What are Course Reps?
Course Reps are students elected by you to represent the academic interests of the students on their course or programme. It is a voluntary role that can make a huge difference to your University experience as they provide an official link between students and staff. They attend Student-Staff Committee (SSC) meetings where they pass on your views to the staff and hopefully help find solutions to the issues that have arisen. After the meetings they should keep you informed of the changes decided upon and any important University issues or information that has come up that is relevant to you and your course.
Who is my Course Rep?
The quickest way to identify and contact your Course Rep is via the University App. You can access the app by logging into a cluster room PC on campus or download it from the relevant app store (iTunes, Google Play, Windows Phone). The My School feature allows you to:
- Vote on School/Faculty issues and see the results of the poll
- Contact your course reps directly
- View key school contact information such as personal tutors, course reps and school office
- View school news and upcoming events/job opportunities
Still not sure who your current Course Rep is? Send us an email stating your name, your course and your stage (year) and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What are a Course Rep's Key Responsibilities?
- Attending NUSU Course Rep Induction Training session and take advantage of the further training opportunities.
- Talking to people! Find out what your fellow students have an opinion on: circulate emails; do lecture shout outs; put up a poster; or make a Facebook group. If your subject has a Society, ask the President if they can help you out.
- Listening and taking on board the views of those you represent. Present them coherently and constructively at SSC meetings ... even if you don’t agree!
- Attending SSC meetings. As a Course Rep you will be a member of your School’s/Course’s SSC. You will meet four times a year, discussing with other students and staff what is good and what could be improved about your academic student experience.
- Keeping your fellow students informed about what’s being done for them, using the communication methods mentioned above – your fellow students should know their views are taken seriously and being acted on.
On average the role just takes 10 hours per year. For more information about the role, check out the current Course Rep Handbook.
What do Course Reps get in return?
- Enhanced employability. Your CV will benefit from the communication, negotiation, time management, problem solving and meeting skills which you can gain as a Course Rep.
- Increased confidence. Many Course Reps find that the experience that they gain in communicating with a broad range of people, from students through to senior staff, helps them to become more self-assured, which has a positive impact on their studies and career prospects.
- The responsibility of influencing University decisions as the voice of the student body.
- A Certificate of completion at the end of the year, if you engage with the role.
- The opportunity to win awards at the NUSU Student Rep Awards.
- Further recognition with the chance to win £250 at the high profile Pride of Newcastle Awards.
- Recognition of your work as a Course Rep on your transcript if you complete the ncl+ Accreditation Scheme (UG & PGT students only).
- The chance for progression into other Academic Student Representation roles.
- The chance to meet new people on your course and from across the University.
How do I become a Course Rep?
On most courses your Course Reps will be elected to the role. On other courses anyone who volunteers can take up the role. The best thing to do is to let your School office, Degree Programme Director or an existing Course Rep know early in the academic year and ask what the election or recruitment process is for your course. If you become a Rep, you will be contacted about the training provided by the Students' Union so you will be ready and prepared for your first SSC meeting.
Is the election a big deal?
No! There are no speeches and no campaigning for votes - Course Rep elections are limited to individual courses so they are naturally a low key affair, they will usually take place by email or in a lecture. It may be that all volunteers can have places as Course Reps on the Student-Staff Committee, in which case you won't have to take part in an election at all. However, it is important that all students on your course know who their Reps are so make sure your details are made available to everyone. If you have any problems with this process, please get in touch and we will do anything we can to help.