What is an academic rep?

Academic Reps are the voice of students in faculties, departments and schools. They run on unique manifestos and are then elected by their subject peers to fulfil this role, which is an exciting opportunity to actively shape students' educational experience here at Cambridge.

Reps have the power to enact changes to education, individually based on their priorities and collectively, working with other representatives across the University. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community. 

Reps work with the Students' Union sharing knowledge with the Access, Education and Participation Officers and other reps as part of a University-wide system of academic representation. Reps are trained by SU staff and receive individual support to help them achieve their goals.

Types of Rep

There are two main types of reps, Subject Reps and School Reps.

Subject Reps are the voice of students in faculties and departments. They represent their subject peers and take part in decision making that will affect education now and in years to come. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community.

School Reps are higher level student representatives. They represent those studying subjects within their school, and lead and coordinate the academic reps in relevant faculties and departments. They sit on the Council of the School, which is responsible for education, research, strategy and resource allocation across several faculties in a discipline area. School Reps also sit on the SU's Student Council, where they hold the sabbatical officer team to account and debate and vote on SU policy.

You don't need prior experience to be an Academic Rep and will receive training and support from the SU and your faculty or school. 

Academic reps are elected in Michaelmas term.

Online Academic Rep Training 2024

Our face to face Academic Rep training has now finished for this academic year. Please find below a link to our online Academic Rep training. If you have any questions or require the presentation in a different format, please contact us at: academic.rep@cambridgesu.co.uk

Everything you need to know to succeed in your role

Course contents

  • Intro to the SU and Academic Representation

  • Your responsibilities

  • Key meetings and networks

  • How to succeed - top tips

  • Useful resources

Being an Academic Rep 

This training course covers all relevant knowledge to get you started in your as an Academic Rep! It also provides skills and resources to help you succeed and develop positive relationships with students and staff. 


Support for reps

Academic Rep Coordinator

The Academic Rep Coordinator is a member of full-time SU staff who trains and supports all Academic Reps. They provide individual guidance and expertise to reps, and work with the University and Faculties to ensure that academic representation is as effective as possible. 

Academic Forum

This is a meeting of Academic Reps from across faculties, departments, and schools, where we explore current issues and campaigns, seek advice from relevant staff, and discuss and feed into university-wide educational conversations. University staff and student campaigners occasionally attend to seek feedback or support with a project . It’s also a space to suggest policy for the SU on how the sabbs can better campaign at a university-level for educational improvement. 


Reps attend training sessions throughout the year, including just after they’re elected in Michaelmas term. Training equips reps to effectively advocate for their peers, understand ongoing university projects and priorities, and successfully campaign for change. School Reps receive training tailored to their role, and all reps have access to training resources throughout the year.

If you'd like to know how to become or contact your academic rep, need support and advice as a current academic rep or are a staff member responsible for supporting Academic reps, simply contact us via. academic.rep@cambridgesu.co.uk


CSA 2023
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Updated Mon 04 Mar 2024



What do your Academic Reps do?

Academic Reps are the link between you and the University on all things course related. They listen to your thoughts and ideas about your course, and feed this back to your school. By telling your Academic Reps how you are feeling about your course, they can drive positive change within the University to make sure you are getting the best experience.


Why become an Academic Rep?

Being an Academic Rep is a chance to make a difference to your course as well as develop your employability skills. During the role you will gain:

  • Negotiation skills
  • The ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Collaborative problem solving skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • And so much more!


How do I become an Academic Rep?

Academic reps are elected in Michaelmas term.

Interested in putting yourself forward but want more information? If you feel a little unsure or have questions, just email us at academic.rep@cambridgesu.co.uk


I am a Rep - now what?

As a Rep your're part of a community of students representing others and making change happen. The first thing to do is to take part in our Academic rep training, to make sure you've got the basic skills to represent your peers.