Manual of Policies and Procedures

E/5.1 Class timetabling

Contact Officer

Director, Student Administration

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


5.1.1 Purpose
5.1.2 Application
5.1.3 Roles and responsibilities
5.1.4 Class timetabling development and publication
5.1.5 Travel between campuses
5.1.6 Equity considerations
5.1.7 Resolving timetable clashes
5.1.8 Post-publication timetable changes
5.1.9 Teaching hours
5.1.10 Teaching space and room allocation
Related Documents
Modification History


The Class timetabling policy is subject to temporary variation required to support the continuation of learning and teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Urgent changes will be approved by the Chair, University Academic Board under the Executive Action procedure (Appendix 2, section 9.1).

Changes to the policy are summarised in the Modification history.

5.1.1 Purpose

To maintain high standards of teaching and provide students with an enriched learning experience, QUT is committed to delivering an extensive and flexible academic program by developing effective class timetabling. The framework provides for fair, reasonable and inclusive treatment of both students and staff, and ensures optimal use of teaching resources.


5.1.2 Application

This policy applies to staff and students of the University. This policy does not include information relating to examination timetabling (Examinations E/6.1).


5.1.3 Roles and responsibilities


Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • makes a final decision on a timetabling issue if a resolution cannot be reached by the Director, Student Administration

Executive deans of faculty

  • approve post publication timetabling changes after the opening of classes for registration
  • monitor viability and where required may cancel any class in any unit if that class is not considered to be viable (normally a commencing enrolment of less than 12 students)
Director, Student Administration
  • approves the timetabling procedures
  • determines disputes about timetabling not resolved by the Manager, Timetabling
  • oversees the corporate class allocation and registration system
Heads of school
  • consult with the faculty timetabling team or the Manager, Timetabling where the timetabling needs of a faculty or school differ from standard requirements
  • approve the school’s draft timetable for publication
  • approve post publication changes of the timetable after the timetable is published but prior to the opening of classes for registration
Manager, Timetabling  
  • maintains and develops the corporate timetabling system, including training and support for system users
  • prepares and distributes timelines for data preparation
  • coordinates and manages timetabling to produce the University timetable
  • approves the University class timetable for publication
  • allocates all general teaching rooms, including ad hoc room bookings and external room bookings
Timetabling coordinators, in faculties/schools/QUT College
  • manage, maintain and monitor the operation of the corporate class allocation and registration system
  • ensure data is added to the corporate timetabling and class allocation and registration systems within the specified timeframes
  • coordinate timetabling activities for double degrees in consultation with the partner school or faculty  
Course coordinators, subject area coordinators and unit coordinators 
  • ensure accurate data and adjustments are provided for preparation and publishing of the timetable
  • advise timetabling staff of surplus classes by Week 3 of the relevant teaching period
Academic staff 
  • review individual teaching timetables and advise course, subject area, or unit coordinators of any issues
  • check the published timetable and class allocation and discuss with the course coordinator concerns relating to clashes between core units, unreasonable travel between campuses to attend core classes, and reasonable requests arising from family responsibilities, religious obligations, or disability, injury or health condition
  • ensure class registration is complete


5.1.4 Class timetabling development and publication

Effective and quality class timetabling is achieved through:

  • scheduling all teaching activities using the University’s corporate timetabling and class allocation systems
  • publishing the timetable for the forthcoming academic period at a time, and in a manner, that provides students with the necessary information to plan and finalise enrolment
  • providing reasonable choice of electives or optional units where permitted in a course structure, to ensure students complete the standard study program within the specified time
  • keeping changes to the timetable after publication to a minimum
  • scheduling teaching activities to make efficient and practical use of the University's teaching resources and facilities
  • minimising need for students to travel between campuses
  • avoiding split lectures.

Draft timetable

A draft timetable is prepared for staff to review as follows:

  • Semester 1 and associated teaching periods – Week 10 of Semester 2
  • Semester 2 and associated teaching periods – Week 8 of Semester 1

The draft timetable enables faculties and schools to ensure that provision has been made for all teaching activities and to identify any clashes within standard programs.

Publication of University class timetable

The University class timetable is published as follows:

  • Semester 1 and associated teaching periods timetable - Week 14 of Semester 2
  • Semester 2 and associated teaching periods timetable - Week 11 of Semester 1
  • Summer Program and associated teaching periods - Week 11 of preceding semester (Semester 2) (to correspond with the beginning of Summer Program enrolment)

Official class timetables are published on the QUT Home Page and HiQ and are updated daily if changes are required.


5.1.5 Travel between campuses

Where students and staff are required to attend lectures in core units at more than one campus on the same day, a minimum travel time of one hour should be provided between Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove.

Service provider schools and service recipient schools should liaise to ensure that the need for students to travel between campuses is minimised.


5.1.6 Equity considerations

Consistent with University policies on equal opportunity and diversity (A/8.4) and disability (A/8.6), and anti-discrimination legislation, reasonable adjustments may be made for staff and students with family responsibilities, religious obligations, or disabilities.

