Working with Course Reps can be a great way to embed student voice and make improvements to teaching and support services. The information on this page is aimed at members of staff within the university and will provide some key information about the Course Rep system at QMUL.
How does the Course Rep system work?
At Queen Mary, we have several hundred Course Reps. Generally, there is at least one course rep per course per year. The Course Rep system covers programmes across all levels of study – from Foundation Year to Postgraduate Research. There may be more than one Course Rep per year for courses that have larger cohorts and courses that have multiple specialism/branches.
Every year, the Students’ Union organises Course Rep elections. We ask relevant staff members in each school to help us facilitate and promote the elections, and your cooperation is much appreciated!
All Course Reps are expected to attend training to ensure they are equipped to carry out their role. The training is organised by the Students’ Union and covers effective representation, gathering feedback and other key skills.
Course Reps are expected to attend SSLCs and other relevant meetings within their school. Course Reps are also invited to the Students’ Union’s School Forums with their School Representative and other Course Reps within the School to share best practice and raise issues that affect students on multiple courses within the School.
What can I do to collaborate effectively with the Course Reps?
While the Course Rep scheme is managed by the Students’ Union, the scheme wouldn’t work without your help, and we really appreciate any support you can offer.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Invite the Course Reps to relevant meetings.
- Make the Course Reps feel welcome – introduce yourself and encourage the Reps to ask questions.
- Listen actively to the concerns that are being raised by the Reps.
- Communicate with the Reps and provide updates on actions or concerns. Even if you are unable to resolve an issue or make the requested changes, it’s helpful for the Course Reps to know that the issue has been carefully considered.
- Help promote the Course Rep Elections (the Students’ Union will contact you with further information).
- Tell students about the Course Rep system and allow Course Reps to do lecture and seminar shout-outs.
- Contact the Students’ Union if you become aware of an issue or have a question.
How can I find the contact details for the Course Reps in my school?
Find your rep
I have an update for the list of Course Reps – what should I do?
We try to keep the list of Course Reps up to date at all times, but to do so, we rely on your help. If you spot a mistake or become aware of a resignation, we would be grateful if you could let us know by emailing us on email@example.com.
There’s a vacancy – can I appoint someone?
We kindly ask you to follow the correct procedure for filling the Course Rep positions. Please do not appoint Course Reps without consulting the Students’ Union first.
It sometimes happens that there are vacant Course Rep positions after the main elections period. The first step we take to fill these vacancies is to hold a by-election. After this, we’ll contact relevant staff members within schools to identify volunteers to fill the remaining vacancies.
What should I do if a Course Rep isn’t engaged?
It can be frustrating for staff and students if a Course Rep has disengaged from their role, so if you note that a Course Rep has stopped attending meetings or doesn’t respond to emails, please follow this procedure:
Step 1: Do an informal check-in to see if the Course Rep is experiencing a problem. Often, there’s a simple reason why the Rep has disengaged. They may be having technical problems with their email/calendar or be going through a particularly busy period. A gentle reminder will often be enough to make the Rep re-engage.
Step 2: Flag the issue to the Students’ Union. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to get hold of the Rep or Step 1 hasn’t worked. When you contact us, please include the students full name and a brief explanation of the issue (e.g. which meetings they have missed or how long you have been unable to get in contact with them). Our team will then follow up with the Rep.
Step 3: Removal of a Course Rep. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove a Course Rep from their position. This process is managed by the Students’ Union, so please contact us on email@example.com to discuss this further.
How can I get Course Reps involved in a new project and/or meeting?
Each academic year, new projects and meetings arise, and it’s important to embed student voice in these new initiatives. If you’d like one or more Course Reps to get involved in a new initiative, you are welcome to contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can then help you identify the most appropriate reps for your initiative.
For smaller projects or one-off meetings, it’s fine for you to contact the Course Reps directly and offer the opportunity to them, but we ask you to be mindful of the Reps’ workload. Please ensure that the Reps understand what the workload will be and give them the opportunity to say no if they believe the additional workload will have a negative impact on their other commitments.