FAQs

What is a Course Rep?

A Course Rep is an elected student who volunteers to gather student feedback and voice it to the University. They are the vital link between the students, the College and the Students' Union and they provide a way for students to communicate their diverse range of opinions and experiences to the staff who deliver their courses, and to make change happen.

How do I become a Course Rep? 

Course Rep elections should take place within the first week of the academic year. Your academic staff will run these elections and inform the Students' Union of the names of the Course Reps. If you would like to become a Course Rep, make sure that you let your lecturer know that you're interested! If you have any questions about the process, email our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk for more information!

How do I find out who my Course Rep is?

To find out who your Course Representative is, you should ask your lecturer as they should have this information. The Students' Union recommend that your academic staff add the names of the Course Reps are added to your Moodle and MyBirkbeck sites, but if this is not the case, your academic staff should know. If you have any issues finding this out, please contact our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk for more information!

What is the difference between a Course Rep and a School Rep?

A Course Rep is a student who is elected by their coursemates and has volunteered to take on their role to represent students on their course. A School Rep is a paid position, employed and appointed by the Students' Union, who work to support our Course Reps in their roles and represent the voices of students within their whole school. 

How can I let my course mates know who I am?

There are many different ways that you can let your course mates know that you're the Rep for your course. The most basic and easiest way that you can present this to your course is through a lecture shoutout - just ask your lecturer if it's okay for you to stand up and speak for a couple of minutes to introduce yourself, explaining how you're there to help and support your coursemates. The Students' Union recommend that the details of the Reps are added to Moodle and MyBirkbeck, but if this is not the case, ask your academic staff if it would be possible! You can even ask your academic staff or administrative staff to email your course mates to let them know that you're their Course Rep. 

How does the Students' Union support me as a Rep?

The Students' Union supports our Course Reps in so many ways! We run training sessions for all of our Course Reps, to ensure that you are prepared to carry out your role to the best of your ability. We hire School Reps who are paid to support you in your roles, should any issues come up or even if you have any feedback that you'd like escalated within the Union or the College. Our Student Voice Coordinator is also available if you have any questions surrounding your role or any issues that you may need support with. We've also created a Course Rep Handbook that has all of the information you need, and lots of different resources that will support you in understanding your role. 

A student has approached me with a problem about their course - how do I proceed?

Depending immediately needs fixing, like a problem with recourses or timetable clashes, speak directly to a module or course leader. If the issue is shared by your wider cohort, gather the opinions of as many student as you can – through surveys or social media, for example – and combine these together to present at your next SSLC.

What do I do if a student approaches me with a personal issue?

Dealing with the personal issues of your fellow students isn't part of your role as a Course Rep! Though you might be to inclined to want to help, the best support you can give to someone coming to you for advice would to signpost them to someone who is qualified to help them. This might be the College's Advice Centre or this might be the Student's Union Advice centre. If you're unsure as to where to signpost them email our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk for more information!

What if I have an issue that needs to be taken higher in the College?

If you don't feel comfortable raising an issue at a SSLC, you can get in contact with the Students' Union to ensure that your feedback is heard and escalated to the relevent people within the College - you have a selection of people who you can contact! Your first point of contact should be your School Rep, you can find their contact details here. You can contact one of our elected Student Officers, who's information you can find here. You can also contact our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk, with any issues that you might have. 

How do I present my feedback at SSLCs?

We want the students voice to be taken seriously, and delivering the opinions of your fellow students in a professional and polite way is a good step to making sure this happens. In order to ensure that your feedback is effective, we recommend that it is structured to be accurate, balanced, constructive and depersonalised. Don't raise criticisms of individual members of staff at public meetings, as this can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for staff. If you need support in structuring your feedback you can either contact your School Rep or our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk.

What if feedback that I've collected only belongs to one student?

Your job as a Course Rep is to represent the views of your course mates. If you believe that the views collected are not representative of your course, you should ask all members of your course for their feedback on that specific topic. If this is just the view of an individual, you should support them by signposting them to the relevent services for them. This might be the College's Advice Centre or this might be the Student's Union Advice centre. If you're unsure as to where to signpost them email our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk for more information

What if my cohort has an issue with an individual lecturer or staff member?

It's important that student opinions are still heard even if an SSLC isn't the place to raise them. If you or your fellow students have concerns about an individual member of staff, then make an appointment to talk to either your Module Leader or Programme Leader about the situation. This will ensure that your concerns are heard, but in a more diplomatic way than broadcasting them at an SSLC. If you feel that uncomfortable raising it to an academic staff member, or you don't feel like your feedback is being listened to, you can either contact your School Rep or our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk.

What do I do if I have a question that hasn't been answered here? 

If you have a question that hasn't been answered here, in the Course Rep Handbook or in any of our Resources, you can get in touch with us for more information! You can either contact your School Rep or our Student Voice Coordinator at c.morgan@bbk.ac.uk for more information! You can also always pop into the Students' Union offices on the 4th Floor of Malet Street to talk to our Student Voice Coordinator, Cayleigh, in person too!