Teaching and Exams

Planning of teaching and exams at Aarhus University follows a shared annual cycle and common guidelines.

Teaching activities at Aarhus University can be planned Monday-Thursday at 8-18 and Friday at 8-16.

The lesson starts 15 minutes past the hour – ie. that the academic quarter is used throughout the university. In this way, there is time to move between teaching rooms and -activities.

Annual rules and guidelines are effective from and including 2023 and are adopted in 2022 by the steering group for the implementation of a common planning system at AU.

Annual cycle for timetabling

The annual cycle enables students to be informed about timetables and exam dates at least one week before the registration deadline.

Dates for planning the fall semester

Room sharing:

  • 1st round (critical rooms): 26 January - 4 February (middle of week 4 to end of week 5)
  • 2nd round (release): April 1st

Publication of timetable and exam dates (latest): 24 April

Registration period: 1.-5. May

Dates for planning the spring semester

Room sharing:

  • 1st round (critical rooms): 27 June - 1 July (Week 26)
  • 2nd round (release): October 1

Publication of timetable and exam dates (latest): 24 October

Registration period: 1.-5. November

Room sharing

Sharing of rooms takes place in two rounds:

  • Window 1: At the start of the planning period, the most critical pool of rooms is shared
  • Window 2: At the end of the planning period, the faculties release surplus rooms to the common pool.

Curriculum-based planning at Aarhus University

Aarhus University uses curriculum-based planning.

Curriculum-based planning means that teaching activities are planned before the students register.

The aim of curriculum-based planning is:

  • Stable and predictable timetables for both students and teachers
  • That the timetables are ready earlier
  • A better use of rooms via room sharing across faculties.

​​​​The curriculum-based planning is carried out based on:

  • Information from the study programme, experiences from previous semesters, data on enrollments and student behaviour, etc.
  • Decisions on the maximum number of participants per teaching team
  • Decisions about which activities may and may not overlap. This can, for example, be in the form of creating 'clusters', where all subjects in the cluster must not overlap each other.
  • Submissions from the professional community regarding framework for teaching and examinations

Curriculum-based planning is not dependent on registered student enrolments and can therefore be planned with a longer time horizon than enrolment-based planning.
This means that timetables and exam plans can be prepared and published in good time, so that other activities can be planned outside the teaching and exam times.
The student gets a better basis for managing his/her course of study and thus better opportunities for achieving the desired progress, just as the teacher gets the opportunity to plan research activities etc. so that they do not coincide with teaching activities.

Handling Constraints

At the start of the timetabling period, the timetabling department obtains information from the academic environment regarding possible limitations for timetabling the teaching. The individual faculty themselves determine the method, communication channels and practice for this.

The teaching planning takes the following constraints into account:

Restrictions in relation to the student's course:

  • Student groups with limited time/availability, e.g. postgraduate and further education students

Academic constraints:

  • Need for special rooms

  • Days/hours between activities

  • Order of teaching activities (within a week or throughout the semester)

  • Full days (must either be taken off or booked for professional reasons)

  • Possible dependencies in relation to other courses in the same semester

In addition, the department or faculty management can decide on restrictions regarding the availability of lecturers.

Handling of changes

An essential prerequisite for the curriculum-based planning to work and provide stable and predictable timetables is, on the one hand, that the number of changes to the timetables is minimized, and that, on the other hand, there is sufficient flexibility to handle changes that are unavoidable such as changes due to illness and resignation.

  • Change requests are made to the planning department. Each faculty determines a process for submitting change requests, including channel (functional mailbox, form, telephone, etc.) and approval flow (course manager, head of studies, etc.).
  • The starting point is that a fixed and quality-assured schedule does not change, and that planned teaching activities take precedence over meetings, conference participation, etc.
  • Exceptions may, however, be change requests due to:
    • Personnel conditions - changes due to resignation, illness, new hires, etc.
    • Very special events and circumstances that could not be foreseen.
  • The timetabling departments at the faculties register the extent of change requests, including rejected and accepted requests. Once a year, the LGU and the UVAEKA forum discuss the statements to assess opportunities for improving process and practice. The education committee is informed.

Common rules for room sharing

The sharing of rooms is carried out according to common rules:

  • All faculties are involved in a binding collaboration to timetable teaching across AU. In the initial division of rooms (window 1), the rooms at AU are considered a common zone.
  • The sharing of rooms is based on data-supported analysis of problems and solutions.
  • The planning must aim at establishing as good a timetable as possible for as many students as possible – that is, timetables that support a coherent course of study, professional learning and a good physical and social study environment.
  • At the same time, teaching planning must aim to continuously optimize the use of AU's teaching rooms.
  • The room sharing model is evaluated annually

Roles and responsibilities

Planning of teaching:

a) The head of education – in practice the study administrative unit at the faculty's administration center – is responsible for planning the teaching

b) The planning takes place in close dialogue with the institutes and the course managers.

c) In case of doubt regarding handling of schedule changes and restrictions, the decision is made by the head of the faculty's planning department in dialogue with the responsible academic leader for the program in question.

d) In matters of principle, the vice-dean for education and the head of education are involved.

Room sharing:

  • The task of sharing rooms is handled by the heads of the planning departments with assistance from AU Education. The room sharing meetings are chaired by the deputy director for education.
  • The Deputy Director of Education convenes and leads meetings, respectively. end of January and end of June
  • The heads of the planning departments prepare and submit requests to share rooms. The critical pool of rooms is continuously defined by the faculties' planning departments based on local planning challenges.
  • Matters that cannot be resolved in ongoing dialogue and at the meetings are escalated to the Deputy Director, who involves relevant members of the LGU and the Education Committee.


Planning of teaching and exams is handled by the faculties' study administrative units.