Student reps

Would you like to influence School policy or make a difference in how your course is run? Why not consider becoming a student representative (rep).

What is a student representative?

Student Representatives play a vital part in the School's operations. They provide a “voice for students”, which does not only mean talking on behalf of their class; it is about bringing issues to light, supporting fellow students and identifying and solving problems. Student Representatives (reps) are actively involved in:

  • Gathering feedback from fellow students
  • Attending a variety of meetings, drop-in sessions and forums
  • Communicating the student voice to School staff and working alongside the Information, Advice and Guidance Team to ensure implementation of feedback
  • Communicating with fellow students to help improve the student experience
  • Promoting active student involvement in programme development
  • Feeding into policy decisions and strategic objectives of the school

Being a Student Representative gives you the opportunity to develop your communication and listing skills and helps you develop diplomacy and assertiveness skills. The role brings networking opportunities too.

All SoSS programmes have at least one rep. They are chosen by peers to act as the representative for their particular programme for one academic year.

What is the role of the student representative?

Principles and Guidance for Student Representation can be found here. SoSS Undergraduate Reps will sit on their relevant Programme Committees and the UG Student Staff Liaison Committees. We ask for a second or final year rep to act as chair for the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC). We also have reps attending the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee (STLC). Reps will be expected to have ongoing contact with their class mates via a number of methods. SoSS would like to hear what’s going well and what can be done more often and what isn’t going so well and can be improved.

The Information, Advice and Guidance Team can also help to establish small drop-in sessions for reps to meet their cohort in a relaxed setting with refreshments.

We ask that reps connect with their the Information, Advice and Guidance Team periodically for an informal discussion about their role as a rep and to discuss any issues that may be easily resolved outside of the committee meetings. The Information, Advice and Guidance Team will also want to hear what views reps have gathered from their fellow students.

What training is available?

Once elected, all our student reps will attend a training session run by the Students’ Union in October. This training will cover how to gather feedback, working with staff, feeding back to your cohort and how to raise issues with staff or in meetings. SoSS staff can also give you more insight into specific School practices. Here reps will have the chance to mix with each other as well as the School staff they will be working with.

What personal qualities are required?

Each rep will bring their own personalities and qualities to the role. Reps should be personable and able to approach a diverse body of students and staff in a friendly and professional manner. Reps will need to be enthusiastic to engage their cohort and be able to communicate effectively to students and staff in writing and verbally. Remember – if you are in it just for a tick on a CV, this will be evident. Engagement is paramount.

What are the benefits for student representatives?

Representatives have the opportunity to improve University life for themselves and their fellow students. They will also gain the opportunity to learn and develop certain skills often viewed by employers as key for recruiting. 

Reps learn about putting their point across effectively when contacting students or preparing information for meetings and the importance of effective listening in order to gain the full picture of situations.

Reps make contacts that can be useful in a personal and academic capacity and have the opportunity to make connections with other students that may prove beneficial in the future.

Reps develop time management and organisational skills so that they balance studies with their responsibilities.

Reps make a real difference and can be proud of their achievements!

How are representatives supported?

The Information, Advice and Guidance Team play a big role in supporting reps. Programme Directors will also have regular communication with reps. The Students’ Union offer a number of support points and of course reps can help each other.

How can I become a Student Rep?

There is detailed information on how to become a student rep here.

Student reps for 2023/24

To find out who your student reps are, please visit the Students' Union (SU) website. You can also email the SU Education Team at or get in touch with your Programme Director.