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Welcome to the Department Elections! It is vital that every student receives a quality education during their time at University, and that all students are able to make the most of the opportunities available. One way this happens is through Academic Representation, which ensures students on every Exeter course are represented; each department has a number of Department Officers (who are elected by the students in that department), and a number of student reps, all of which are recruited to to promote student needs to the University and encourage positive changes to the student experience.

We've created this area to support you through the journey of our Department Officer elections – there are lots of resources for you, including campaign training, FAQs and election rules.

There's no better chance to make meaningful change than becoming a student leader – if you keep hearing about the same issues, why not be the one to change them? Your student voice can have a real impact on the issues you care most about.

Candidate Toolbox

Key Dates

Monday 16 May 09:00 - Nominations Open

Monday 6 June 14:00 - Nominations Close

Monday 6 June 14:00 - Personal Statement Deadline

Monday 6 June 16:00 - Candidate Lists Released

Tuesday 7 June 09:00 - Voting Opens

Thursday 9 June 16:00 - Voting Closes

Friday 10 June - Results Announced

Student Stories

Testimonials from our current team of student leaders.

  • Dan Hofton, Management Subject Chair

    The opportunity to lead a student council at university was one I never thought would be available to me, yet alone one that I would pursue. After being a management subject representative in my second year of the BSc Business & Management programme, it felt natural to apply for the subject chair role, commencing in my final year.

    As a team, we adopted an adaptative rather than project led approach to improving students’ academic experience. We have worked on all aspects of the department, from assessments to feedback, to misconduct and career development. Delegating to reps allowed me to motivate them to pursue tasks in context of the wider purpose; we act as a bridge between a large management cohort (over 3000) and the staff of the department.

    Having a voice to make change has been highly rewarding and I recommend anyone interested to apply for the subject representative or subject chair role for the next academic year. It will allow you to make an impact, work and meet like-minded individuals, and enhance your university experience with a story to tell at the end.

  • Naomi Cryan, Politics and International Relations Subject Chair

    As a First-Year Student at Exeter University, I never imagined myself becoming the Subject Chair. Taking that leap of faith in myself and applying for this role turned out to be a great decision. Students’ voices and worries were heard from each year. I had the opportunity to organise events where I invited speakers and I helped organise the Politics Quiz night. This experience allowed me to meet other Subject Chairs, politics representatives, inspiring Alumni, Guild staff, Politics staff and students. This is why I would recommend to anyone to apply to become an academic representative or department officer in the next academic year regardless of their past experience. As long you are eager and motivated, you could make a great representative. You will meet new individuals and learn from this experience which will help you in the future.

  • Ella Lee, English Subject Chair

    My experience being involved with student representation has given me a much better understanding of how the university works, which is important to both academic staff and students. The opportunity to hear student voice has allowed me to connect with a variety of people and become more understanding of individual's experiences. I've loved having an active role in taking small but sure steps to improving people's time at university!

  • Camila Reyes, INTO Year One Business Subject Chair

    Being a subject chair for International Year One has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. This opportunity has not only allowed me to expand my network, but also develop some essential leadership skills for the future. Moreover, this role has helped me understand the importance of enabling students’ voices to be heard but more importantly being the person that facilitates this communication between staff and students. Despite some difficulties like getting all representatives together, the staff at INTO have been extremely helpful in allowing me to carry out my function without disregarding my studies. Overall, the experience has been extremely fulfilling as it allowed me to help my fellow students while developing crucial leadership skills.

    As future leaders, I believe all students could benefit from such an experience. Alongside the guild and INTO staff, representatives are provided with a wide range of sources to allow them to develop leadership skills. Being in charge of a group and liaising with students represent an indispensable skill for our professional futures; therefore, making this the ideal experience for us as students to start the development of vital skills for the future. It is the perfect opportunity for students to engage with the community and help all our classmates to make the most out of our university years!


  • Where have the Subject Chair and College Officer roles gone?

    As part of the University's Strategy 2030, we have been working closely with the University and your student reps over the past few months to review our Academic Representation provision in-line with the new University Faculties. To improve the effectiveness of Academic Representation, we believe representation should be collaborative and community-based, and not rely heavily on single positions.

    Therefore we are replacing the single roles of Subject Chair and College Officer with teams of 2-3 elected officers per department, who will have a senior leadership and oversight role to promote solutions which will encourage positive change to the University of Exeter experience. Our new Department Officers will also ensure any local representation activity aligns with the needs of the whole student community.

    Meanwhile we are refocusing our Academic Rep roles on community-based peer support, providing local leadership and insight, and enhancing the day-to-day student experience at module, programme, and discipline level.

  • Is there an infographic or diagram of the new representation structure?


  • How do I nominate myself for a position?

    Hit the "Nominate Now" button and follow the easy steps to submit your nomination. If you have been involved in elections for society committees, the process is very similar. You must be registered as a student in the relevant department for the full duration of the next academic year in order to nominate yourself for this role.

  • I have a running mate - how do we nominate ourselves together?

    On the nomination form, there is a box called Slate. If you wish to nominate yourself jointly with another candidate, you should each complete the nomination form individually, but both enter the same text under Slate, e.g. "Andrew and Tom". You can then upload the same personal statement, slogan, photo etc. on the candidate page for the specific role.

  • Can a student group or society endorse a candidate?

    It is up to student groups, clubs, and societies to decide how they want to engage in the election. This means they can endorse a candidate if they wish, although this should be a choice of the membership, rather than just the committee.

  • Can the Guild or University endorse a candidate?

    No. The Students' Guild remains neutral in the election, and The University of Exeter, as the Guild's regulator, must also remain neutral in the election. But this does not mean the Guild and University are passive in the election – staff and departments will promote the election as part of our democratic culture, and we will encourage students to nominate themselves for elected roles and offer assistance to candidates.

  • Can the elected Full-Time Officers, College Officers, and Subject Chairs endorse a candidate?

    Yes. As students, elected officers and reps are just as entitled to express a view as any other student. However, they cannot use any resources or equipment provided by the Guild (such as official social media accounts or mailing lists) to do so.

  • Who/what is the Returning Officer?

    It is the job of the Returning Officer (RO) to ensure the election is fair by answering queries and overseeing the election process. The RO in this election is the Student Voice team's Academic Impact Co-ordinator. You can contact the RO via voice@exeterguild.com.

  • When will applications be open for next year's Academic Reps and Equality Reps?

    Current reps can register their interest to continue as a rep next year by completing our End of Year Review. Recruitment for new reps will open in September.

Accessibility Tools

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