The Ins and Outs Of Being A Course Rep At Warwick – OurWarwick

The Ins and Outs Of Being A Course Rep At Warwick

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Victoria Heath | English Literature and Creative Writing Contact Victoria

Since my first year at Warwick, I have been a course representative for English Literature and Creative Writing. But what exactly is a course representative (coined more colloquially as a course rep) and how do you know whether you’d like to be one for your course at Warwick?

Essentially, a course rep is someone who connects students and departments together at Warwick, ensuring that the student voice is heard and that departments are made aware of what is working well, as well as any improvements that could be made to the course. In English and Creative Writing, we have two course reps in first year, one in second year (that’s me) and a course rep in their final year of study. This ensures that each year group is heard fairly and equally.

As a course rep, I attend two SSLC meetings per term – these are Student Staff Liaison Committee meetings. One of them will be for the WWP (the Warwick Writing programme), and then the other will be for SCAPVC (School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures), the school in which the WWP is situated within. These meetings are a chance for you to report back to staff, and hear what other course reps have to say on behalf of their cohort. Normally,  we are told when these meetings will take place a few weeks in advance, meaning that there is time to collate feedback from our coursemates before it takes place.

This feedback can be gathered in any number of ways; sometimes, I simply send a message into the group chat for the second year ELCW course, asking if anyone would like to raise any concerns or provide feedback about the course. Other times, I have compiled a SurveyMonkey (a quick, easy to create form) with prompts and questions for my coursemates to fill out, such as individual module satisfaction, stress levels and quality of assignment feedback. 

This year, I have also been appointed the role of Student Secretary for the SSLC, meaning that for both the WWP and SCAPVC meetings, I take down minutes (notes which summarise the key points of each meeting). To begin with, this was slightly daunting as I had never done this before. But soon enough, it became easy to transcribe everyone’s thoughts in the meetings whilst simultaneously contributing my own, and I find the role really fun to do.

The staff of the departments are very eager to hear feedback from course reps – both where students feel satisfied and where they would like more support. As a course rep, you can make proposals in these meetings to explore how best to tackle a particular issue, with the staff being very eager to hear your ideas and thoughts. It is great to see such an open and constructive attitude where the course is constantly being refined according to student needs.

Being a course rep means you are able to raise feedback quickly and effectively to those who are able to take action on it, representing your coursemates to explain concerns over timetabling, modules and more. These meetings are a great way of building confidence as a student, by effectively inspiring change in the department and School of your course. I would definitely recommend being a course rep to anyone who is interested in the role: it’s a brilliant way to get more involved in your course, inspire active improvements and change in your course and gather effective leadership skills all at the same time!

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Victoria Heath | English Literature and Creative Writing Contact Victoria

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