Ask the university to consider changing the layout of its semesters

Anonymous submitted on

Friday 14th January 2022


As you'll all be aware, the academic year does not officially start until October. Semester 1 runs over the Christmas holidays and does not finish until the end of January where Semester 1 exams take place. 

If we were to begin the academic year earlier, say in September, then Semester 1 (along with exams) could be finished in time for Christmas. This would allow students to enjoy their Christmas break rather than spend it working on assignments and revising. 


Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.

Students' Union replied on

Thursday 3rd Feb 2022 4:40pm

Hello, I have just left my meeting with the Vice President of Education. 

While I personally feel that this is a fantastic idea, and I am sure more students would welcome it, unfortunately, it is not something in the university's current planning. I have been told that there are various reasons why the semesters are in their current layout, these reasons include but are not limited to, time for fieldwork, time for academic research, and possibilities of student transfer. It would have to be worked through with great care and detail (including comparisons with other universities, the impact of staff working conditions, consultation with staff union) and though, to us, it might be simple, it is in fact a very complex and complicated piece of work, and even if it was implemented today, it would take years to fulfil. 

I apologise I haven't been able to get the answer you wanted. Please let me know if there's anything further I can help you with.

I will be closing this submission as unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the university on this matter.

Students' Union replied on

Friday 28th Jan 2022 9:12am

Hello, I will be raising this with the VP of Education next week. 


  • Forwarded to Vice President Education and Democracy

    Monday 24th Jan 2022 9:03am


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Gemma Hayden commented on

Friday 28th Jan 2022 10:14am

Student burnout is also a concern. After spending all Christmas revising and working on assignments (and most likely needing to schedule in paid work to finance our studies on top of this), the university expects us to commence Semester 2 immediately after Semester 1 exams finish. This means that a lot of students will not have had an adaquate rest since before the academic year began.

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