Find out all about what is a Course rep, what they do and how you can become one!

What is a Course Rep?

Course Reps represent the interests of student within their cohort. In practice, this means that Course Reps act as a liaison between staff and students. Course Reps collect feedback – formal and informal – from the students in their cohort, and the Reps feed this back to the relevant staff members.


What exactly do Course Reps do?

Course Reps are responsible for:

  • Representing the views of students at departmental committee meetings, which are between once per semester and once per month
  • Seeking the opinion of all the students on your course by holding meetings, using social media and designing surveys
  • Giving information to students through a variety of methods
  • Preparing for meetings and following up actions after meetings
  • Attending Students’ Union Forums together with the other Reps from your School or Department
  • Attending training sessions, including the introductory ‘Effective Representation' session
  • Attending Student Staff Liaison Committees

For additional responsibilities and duties, please see our Student Staff Liaison Committees page, and what our course reps do at these meetings.

All Course Reps are volunteers, and Course Reps are expected to undertake these duties alongside their studies. The expected time commitment is a couple of hours per week.

Please note that Course Reps are unable to undertake casework and advising of individual students. This includes advice about personal problems, extenuating circumstances, academic misconduct and formal complaints. If you are experiencing a personal problem, please contact Advice and Counselling. If you need advice regarding extenuating circumstances, academic misconduct and formal complaints, please contact the Academic Advice Service.


What’s the purpose of having Course Reps?

Most students have a good experience during their time at Queen Mary, but many students will also experience things that could be working better. This is where the Course Reps come in. Course Reps are recognised by the university, and they have access to meetings and key people that allow them to raise issues and suggest improvements on behalf of their cohort.


How is it decided who the Course Reps are?

The Course Reps are elected by the students they represent. Each year, the Students’ Union organises Course Rep elections. Students can put themselves forward (what we call ‘nominate’) to be a Course Rep, and the students in each cohort then cast their votes to decide which person they prefer.


Can I become a Course Rep?

Yes! Course Reps are elected annually. Most elections take place in September and October, but some courses hold elections at other times of the year.

We advertise the Course Rep elections on our website, on social media and in newsletters, so keep an eye out for updates on one of those channels. You’re also welcome to contact us on su-coursereps@qmul.ac.uk to find out when the next elections will be for your cohort. If you email us, please include the full name of your course and your year of study, as this will make it easier for us to provide accurate information.

If you want to find out more about elections, you can refer to this page.



FAQ's

For more information, check out some of our frequently asked questions below:

Our reps are elected at the start of the academic year in an online election, and they hold the position for one academic year. If your course does not have a rep and there are no elections running, get in touch with us at su-coursereps@qmul.ac.uk to express your interest in becoming a course representative.

Yes! You can be a course rep for as many years as you like, all you need to do is run in the election again.

The Course Rep role is what you make of it, but there is a minimum time commitment we expect that you should be willing and able to fulfil when you put yourself forward for election. During term time, the average time commitment is 2-3 hours per week. Outside of term time, the time commitment is lower.

Course representatives are expected to attend at least one Student Staff Liaison Committee meeting and one School Forum per semester in order to be eligible to receive a Contribution Award. Your School may have more than one of these meetings per semester, and you should attend as many as you can.

The role is likely to take a couple of hours of work per week, covering the following:

  • Collecting feedback from your cohort
  • Updating students with any relevant news
  • Preparing for meetings and following up actions after meetings
  • Attending training sessions, including the introductory ‘Effective Representation' session

Being a course rep will allow you to develop a range of skills that will make you more employable. Some of the skills you’ll have the chance to develop during your time as a Course Rep include:

  • Communication
  • Public speaking
  • Problem solving
  • Presentation
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

We will provide you with training on all of the above, and more!

Larger joint honours courses have a dedicated Course Rep. An example of this type of joint honours Course Rep would be for History and Politics, who only represents this degree but may attend both departments’ committees. If you are on a course with a dedicated Rep, you will only be eligible to stand for this position.

Other departments with smaller joint honours courses may have one Course Rep for a group of courses. Examples of this type of Rep would include the joint honours Rep in Economics and Finance, who represents all joint honours students in the School, and the Reps in SLLF who represent all students studying their subject modules (e.g. French, Linguistics).

If you are on a small course, there may not be specific joint honours provision. In this case, you would be eligible to stand to be the single honours Course Rep in your department. For example, Computer Science with Multimedia students could stand to be the Computer Science Rep.

If you have any questions or aren't sure which position you can stand for, contact the representation team at su-coursereps@qmul.ac.uk.

If you have only contacted your course rep once send them a follow-up email or message as they may have just missed your first communication. If they still don’t respond, we recommend you:

  • Reach out to your School Rep to see if they can help with your query.
  • Contact the relevant members of staff in your School with your query.
  • Get in touch with us at su-coursereps@qmul.ac.uk

If you're interested in becoming a co-chair for your SSLC, contact us at su-coursereps@qmul.ac.uk. You will be provided with all the training and support you need to be successful in this role.

Learn more here

If you are considering resigning from your role, we recommend you contact us so we can see if there is any support we can offer you. You can then decide what the best option for you is.