Where possible, students and staff seeking such adjustments should provide information and requests in advance of the timetable being developed. Staff require prior approval from their head of school or manager before submitting such requests. Requests from:

  • students related to a disability, injury or health condition are made to the Disability Advisors
  • staff related to a disability, injury or health condition are made to the relevant unit or course coordinator
  • staff and students related to religious obligations are made to the Equity Director's office
  • staff and students related to family responsibilities are made to the relevant unit or course coordinator, or faculty/school responsible for timetabling the unit/s.


5.1.7 Resolving timetabling clashes

In resolving timetable clashes, the following principles will be applied:

  • teaching activities have precedence over non-teaching activities
  • lectures and main teaching activities take precedence over other activities
  • larger classes have precedence over smaller classes
  • first year units have precedence over later year units
  • activities that occupy large blocks of time have precedence over those that occupy small blocks of time
  • full-semester classes take precedence over other activities
  • activities with more teaching weeks have precedence over activities with fewer teaching weeks
  • the use of specialist teaching space must be used for its designated purpose
  • activities requiring specialised teaching facilities (eg media equipped lecture theatres) in rooms so equipped have precedence over those requiring standard facilities
  • access for students with a disability, injury or health condition takes precedence over other considerations, unless this causes unjustifiable hardship.


5.1.8 Post-publication timetable changes

Changes to the published timetable must be kept to a minimum to avoid adverse impact on students.

Changes may only be made for valid reasons such as:

  • unexpected staff turnover
  • availability of sessional academic staff
  • unexpected surge or decline in student numbers enrolled
  • a location is a health or safety hazard
  • a unit is no longer deemed viable
  • reasonable adjustments to accommodate staff or students for whom legislation or QUT policy provides special measures/adjustments and/or equity measures.

Faculties/schools that provide service units are required to liaise with their partner faculty/school before making any timetable changes.

Further information regarding timetable changes is available in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).


5.1.9 Teaching hours

The University’s normal teaching times are from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 10pm on each campus. Classes may be scheduled at any time during these hours. Classes may be confined to a core period covering Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 9pm provided sufficient resources are available. 

Classes should be spread evenly over the week. When necessary classes may also be made available on the weekends to meet the study needs of the particular student group.  Classes should be in multiples of 30 minute blocks that commence on the hour or the half hour. To enable subsequent classes to commence on time, all teaching will cease 10 minutes prior to the scheduled end time and classes should vacate a teaching space 10 minutes prior to the end of the allotted time for that class.

Class free period

Each campus maintains a class free period of at least one hour each week during a semester. Gardens Point Campus has an additional class free period between 1pm and 2pm on Friday. These periods are set aside for organised student activities. Formal class activities should not be scheduled during class free periods unless they are activities of a long duration that should not be interrupted, or resource constraints necessitate their allocation at these times.

Flexible scheduling

Classes in courses advertised as being available for part-time students should normally be scheduled so that there are sufficient classes at appropriate times for all students to complete the course at a normal progression rate, provided enrolment is viable.


5.1.10 Teaching space and room allocation

All teaching space must be incorporated into the timetabling system. Specialist teaching space is reserved for use by classes conducted by the specialist school. Arrangements by other schools to use specialised teaching space must be made with the school that controls this space.

Room allocation conflicts will be resolved by negotiation between the parties concerned and, if required, mediated initially by the Manager, Timetabling.

Rooms that are not already in use in any teaching period may be booked for ad hoc bookings.

Timetabled activities take precedence over all other booking requirements.  The policy on hire of University space (H/3.8.4) provides information on bookings for internal and external users.  Catering in teaching spaces is not permitted without approval (Campus services, events and alcohol H/3.6.4).


Related Documents

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP E/6.1 Examinations

MOPP H/3.6 Campus Services, events and alcohol

MOPP H/3.8 Hire of University space

Class timetabling procedures (QUT staff access only)

QUT Handbook

Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Administration Guidelines 2012


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
15.04.21 All University Academic Board Periodic review - minor changes to reflect current processes and Repositioning QUT for a post-COVID world organisational restructure (effective 31.01.21)
27.03.20 E/5.1.4 Chair, University Academic Board Policy alert added for temporary variation to the publication of the University timetable due to COVID-19
08.02.18 All Chair, University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy
17.12.12 E/5.1.5, E/5.1.6 Registrar Amendments to reflect minor changes to timings for Publication of timetable and Opening of class allocation and registration
09.06.10 E/5.1.8 Chairperson, University Academic Board Policy revised to include addition of ability for executive dean to delegate decisions to assistant dean teaching and learning
14.11.08 All University Academic Board Revised policy, effective from 01.01.09 (endorsed by Academic Policy and Procedures Committee 23.06.08)
17.05.07 E/5.1.2 Vice-Chancellor Updated policy to remove references to Student Guild activities
19.03.04 All University Academic Board Revised policy (effective immediately) - replaces former E/5.1, E/5.2, E/5.4, E/5.5, E/5.6 and E/5.7 (endorsed by Academic Policy and Procedures Committee 12.03.04)
22.08.02 E/5.1.4 Chairperson, University Academic Board Revised policy (endorsed by University Academic Board 31.07.02)
06.10.00 E/5.1 University Academic Board Approved new policy