Handbook and other associated student-facing documents used by students to inform their course and study decision making.

6.3 All learning activity types will follow a consistent naming convention across all University systems and publications as detailed in the Centre for Education and Enhancement Activity Types guidelines.

6.4 All learning activity topics are detailed in the Subject Outline as the core document for students, and not outlined in the class timetable.

6.5 Every learning and teaching activity displayed in the Student Timetable will include the name of the teaching staff member that is assigned to facilitate that activity.

7. Staff availability

7.1 Decisions made regarding staff availability must support student centric principles, and allowances are only made by exception.

8. Amendments to a published timetable

8.1 Published timetables may only be amended under exceptional circumstances. Requests for amendments to a published timetable will be processed in accordance with the Academy Request to Change Timetable process.  Criteria for such exceptions will be detailed in the Student Timetable Procedure.

Related policy instruments

Adaptive Workplace Policy

Blended Learning Policy

Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance

Coursework Approval, Accreditation and Review Policy

Enterprise Agreement 2022

Space Allocation and Management Policy

Student Evaluation of Subjects and Teaching Policy

Timetable and Class Registration Procedure



Related documents and legislation

Higher Education Standards Framework 2021 (Cth)

JCU Corporate Strategy

Centre for Education and Enhancement Activity Types guidelines

Course and Subject Handbook


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management

Policy Sub-domain

Estate and Facility Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Policy reviewed and amended to change policy title (formerly Timetable and Class Registration Policy), develop student centric principles, identify improved business processes, centralised scheduling services and the inclusion of class registration service.

Associate Director, Operations Estate




Policy reviewed and amended to complement improved business processes.

Head, Information Management, Space and Planning




Amended to reflect organisational structure

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




Policy Established

Dana Alexander, Head, Information Management, Space and Timetabling, Estate Directorate

KeywordsTimetable, timetabling, class registration, student timetable, scheduling, learning and teaching space
Contact personAssociate Director, Operations Estate Directorate