Your Academic Reps have been hard at work, representing your academic interests and securing a wide variety of positive, student-led changes across the University. Below is a snapshot of what they have achieved during the second term of 2016/17: 

Mechanical and Systems Engineering                                           

  • New bike rack installed
  • More colour coding between Engineering priority and University computers.

NUMED Malaysia

  • Re-organisation of lectures in some core units
  • Under-utilised space is being repurposed and there should be an additional 4 seminar rooms on campus in the next academic year
  • A portion of the 2nd floor of the Learning Resource Centre is being fitted with study booths to accommodate more students in the library


  • Several lecturers have started providing summaries of their lectures as a substitute for PowerPoint/ReCap

Institute of Health and Society                                         

  • Discussion of gender balance at GSC meeting resulted in a male deputy postgraduate coordinator being assigned as the current coordinator and deputy are both female
  • Postgraduate conference organised for June to give students the opportunity to present their research to fellow students and receive feedback. The conference has a focus on “What next: you and your research”, covering a range of issues that have been raised by students this term e.g. careers after the PhD, applying for fellowships, and promoting your research.

Marine Science and Technology

  • Arranged with head of school a presentation with all UG students about the effects and benefits of the new school structure.
  • Arranged visit for students to facilities in Blyth

Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

  • One area of concern for students was the hand-in process being too variable and complicated both across modules and within modules for different assignments. This has been reduced by making a new, easy to follow, AFRD specific hand-in process document, explaining the steps for every method AFRD use for hand-ins.
  • Discrepancies between the amount of individual feedback students are receiving for a given assignment. This has been in part rectified by the mandatory use of a front sheet feedback form, which is filled in by the marker to signpost the good points, areas for improvement and the marking criteria indicating the grade band circled, so the student can see what the marker was looking for.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

  • Improvements in the structure of practical computer session for Genomic Medicine programme

Business School PGR

  • NUBS hosted the first NUBS/DUBS (Durham University) event to promote PhD students collaboration. The event included networking and research presentations by both NUBS and DUBS students.
  • Certificate in Advanced Studies in Academic Practice Director increased the number of cohorts per year for International English Language Testing System (IELTS) training
  • The conference funding policy for PhD students within NUBS was changed to allow for more flexibility for the PhD students to attend conferences to which their papers have been accepted, and will allow for co-funding of conference attendance by NUBS and the student (or an external organisation, such as the conference organisers).

English Literature, Language and Linguistics

  • Equality and Diversity focus group has made a lot of progress and at the moment the group is continuing to collect more student surveys in order to understand students’ perception regarding the diversity of the academic text.

Law School

  • PGR study room will be cleaned up and room will be used as quiet study area.

Modern Languages

  • New feedback sheet to standardise feedback across different languages
  • Focus groups to be used to support the SSC in gauging student opinion

Business School UG

  • Football table installed in the hub to help boost sense of community among students
  • Staff are looking into the wording of the emails sent out to students missing lectures.
  • Set up a new committee – BSSC (Business School Student Chairs), to improve student voice, meeting at least once a term, with a Facebook group to hold topical discussions

Dental Sciences

  • Ensured a new policy for accessing medical records outside of previously allowed times. The new system has had a massive positive response from students, and it isn’t affecting the staff involved negatively.
  • EvaSys issues have been ironed out with regards to timing and lines of questioning
  • Positive discussions about shift of lecture/seminar balance and how that could positively affect both teaching and learning within the school
  • New furniture and facilities within the dental school common room
  • Action into securing more equipment on clinic – from instruments to cameras
  • A more monitored distribution of nurses across the clinics to increase the clinical activity seen by patients

Marine Science & Technology PGT

  • After raising concerns that some students had not been made aware of the identity of their personal tutor, students have received emails from the school office with details of their personal tutor and contact information
  • From issues raised regarding grades not being uploaded to NESS, the school office now ensures all grades are uploaded to NESS.

Maths and Stats

  • Held a successful student engagement event, gathering lots of opinions and views, some of which were discussed in the SSC.
  • A student focus group was held to discuss the proposal of having block teaching for the Stage 4 MMath students. Staff and students agreed that this wouldn’t be suitable for the maths integrated masters, which was fed back to the faculty.
  • In recent exams, some papers have been printed in A5 booklets, which are difficult to read. The Chair of the Board of Examiners will consult colleagues with a view to implementing all papers being printed A4 size.


  • Exam material to be reviewed
  • Assignment guidance for Stage 1 to be screened by Stage 2 students

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

  • Estate management has been contacted regarding the uncleaned white boards in the lecture theatres and they have agreed to look into this issue
  • IT department explained that the CAD PCs will be have different colour background in order to differentiate them

Modern Languages PG

  • Upon PGRs’ request raised in the SSC in Semester 1, a coat rack has been installed in the study room. Also, the School has directed the budget for replacing all computer chairs in the PGR study room to the Faculty for approval.
  • School Research Seminar, the PGR School Rep proposed to have current PGRs more engaged. The Head of School has agreed to take this into consideration when planning for next year’s seminars and invite more stage 2 and/or stage 3 PGRs to contribute research paper. The Head of School also warmly encouraged PGRs to think about presenting paper in next year’s seminars.

Northern Institute for Cancer Research

  • Organised and ran the 3rd Annual NICR Cancer conference for institutes within the FMS
  • Implemented a potential change to student supervision within the NICR
  • Organised ‘Young Researcher Forum’ session timetable to allow research students to speak with external guest speakers of the NICR regarding science and careers – next session to take place 10th April

Mechanical and Systems Engineering PGR

  • Developing a criteria for space allocation for new PGRs