Click on any of the questions to see answers to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I want to change something on my course, where is a good place to start?

Reps should start by gathering feedback from their peers and bringing their feedback to UAL staff. More information on collecting and sharing feedback can be found below and in the Course Rep and School Rep handbooks, found on the Resources Page.


How should I collect feedback from other students?

It is normal, especially in particularly busy times of the year, that people are focused on doing their own thing and it may be difficult to get feedback from other people on your course. There’s no one right way to collect feedback so test out a few different things and see what works for people on your course.


Keep trying different methods and if you need support, reach out to the Representation & Democracy team.  


Some suggestions could be:  

  • Create and circulate surveys.  

  • Ask your lecturer if you can have five minutes at the beginning/end of class to speak to your course mates about their experiences.   

  • Create a Teams chat to stay in touch with other students on your course.   

  • Let your course mates know when you have meetings coming up which you can take their feedback to.   

  • Create online polls for quick responses. 

What kinds of things should I collect feedback on?

You're the expert - what do you or other students think is going well, and what could be going better? Is there anything which you find frustrating, or think could be done in another way?


If you are looking for conversation starters, or areas to gather feedback on, think about:

  • How quickly do your tutors give you feedback on your work?
  • Do you find this feedback useful?
  • Have you had any problems with your timetable?
  • Do you have access to resources (books, materials, computers, rooms, software) that you need?
  • Are the University's support services useful?
  • What is your experience of using Blackboard?
  • Have you encountered anything you didn't anticipate?
  • Are there any changes you think should be made to enable you to enjoy or get more out of your course?


What should I do if I feel like communication has broken down between staff and Reps? 

If you have been trying to contact staff but have not received a response, they may still be working on the issues raised.

Reach out by email asking for feedback on where the issue has gotten to, or you could ask staff on the course for a chat to discuss your concerns openly, working together on a solution.   

Alternatively, the Representation & Democracy Team can advise you on how to approach the communication breakdown.  

What do I do if it feels like our feedback isn’t being listened to or acted on?  

This can be a frustrating situation, especially if you have gone out of your way to represent students’ voices on a particular issue and then don’t hear back or see any change.  


Regardless of whether you raised your issue in an informal conversation with a member of staff, or in a formal setting like a Course Committee, try to establish a timeframe. This could be as simple as asking a question like “when can you follow up with me, shall we schedule in another catch up around then,” or asking, “do you think it’s reasonable to expect some progress before the end of term - what can I pass on to the course?” These questions should help establish fair expectations and a reasonable timeline. Open communication can help keep progress accountable.  


Sometimes, action might be slow because it involves staff in another department outside of your course. If that’s the case, ask for a named contact and email, and try to follow up with them directly.   


If you feel like none of these are working, try escalating your issue to a more senior member of staff – for most things related to your course, try contacting your Programme Director or Dean of School (Dean of Academic Programmes if you study in CSM).  


You could also collaborate with other SU representatives. If you’re a Course Rep, ask your School Rep to raise the feedback to a higher level. If you’re a School Rep, ask your College Officer to raise the feedback. By working together, we can make sure that feedback makes it to the right channels.  

What should I do if I am worried about someone on my course?  

It’s important to look after your wellbeing and establish clear boundaries when undertaking the role of Rep. Understanding what you’re not expected to do as a Rep is part of this.  


You are not expected to get involved with students’ personal problems, academic difficulties or individual complaints. This includes:  


  • Personal disputes between students and academic staff or individual students, including allegations of harassment, discrimination or victimisation.  
  • Formal procedures including extensions, extenuating circumstancing, academic misconduct, academic appeals and individual complaints or disciplinary procedures.  
  • Financial and funding queries, including student finance and debt.  
  • Health issues, whether related to housing, employment, immigration or wellbeing.  

Issues like these require a different kind of expertise and in-depth knowledge, in order to ensure the most appropriate advice and guidance can be provided. If a student brings any of the above issues to your attention, please refer them to the Arts SU Advice ServiceUAL Student Services or other appropriate services as required. 

What if students feel our course team isn’t delivering what they promised?  

You might find the reality of your academic experience different to what was described to you before coming to UAL at open days, or in your course handbook.  


Firstly, try and exhaust all possible routes to address the things that are missing from your course: in addition to speaking with your Course Leader, try raising your concerns formally at a Course Committee, or Programme Committee. If these don’t work, then try escalating the issue to a Student and Dean Forum.  


If it feels like this isn’t working you can contact Arts SU’s Advice Service who will be able to help you explore the different options available to you. You may wish to raise a formal complaint with the University, and if the majority of your course mates agree, you might consider making this a formal group complaint.  

How do I talk to someone in the Students' Union (SU)?   

If you have any queries or concerns about being a course rep, you can email the Representation & Democracy Team at coursereps@su.arts.ac.uk.  

How can I connect with other reps throughout the year?  

Being a part of the rep community can be rewarding and fun. We run regular free social events as well as wellbeing and skills training events. Make sure you are read our Rep Newsletter to keep up to date on upcoming events – as well as finding out what reps have achieved this year.  

If you are interested you could create a Course Rep Society with some other Course Reps from across UAL, which could be a good way to socialise. Find out more here.

How can I get recognition for what I have done as a rep?

As a course rep you learn essential skills and gain access to free accredited training, but we also offer some special perks that give you an extra edge when it comes time to think about employability after University.  

We offer:  

  • 1-2-1 meetings to discuss employability skills. 
  • A unique recommendation for your LinkedIn profile.  
  • A letter of recommendation from us to a potential employer.