Academic Calendar proposal endorsed by Senate for implementation in AY2024-25

Thursday 7 December 2023

On 6 December 2023, Senate endorsed the academic calendar paper. This means that effective from Academic Year 2024-25 (i.e. from January 2025) Semester 2 will:


  • Start one week later after the winter break
  • Include an Independent Learning Week in addition to a vacation week (inverted from the original proposal following discussions at Students’ Association EduComm, Learning and Teaching Committee, Postgraduate Research Committee and Service Directors’ Group)
  • Retain 11 weeks of in-person teaching
  • Start exams after the May public holiday
Overview of Semester 2 structure

Thank you to everyone who engaged in the consultation – we had really strong engagement levels, across all stakeholder groups, including with the survey, discussion groups, and informal activities across our estate. In any project of this nature, we anticipated needing to make some compromises – it was unlikely that we would find a model for the taught semester that suits everyone perfectly. Throughout the project, we have sought to hear from all stakeholder groups – our students, our academic colleagues and our professional services teams – all of these groups have particular needs and priorities that have been taken into account and needed to be balanced against each other. We strongly believe that the model which will now be implemented corresponds to these needs and priorities.

We will now close this stage of the work (the design phase) and move into a series of implementation projects, under the governance of Education Strategic Management Group. These projects will include:


  • Communication of the new dates, including to external partners and stakeholders
  • Refreshing the Independent Learning Week policy and guidance, to ensure that students and staff understand what is expected, and to allow for staff to take time-off during non-teaching weeks
  • Looking at ways to ensure strong engagement with L&T activities in the final two weeks of the Semester
  • Finalising with RBS the accommodation contract dates and provision
  • Working with HR and EDI to ensure that colleagues are not disadvantaged in terms of stipulated annual leave
  • Initiating discussions to identify scope for a longer-term project to review module results reporting deadlines and graduation preparation activities
  • Working with Schools to review how the PGT dissertation process can be supported in light of the slightly shorter period following the May exam diet
  • Discussions via the Sustainable St Andrews Leadership Group to encourage more sustainable travel choices during the two separate non-teaching weeks
  • Continuing discussions to understand the impact of the new calendar on digital programmes and short course delivery.

We shall continue to use the Education SharePoint site and other communication channels to provide high level updates on the work as it progresses.

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