What do reps do?

Academic representation happens across four levels through Course Reps, Senior Course Reps, School Reps and the 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 higher 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 uncapped, meaning anyone who signs up to be a Senior Course Rep from all levels of study can asume the role. This structure means 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 Communities for Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students. These Communities are led by Community Officers who will contribute to the academic representation of these cohorts at both school and University level.

VP Education

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

  • Being overall responsible for matters relating to education, teaching quality and the learner experience.
  • Being responsible for developing the academic representation structure at the University, embedding it within the Students’ Union’s own democratic structures.
  • Attending Academic Board and, as appropriate, other academic committees of the University. Ultimately, they ensure that your department is using the academic representation system effectively; you should reach out to them if you want to discuss anything related to your education at Royal Holloway.