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Central education space policy, new and amended cohorts

Central education spaces are heavily used and many are operating at near full capacity. Requests for central education space have been growing year on year, leading to significant pressure on such space. Whilst the University works to expand and invest in such spaces, for now to manage expectation for new requests, and to ensure that the overall volume of requests does not exceed the capacity currently available, it may not be possible to guarantee central education space for the following:

  • New course/module/cohort requests, either for newly introduced courses/modules, or existing courses/modules not previously accommodated in central education space.
  • Previously accommodated courses/module cohorts where the cohort size has grown greater than the previous venue/s allocated to it.

Constraints on central room requests

The following constraints will apply to manage space efficiently, equitably and minimise the submission of requests that are not feasible to accommodate.

  1. Site capacities - Room requests for a particular site must not exceed the capacity of that site e.g. submitting 3 requests for a large lecture theatre at the same timing when there are only two lecture theatres on that site. Therefore, room requestors should ensure that requests do not exceed what is available in practical terms.
  2. Start times - Nearly all university lectures start on the hour and finish before the hour; allowing effective scheduling of the space with back-to-back sessions. However, sessions that start off the hour occupy a greater amount of space than the session duration, which impacts other activities efficiently alongside. For example a 2-hour session starting at 9.30am occupies 3 ‘slots’ in a room – effectively 9am-12pm. Room requestors are therefore asked to ensure that all session requests start on the hour.
  3. Multiple cohorts – central education space accommodates teaching for a large number of departments, with pressure points of demand at particular times. This is compounded by requests for multiple cohorts with simultaneous timings (e.g. by a single department). Providing multiple rooms for cohorts taught at the same time reduces the availability of space for others. Therefore, wherever possible, departments should avoid requests for multiple rooms at the same time.
  4. Timetabling hours – during the mornings, there is higher demand for space particularly for undergraduate large cohorts, which creates significant pressure at these times and reduces efficiency of space use. It also limits venue options. Therefore, where possible and perhaps for postgraduate taught courses, departments should consider timetabling large cohort teaching in the afternoon.

Please register interest in central education space for new and amended requests via email to; please note that it will only be possible to determine if there is any available capacity in the month prior to the start of each University term.