Some students have significant external responsibilities that need to be organised around classes and assignments (e.g. child rearing or other caring duties, hospital appointments etc.).

Many other students may have extra-curricular activities or part-time employment that needs to be arranged around College. When students receive clear and timely notice of class and assessment timetables they can organise their time effectively, ensuring their study gets ample attention while allowing for a suitable work-life balance.

Early Timetabling - Who Benefits?

Making timetables available to students in advance of the teaching term allows students to organise their weekly timetable in advance.

The following are case studies of students who may have particular difficulties.
Cases Issue Solutions for students
Mature Student Student finds it difficult to organise child minding at short notice before term starts. Student arranges child minding as soon as time table becomes available.
Student from under represented socio-economic group Student finds it difficult to arrange working hours at short notice before term starts. Student arranges working hours as soon as timetable becomes available.
Student with a Disability Student with mobility difficulties finds it can be difficult to cross the campus between lectures, and not all classes are accessible. Student reviews the time table for possible difficulties in good time and alerts the programme of any problematic timetabling before term begins.


Action plan for lecturer

Ensure students receive their timetables in plenty of time before the beginning of term.

When arranging timetables consider student workload per day, rest periods, and distance between teaching venues.


Main principle
Always aim to get teaching and assessment timetables out to students as early as possible.


Guidelines for Inclusive Timetabling

Teaching Timetables

Ensure students:

  • get their time tables as soon as possible, in advance of the teaching year,
  • are well informed of how any amendments to times or venues will be communicated,
  • are notified as soon as possible where amendments to timetables are necessary,
  • are given scheduled short breaks when timetabled for blocks of lectures. Concentration will lapse without this.
  • have time to get from class to class by ensuring classes always start and finish on time (usually ten to the hour).

Assessment Timetables

  • Circulate a document to your students at the beginning of the academic year, displaying all deadlines for continuous assessment.

This allows students to pace their study over the course of the year, taking account of, and proactively meeting, any periods with multiple deadlines. This will also provide the opportunity to find any potential difficulties arising from 'deadline overload' when it is possible to deal with it effectively.