What do reps do?

Academic representation happens across four levels through course reps, senior course reps, school reps and Vice President Education. Academic reps are voluntary positions and they exist with a specific remit to represent you and give you a voice in your educational experience. Individually and across the four levels, these reps achieve a large number of positive changes to students’ education on a regular basis.

Course Reps

Course reps represent your voice at a course/programme/degree level. There are reps at every single level of study, from year one undergraduate through to postgraduate doctoral students. The groups of students they represent are usually defined by degree pathway or degree name, but there can also be mature student reps, Joint Honour reps and international student reps, to name just a few. The role of course reps is to gather feedback from their peers (you) to make changes to the educational experiences within each programme. The types of changes achieved are really broad and can relate to things such as timetabling, resources, environment, as well as module content and the timing or quality of feedback.

Senior course Reps

Senior Course Reps are responsible for gathering feedback from students and providing feedback to staff. They support Course Reps as peers, work alongside academic staff and share chairing responsibilities of regular departmental meetings. If you have previously been a Course Rep then the role is a great way of progressing into a ihgher level of academic representation or if you are new to academic representation at Royal Holloway, becoming a Senior Course Rep gives you the opportunity to support your Course Reps and improve the academic experience while gaining lots of transferrable skills at the same time.

The Senior Course Rep role is voluntary and un-capped which means anyone who chooses to sign up to be a Senior Course Rep from all levels of study can be in the role. This structure means that there are multiple points of contact for Course Reps, School Reps and academic staff.


School reps are the highest level of voluntary posts within the academic representation structure. There is one post per School, and they are tasked with ensuring the views of the students are represented at the School Education Committee meetings. They work closely with department reps within their school and meet regularly with the VP Education to report on feedback and take forward actions.

School reps are elected from the undergraduate student body as there are Student Collectives for Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students. These collectives are led by convenors who will contribute to the academic representation of these cohorts on a school level and a College level. If you'd like to find out more about Collectives, head to their homepage.

VP Education

The VP Education is the highest level of academic representation and operates at a university level. Elected in our annual sabbatical elections, the role is outlined in our byelaws as:

  • Being overall responsible for matters relating to education, teaching quality and the learner experience.
  • Being responsible for developing the academic representation structure at College, embedding it within the Students’ Union’s own democratic structures.
  • Attending Academic Board and, as appropriate, other academic committees of the College. This, ultimately, means that they are the person ensuring that your department is using the academic representation system effectively and is the person who you should go to if you want to discuss anything related to your education at Royal Holloway.