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When do you get a timetable ?

(22 Posts)
NK5BM3 Thu 17-Jul-14 09:31:34

UptheChimney and chemenger - your workplaces sound like mine - in the teleporting between different campus within the span of 10 min.

whilst we're on the timetable issue - one of the recent debacles that happened... was we had a new prof join the group. another guy had left. So the commonsensical thing was to replace the old one with the new one. It was an 'introductory' topic which spans a whole load of stuff but it's doable by the new guy as well. What did internal timetabling then decide to do? they said well, new guy can teach half of existing guy's teaching (so effectively removing an existing colleague's teaching), give other stuff to existing colleague even though he's never taught that, just to give him new stuff to teach. It then involved so many other people, and when the new prof found out, he said 'er no, why don't I just do the stuff that the old guy used to do?'

oh and central university timetabling are very keen to exercise us - so very often you get one class at one end of the campus, and your follow on class, at the other end. and you have 10 min to get across.

and another example (whilst I'm at it!), I used to teach at the top of a tower block (no lift) and the classroom was just not big enough. Coincidentally, there was a classroom next to it, which was much bigger (but seemed to only have 10 students in it). I asked nicely for us to swap. They said no. there seemed no logic to it. So I ended up speaking to the tutor who was taking that class, and so for the rest of the term, we'd just use each other's classroom. Timetabling never knew - all the students did and just accepted it!

chemenger Thu 17-Jul-14 09:20:03

Upthechimney where I am, teaching in another discipline is usually called "exploring the synergies between different subject areas". There is usually great puzzlement that a chemical engineer can't teach most civil engineering subjects, even though we both have "engineer" in our discipline name smile.

UptheChimney Thu 17-Jul-14 09:05:45

The universities I've worked at all keep Wednesday afternoon free. Staff aren't free however -- Wednesday is generally/always meetings afternoon. And PG teaching.

Generally they do a brilliant job but sometimes they have little understanding of how things work - not everyone can do every teaching task at the drop of a hat, or teleport instantly between different campuses

Chemenger have we worked at the same place? I once worked somewhere where our School Manager's response to an unevenness in UG numbers between two disciplines within the School was that academics in discipline X could just pick up classes in discipline Y. When it was pointed out to him that we were specialists and it didn't work like, his wide-eyed stupid response was that he'd come from IT management and that was the norm with techies.

I sometimes wonder whether some admin staff cultivate a special ignorance of the actual core activities of the university ie teaching students and conducting research.

DoctorDoctor Thu 17-Jul-14 00:31:25

We usually have a draft timetable by now but this year we're still waiting. As others have said, ask, but try via admissions - academics won't have any knowledge, though they can tell you about last year's timetable as a guide. Admissions can also tell you if free Wednesday afternoons is policy.

Oodlives Wed 16-Jul-14 22:51:23


NK5BM3 Wed 16-Jul-14 21:43:58

We do for the ug. Pg we still have classes I think although in the programme that I run and teach on we run all day all week so no wed sport allocation.

chemenger Wed 16-Jul-14 21:13:31

We do keep Wed afternoons free for undergrads. A significant number of them play inter or intra university sports.

Oodlives Wed 16-Jul-14 21:05:46

Another question since you're all people who seem to know....

Do universities sti do the 'wed pm is sports' thing they all appeared to do when I went on open days at 18?

chemenger Tue 15-Jul-14 15:27:00

Our admin people think we have a timetable, what they are neglecting to take into account is that we have not yet fully allocated teaching jobs (new staff starting, some leaving so change is unavoidable). This will no doubt cause some people to need to be in more than one place at the same time hence the timetable will change. Admin will be astonished by this, as they are every year. Generally they do a brilliant job but sometimes they have little understanding of how things work - not everyone can do every teaching task at the drop of a hat, or teleport instantly between different campuses.

uiler123 Tue 15-Jul-14 14:32:10

Our timetables cannot be finalised until August because of the uncertainty in first year student numbers. This uncertainly mostly affects the usages of the large lecture theatres - first year classes being the largest - but has knock-on effects since first year lecturers also teach other classes and can't be scheduled to be in two places at once.

UptheChimney Mon 14-Jul-14 11:13:11

Don't have my timetable yet. It's an extraordinarily complicated thing, and is usually done for the whole University and takes a lot of time. Because it's so complex, admins don't like to make changes, so if you can find last year's timetable they will give you an idea of what you'll be doing.

But don't rely on them to replicate exactly the previous years.

AliceInSandwichLand Mon 14-Jul-14 10:09:18

I'm really struggling with this too. I'm starting a part time MA in September while continuing to work part time as a vet, and I really need to know which days I'll be at the university, now, so we can arrange cover at work. I'm amazed it's not all out months ago in this day and age - professional courses give out the dates months and months in advance! Surely it must be a problem for the academics themselves, too?

NK5BM3 Mon 14-Jul-14 10:02:46

Hi serf (love the nickname!)
I thought we were shambolic! We don't have much admin support, or rather, we have admin support that's mostly student focused but none for academics. I don't mean I need someone to do my photocopying or write my letters (!!) but sometimes, when one runs big programmes deemed of significance to the school/university, it would be nice not to have to ring round bus companies, or scour buffet menus for quotes!! grin

Higheredserf Mon 14-Jul-14 09:40:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NK5BM3 Mon 14-Jul-14 09:20:10

Oh wow really? I'm an academic and I've got my timetable already. Thank God. I've already got things booked in till end of the year (heck, I've already booked a graduand dinner for end of spring term!!) but it's useful to know what's happening....

Higheredserf Mon 14-Jul-14 09:18:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PiratePanda Mon 14-Jul-14 09:08:03

I'm an academic. We haven't got our timetables yet!!!! They should be in place by the beginning of September.

Jenijena Mon 14-Jul-14 08:46:28

Not all university timetables will be set yet BUT contact the student office and let them know you're waiting...

sashh Mon 14-Jul-14 08:17:45

It depends on the course.

I've been given a full timetable for a course at induction, but I have also done courses with options, in that case you get a list of units/modules with times and you select the ones you want (or in some cases need) to do.

Oodlives Mon 14-Jul-14 06:36:30

Thanks I've no limitations as such but dh can alter his shifts around me so it would be useful to know in advance as he needs a months notice. They've told me it's over 4 days in year 1 and 3 in year 2/3 plus study time which will mainly be done from home.

NK5BM3 Sun 13-Jul-14 22:18:51

The timetables are already set for the academics. You may try and email the student office of your dept to see if they will give you sight of it. The
Issue is the seminars. So they may already know that say you will have intro to economics on Tuesday at 9am but you (and they) won't know when your seminar for that lecture might be. There may be up to 20 different classes that you may be signed up to so it depends on whether they will be sympathetic to your situation and give you 'first dibs' on scheduling or whether they will say 'tough luck' - you are a full time student and this is your schedule.

Oodlives Sun 13-Jul-14 21:58:15

I'm starting in September and I've found induction week on the website but is it that week I'll get a timetable?
I'm going to be juggling travelling/children /dh shifts so it would be useful to know when I'll need late/early cover.

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