Term Planning

Uni-Wide Timetabling

The final timetable and teaching space that you end up with is subject to several constraints, which are all covered during term planning, a process that takes place many months before the start of semester.

It is important that you review the set up of your course and request changes before the deadline, as it will not be possible to make changes once the timetable has been produced and advertised.

The various aspects that constrain the timetable are summarised below.

CSE Term Planning Contacts: Head, CSE Student Services and Term Planning Admin.

LiC Deadlines

9:00am 7 July 2015

5:00pm 18 January 2016


Log into:
to review/amend your course set up

[activity structure] [resource requirements] [staff scheduling]
[combined & parallel classes] [clash free course combinations
[It's all too confusing? Got more important things to do with your time?]

Activity Structure

  • What components do you need? eg. LEC, LAB and/or TUT or do you prefer TLB?
  • What is the duration of your class?
  • If you have more than one meeting time (eg. 3 x 1hr) do you need them scheduled on separate days?
  • Which timeband is best? UGRD Core (daytime) PGRD Evening (6pm)

Who is responsible?

LiC is responsible for the activity structure.

Resource Requirements

  • What are your teaching needs? eg. data projector, internet access, whiteboard, movable seating, microphone.
  • If you have a lab activity, which lab do you need? eg. Mac, Linux, Windows.
  • Do you have a preference for the location on campus?  a.k.a. precinct.
  • Do you need Echo 360 (previously known as Lectopia)?  What are the Echo 360 options?

Who is responsible?

LiC is responsible for requesting the resources they require.

Staff Scheduling

  • Part-timers may not be able to work on particular days.
  • Lecturers may have family commitments which preclude them from working after 6pm.
  • Staff may have committee responsibilities

Staff should use the staff scheduling request form if they are unable to teach on any day at any time. Approval by the HoS, Dean, DVC (academic) is required for full-time staff, and a new form will need to be submitted every year due to the likelihood of circumstances changing. Requests from semester 1 will be automatically applied to semester 2 unless you submit a new form.

In order to access the staff scheduling request form please login in via Confluence with your zPass:

Scheduling Request for Full-Time and Part-Time Academic Staff Forms

Scheduling request forms must be returned to Term Planning Admin prior to the term planning deadline for approval and inclusion in the timetable.

Who is responsible?

Academics are responsible for making this request.

Combined & Parallel Classes

  • Some courses need to be scheduled same time, same location. (eg. COMP2041 and COMP9041)
  • Some courses need to be scheduled same time, different location. (eg. COMP1911, COMP1917, ENGG1811).

This can constrain the options each LiC has for setting up the activities. For example, if COMP1911 has three 1 hour lectures scheduled on separate days, ENGG1811 cannot request a 2+1 hour lecture block, or vice versa.

We generally only use parallel scheduling to enable students to move easily between core program options.  Students in engineering can select one of three first year computing courses so having them in parallel ensures they won't have timetable clashes if they decide to extend themselves.

Who is responsible?

CSE Student Office is responsible for ensuring combined and parallel classes are set up correctly.

Clash Free Course Combinations (CFCCs)

Please take the time to understand how CFCCs work before complaining about clashes.

What are CFCCs? The official UNSW explanation is that they "are groups of courses that must be available clash-free in a given teaching period so that the planned number of students can enrol in them concurrently to ensure program progression requirements can be met and reasonable elective choice is available".

It is not possible to ensure that all CSE courses remain clash free, nor is it possible to accommodate all student or staff requests to keep electives clash free, as much as we would like to. There are only 5 teaching days in a week, and when you factor in the above constraints clashfreeness of all desirable options is simply not possible.

Here's roughly how CFCCs work:

  1. CFCCs are created by program;
  2. They are based on course combinations that students must take in a particular semester to progress through their program;
  3. They are weighted by priority: Essential, Important, Desirable, Optional;
  4. They are allocated a planned number of students.

In CSE, we roll CFCCs forward each semester, and add or remove CFCCs as required. We ensure that all program requirements (incl. streams) are listed as Essential, and we add Important, Desirable, and Optional CFCCs as needed based on staff requests and course combinations taken by students in the past that were popular but not defined as a CFCC.

Who is responsible?

CSE Student Office is responsible for ensuring CFCCs.

We are always open to suggestions on how to improve clashes, and appreciate dealing with staff and students who understand the fundamentals of the process.

Whis is responsibile?

CSE Student Office is responsible for setting enrolment capacties each semester.

During term planning enrolment capacities for the new semester usually allow an additional incremental increase of 20% from the last time the course ran. However these capacities act as a guide only as there is no set enrolment cap on any course unless the lecturer is able to demonstrate an issue which prevents them from accepting further enrolment such as hardware requirements or teaching restrictions.

It's all too confusing? Got more important things to do with your time?

Although problems are rare, if you are concerned about your timetable, at least drop into the CSE Student Office and have a 5 minute conversation with staff. We've already set the courses up the way we think you will want to run them, but just in case... It's best to check.

Some of the problems experienced when term planning first commenced could have been avoided if a conversation had taken place at the appropriate time. These problems, identified by the LiC as late as the day of the first class, included:

  • Why doesn't my class room have internet access? how do you expect me to teach without it...?
  • I need to change my LAB and TUT [scheduled on separate days] to a TLB [one scheduled after the other on the same day]!!
  • My class is scheduled on the same day as its co-requisite :-(
  • But I can't teach on Mondays because [insert confidential reason that needs to be approved by HoS, Dean, DVC Academic].
  • My room only fits 100 students, I am expecting over 150 this year!
  • What do you mean there are no bigger rooms available in this timeslot?
  • Um, where are my LABs?
  • Why is my class running at 3pm? It always runs at 6pm.

For all of the above, the longer you leave it the harder it will be for us to make the necessary changes. As semester draws near, rooms become a very scarce resource and you may just get stuck with what you have been allocated.

Some changes are simply not possible after the timetable has been released and students have started enrolling. UNSW takes a very strong position on making changes to the advertised schedule and often refuse to make late changes unless the LiC can demonstrate that the students would be severely disadvantaged if the class runs in the way it has been scheduled.