Southampton Solent University

Case Study


Analysis of Operational Efficiency: Curriculum, Timetable, Space




  • To determine the potential benefits of achieving efficiencies in space as a result of improved utilisation including the ability to absorb growth in student numbers within existing resources (i.e. at marginal cost);

  • To explore the deep structure of the current curriculum and its implications for the timetable, for the efficient use of space and for the effective use of staff time;

  • To determine the practical implications of effecting any changes in current practice which would need to deliver efficiency gains, without compromising either the academic integrity of programmes, or the quality of the student experience.




  • Analytical Review of the Curriculum and Timetable – the TSAR was used to analyse timetable data, then describe in a heatmap format, to relate how curriculum choice created constraints within the timetable. Student enrolment data by course and by module was reviewed to show the connection between enrolment numbers and curriculum constraints. Scenarios were modelled relating to the viability of potential savings within the Estate;

  • Review of Timetabling processes and of the overarching Academic Framework – current processes were thoroughly examined with a view to improving the completeness and accuracy of timetable and curriculum data collection by the introduction of earlier deadlines and the use of data management systems;

  • Stakeholder Analysis and Engagement – through a series of workshops and discussion, common cause was identified with key stakeholders from Schools, Central Services and Estates. Regular workshops were held during the project to review analysis and determine the focus of actions for stakeholders.




  • Understanding that a further proliferation of courses and related curriculum growth was an inefficient route to student growth, with a subsequent change in the growth strategy of the University;

  • Publication of a final report, which detailed the analysis of current practice, and made several recommendations relating to data management, curriculum choice, process management, and suggested timelines for change management;

  • Individual School workshops were held with key academic staff, for which data analysis was produced at School level, facilitating a discussion on the practicalities of making change to the curriculum, and the level of support required from Central Service departments during this process.

  • Identification of potential space savings which the University could make, both with immediate effect, and as a result of carefully managed change to its curriculum.

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