Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Creating a full-time undergraduate course

Term dates


Term dates let us determine when and how much to pay your students. This depends on how long they are studying with you that year.

It is very important that the number of teaching weeks you enter on CMS is accurate. Teaching weeks are weeks when your students are attending lectures, doing course work or taking exams.

Term start dates

Your term dates should be linked to the season your course begins.

There are restrictions to how early a term can begin. This is to make sure students’ payments are spread out throughout the academic year.

 

Academic year start: Autumn (August to December)

Term 1 start no earlier than 1 August

Term 2 start no earlier than 1 January

Term 3 start no earlier than 1 April

 

Academic year start: Winter (January to March)

Term 1 start no earlier than 1 January

Term 2 start no earlier than 1 April

Term 3 start no earlier than 1 July

 

Academic year start: Spring (April to June)

Term 1 start no earlier than 1 April

Term 2 start no earlier than 1 July

Term 3 start no earlier than 1 January

 

Academic year start: Summer (July)

Term 1 start no earlier than 1 July

Term 2 start no earlier than 1 January

Term 3 start no earlier than 1 April

 

The only exception to this rule is the final course year, where you can compress term dates into the remaining period of attendance.

If a bank holiday falls at the beginning of April, the term 3 start date should be no earlier than 3 April. Our system schedules payments before the bank holiday, which means even if a term 3 start date falls on 1 or 2 April, the payments will need to be processed in March.

You should not set the term start and end dates for a Saturday or Sunday when the course does not start or end on either of those days.


Course duration

You can select a full-time undergraduate course with a duration of between one 1 and 6 years.

You can also have the option to indicate if the course contains a foundation year.


Freshers and exam weeks

Freshers weeks

We do not count Freshers weeks as weeks of teaching.

You should not include these in term dates unless your students are attending lectures, doing course work or taking exams.

If you want this week to be marked as the start of term for funding, then you must remove a week from your term length.


Exam weeks

You should include exam periods in your term dates, as they count within your overall teaching weeks. However, do not include periods where students are waiting for their results.


Holiday periods

You should account for holiday periods when entering term dates. Do not include them within any term.

For example, if a student started their course in October, we would expect the term dates to exclude the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.

In CMS we only need the start date and end date of each term. You should remove a week from your term length if you have a midterm holiday.


Semesters or terms?

Many universities and colleges operate on 2 semesters, rather than 3 separate terms.

We pay students at 3 points throughout their academic year, so we still need to maintain the 3 terms in our systems.

If you use semesters, you should create term dates that reflect your students’ study pattern as closely as possible. You could use any holiday periods in the second semester as a natural break for your terms.


Long courses

Any course with term dates over 30 weeks and 3 days is classed as long course.

The length of your course could entitle some students to more maintenance support. CMS will tell you when you enter term dates that exceed 30 weeks and 3 days and ask you to confirm that these are correct.

Where the long course status changes from one academic year to the next, you should check that your term dates are correct. Sometimes, this can show that term dates are wrong.