Who’s who and what’s what?

As a Course Rep you will come into contact with many academics and nonacademic staff members and at tend various committee meetings. This section highlights some of the staff and committees you may come into contact at the University of Ulster.

Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCC)

The most effective way that a Course Rep can provide feedback on the running of their course and its academic content is through the Staf f-Student Consultative Committees. It provides a forum for discussion of issues relating to the quality of the student experience on the course and acts as a formal link between students and the Course Committee. Each course has its own SSCC, which meets at least once a semester, and is made up of all Course Reps enrolled on a course across each year of study, together with the Course/Subject Director and a few others from the Academic Staff. This is the key committee where comments, suggestions and complaints about the course and its organisation are addressed. It is at this committee that Course Reps are also asked to comment and provide feedback on the teaching of individual modules as part of the University’s system of quality assurance in teaching.

Course Reps are also required to make known to the rest of their course colleagues any ongoing developments of a course and to consult with them on any proposed changes to a course or its modules. It is also their duty to followup on any actions. It is important the Course Reps canvas their course colleagues for discussion items well in advance of any meeting, so that the item can placed on the agenda.

Further, it is important that Course Reps attend the SSCC and participate as minutes of the SSCC are discussed at the Course Committee meetings, and by senior academic staff at the Annual Subject Monitoring Process, therefore ensuring that student representation is an agenda item on top level university meetings.

Aspects not covered by the SSCCs

  • Although SSCCs cover a wide range of issues, they do not allow for individual student’s complaints or problems to be addressed. These complaints or problems may include:
  • Personal problems of individual students
  • Academic difficulties of individual students
  • Allegations of unfair or inappropriate treatment by staff or other students If a student approaches you with a concern regarding one of these problems you should NOT seek to raise the issues during the SSCC meetings. Try to address the problem at a more appropriate time with your Advisor of Studies or Course Director, or the Students’ Union’s Education and Welfare Officer. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate person within the University who will help to resolve the situation.

Course/Subject Director

Each course has a Course Director who is responsible for the day-today running of the course and is the person you should contact initially with any problems or queries about the course.

Module Co-ordinator

Each course has a Course Director who is responsible for the day-today running of the course and is the person you should contact initially with any problems or queries about the course.

Each module has a Module Coordinator who has overall responsibility for the module. The main responsibilities of the Module Co-ordinator are:

  • Planning the module and changes to the module
  • Co-ordinating and managing teaching on the module
  • Co-ordinating the assessment of students on the module

Adviser of Studies

All registered student on a taught course will be assigned an Adviser of Studies who provides guidance in matters relating to choice of modules, assessment and progress. Students are encouraged to talk to their advisers about their work and progress and to seek assistance, if required, with study or examination skills. Studies Advisers will be pleased to provide students with information about the range of support available e.g. from Student Support Services, Chaplaincy, Careers Service and, if requested, will make arrangements for students to seek specialist advice or help. You will be given the name of your Studies Adviser during the first week of the semester. You should meet with your Adviser at least once each semester. Your Adviser will agree with you the frequency and format of these meetings.

Should a student approach you as a Course Rep, with any personal or individual academic issues, you should refer them to their Adviser of Studies or the Students’ Union’s Academic and Student Affairs Vice President.

Course Committee

Course Committees are responsible for the management, review and continuous reappraisal of courses and generally consist of all teaching staff. They meet regularly and submit annual reports to the Faculty Board to recommend any amendments necessary in the light of Student Feedback and other developments. The Course Director chairs the Course Committee and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the course. Student representatives from the SSCC may be invited to attend Course Committee meetings for the unreserved business.

Student Rep Forum

This forum will be held twice a semester on each campus and provides for discussion between course reps, the Students’ Union President, the Education and Welfare Officers and the Student Representation & Development Co-ordinator. The purpose of the meetings are to ensure that the Students’ Union is aware of the issues students are facing, both academic and non- academic, which need to be highlighted further through the University Committee structure to be addressed and resolved.

The meetings also provide an opportunity for the Students’ Union to brief course reps on issues which are of concern both locally and nationally, provide support, guidance and advice, and filter through information about the activities of the Students’ Union, which in turn should be fed back to your course colleagues.

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