Course allocation

After 1 August, a computer algorithm allocates courses to members who have requested them, giving priority to those applicants who have listed the course as their first choice.

Working through each course in turn, the algorithm finds all members who have placed a particular course as their first choice.

  • If there are more applicants than places on the course, the algorithm selects names at random from the list of applicants.
  • If the course still has empty places, applications from members who put it as their second choice are considered, and so on.

If you are not allocated a place on your chosen course, your name is added to the waiting list, unless you have listed an alternative course in the second column. In this case the alternative course will be substituted for the course in the first column. Note that if you are allocated a place on your alternative course, you will not be put on the waiting list for the course in the first column.

To make the course allocation more evenly balanced, the algorithm holds a ‘success number’ for each member. This is initially set to zero. Each time a member is allocated a place on a course, their success number increases by 1. Members who have a lower success number (i.e. have not been allocated their first choice of course, or their alternative first choice) are given priority in the allocation of second choice courses, and so are more likely to get their second choice of course.

Your courses

In September you will be sent:

  • your membership card for the year
  • a list of the courses on which you have a place.

Your courses can also be viewed on the ‘Allocated Courses’ on your account once you are logged on.

Waiting list

If you have not been given a place on a course you requested, your name will be placed on the waiting list. You will be notified when a place becomes available.