I work for a UoT (University of Technology) in SA as a curriculum development practitioner in the Health Science fields of study. Our academic programmes are designed to run over a 30 academic week year. The minimum academic contact hours required for lecturing is 20 hours per week, excluding preparation of instructional materials, and the set up of formative assessment instruments and marking. I want to get an idea from the colleagues on international level how they go about in determining a fair additional factor to calculate total T&L hours. I noticed a 4hours for prep in one of the previous comments, but need more input here.

  • Why are you choosing to model the time required, rather than just asking people to report how much time they actually spend? Jan 12, 2022 at 10:21
  • @DanielHatton makes a good point. Are you asking what other universities allocate, or what would be a "fair" allocation, because these are likely to be very different numbers. Jan 13, 2022 at 0:29
  • Thanks for remark. I am asking what other universities allocate for the preparation of lectures, in other words: Contact time (n) + lecture preparation = n+? Jan 19, 2022 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


Our workload allocation model allows 2 hours prep per taught contact session (lecture or practical - we don't really do seminars). So a 1 hour lecture would get a total allocation of 3 hours and a 3 hour practical would get 5 hours. Double if the class is being developed from scratch.

10 hours for the first dissertation/project student and 3 additional hours for each additional student.

We get no prep time for tutorials.

We are then given 20 minutes per essay per student and 10 minutes per short answer per student for marking.

  • 'we don't really do seminars' Are you sure your "tutorials" are not, in fact, seminars by the official HESA definition? Jan 12, 2022 at 10:20
  • 1
    I don't think so. They are not attached to any content module, and we have the same 4-6 students in our tutor group for the whole 4 years of their degree. They are generally focused on pastoral support, helping students learn how to navigate the university experience. We also set and provide feedback on course work design to teach students transferable academic skills: how to write an essay, how to draw a figure, how to give individual and group presentations, how to fill in a job application form, how to apply for a PhD etc. Jan 12, 2022 at 10:30
  • Yep, OK, those really are HESA-definition tutorials. Jan 12, 2022 at 11:13
  • Actual time to prep for an hour lecture on a new course can (and often does) far exceed the 5 hours (6 for doubling 3 minus the actual hour itself)...
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 12, 2022 at 19:41
  • Oh, absolutely. These times are a complete fiction. I reckon i spend around 6 hours on an old lecture and more like 16-24 on a new one. Jan 13, 2022 at 0:03

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