1. The direction of a charity with a million pound turnover
The Students’ Union is a registered charity and exists to makes students’ lives better at Bath, by offering services which include: representation, support, development and entertainment.
2. Representing nearly 16,000 members to the University as well as locally and nationally
SU Officers represent the concerns and views of individuals, groups or the whole student body on issues such as welfare, academic, social and financial. In particular, SU Officers focus on tackling the “top ten issues” that students have identified as their primary concerns. These are the Top Ten Issues for this year.
3. Making up the majority of the Students' Union Board of Trustees
Along with three external trustees, the SU Officers are members of the Students' Union's Board of Trustees and also have legal and financial responsibilities.
4. Developing the strategic direction of the Union
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the broad direction of the Union and works with the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and SU Finance Director to ensure a successful long term approach to the government of the Union.
Yes. If you are going to hold post as an Officer, you can get an extension of your Tier 4 visa without having to return home. You can get further information and advice from the International Student Advice Team in 4 West.
The current Postgraduate Officer is an international student.
Yes. One of the positions on the Officer team is reserved for postgraduate students only. They work to improve the experience of all postgraduates, wether that is doctoral or taught programmes.
If you are a postgraduate student with a dissertation to finish or the need to to have more flexibility in relation to working hours, please talk to the Deputy Returning Officer on email@example.com
. The SU will always try and accommodate students as much as possible and will actively reduce and remove barriers to you standing. Being a postgraduate student does not mean you cant stand!
Yes. SU Officers do get remunerated. The annual salary for officers currently is £16,146 plus free accommodation on University campus which brings the compensation package inline with the average graduate salary.
You can stand for post at any time whilst you are a student at Bath. You can hold office as your placement year, for example, or take a year out of your studies and several have in the past. If you do wish to do this, you must get permission, in writing, from your Director of Studies and Head of Department and ultimately Senate.
As mentioned above, the SU will always try and accommodate postgraduates standing. If you are doing a PGT you may, with permission from your supervisor and Senate, be able to defer writing up until after your sabbatical year, or work as an officer part time during the summer. The SU will work to be as flexible as possible to enable you to stand.
If you are a doctoral student, you will have to speak to your supervisor and Head of Department, in the first instance. The University is supportive of the Postgraduate Officer post and has said that it would be happy to consider breaks for students who are funded by the University. If your funding is from a research council or other external organisation, you will have to contact that agency to discuss a funding and research break. You should, of course, establish that the University and funder are happy before standing. The SU can provide advice, support and guidance to achieve this.
There are many reasons to become an SU Officer. You will:
1. Have an unforgettable, exciting year, full of challenges
Every day is different; one day you could be helping a student with a problem, leading a national campaign or sitting on an interview panel for a manager. The next day you could be attending a FLTQC (Faculty Learning & Teaching Quality Committee), doing a presentation to your executive committee or sitting in a meeting with the Vice Chancellor.
2. Improve your employability
This is a fantastic opportunity to build a very impressive CV that will make you really stand out to employers. You will have real experience of making senior level decisions as well as managing budgets, events, meetings, projects, teams and your time! In one year, you will have worked with the media, interviewed staff, done public speaking, written reports and negotiated change.
3. Make a difference
You can make a positive impact on students’ lives by influencing the decision makers. There are many changes and developments at the Union, the University and in the local community that that have been driven through by an SU Officer.
4. Develop invaluable life and work skills
Over the year you will have developed some important skills that will benefit you in all areas of your life including: communication, teamwork, leadership, organisation, influencing, strategic planning, commercial awareness, working under pressure and problem solving.
5. Network with a national organisation
Through the NUS (National Union of Students) you will be a part of a confederation of 600 students' unions and linked with thousands of other SU Officers The NUS is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.
Yes. You will start learning about the role from the current Officer almost as soon as you are elected. (Don't worry, this will fit around exams, research, dissertation or any other commitments you may have.) Furthermore, all SU Officers get a two week handover from their predecessor and also attend both internal SU and external training events throughout the summer to help them fully understand their roles and responsibilities. There will be opportunities for further training over the course of the year. If you are a postgraduate student and you will not be allowed to suspend study before September, for example, it may be possible to negotiate training around your commitment.
You are also supported by experienced full time staff and external trustees.
There are six SU Officers.
1. Students’ Union President
The SU President is the figurehead of the Students’ Union. As the President you would lead the SU Officer team, helping and organising the efforts of each individual SU Officer and ensuring that the work on major student issues is done. It is their responsibility to make sure that everything the Union undertakes is for the long term benefit of its members.
2. Education Officer
The Education Officer is principally charged with the academic representation, primarily to the University but to other relevant bodies as well. As the Education Officer you would also work closely with the Postgraduate Officer on issues relating to postgraduate and with the Community Officer on issues relating to international students.
3. Sport Officer
The Sport Officer is principally charged with the strategic development of sport within the Students’ Union and acting as a representative on relevant University committees and at the national level. As the Sport Officer you would represent students’ sporting needs and interests to the Sports Department and the University.
4. Activities Officer
The Activities Officer is responsible for the strategic development of the activities of societies and also represents students in the training and enterprise areas of the Union. They will work with student Executives within the Societies and Enterprise areas.
5. Community Officer
The Community Officer post is a wide ranging role that represents the needs of specific groups of students and general student welfare to the University, the strategic development of volunteering and the diversity and support groups within the SU. As Community Officer you would also be the face and main representation of students within the local community.
6. Postgraduate Officer
This post was approved in January 2016. As the title suggests, the specific duty of this postholder is to research and represent the interests of postgraduate students and to develop an active postgraduate community. The post is only open to postgraduate students, though all students will be able to vote for this post.
Can both doctoral and taught postgraduate students vote in the election?
Yes. In fact, all students can vote in this election
Can both doctoral and taught postgraduate students stand in the Postgraduate Officer election?
Yes. Doctoral students and taught postgraduates (PGTs) are both able to stand. However, undergraduate students may not stand. However, doctoral students and PGT students can stand for the other roles as well!
Postgraduates wanting to stand should meet with their Director of Studies and get their approval using the ‘Consent for students intending to take a year out of their studies’ form. Undergraduates also have to do this to stand as SU Officers, so it should not be seen as problematic. This meeting would include discussion of your funder’s requirements, and other important issues.
As a standard procedure, the University’s Board of Studies and Senate need to approve all appointments, including SU Officers, after the elections. This has also been the case for undergraduate SU Officers for many years without problems being raised by the committees.
Will I be able to suspend my registration if I’m elected?
Yes, almost certainly, as long as funding or other exceptional circumstances do not cause problems. This would be covered in advance in your meeting with your Director of Studies.
Is the University happy for postgraduates to take time out to be an officer?
Yes. The University enthusiastically supports a postgraduate Officer and the election, and is working to ensure that postgraduates can stand and serve as Officers.
I’m staying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa. Would I be able to stay in the UK to be a Postgraduate Officer (or other SU Officer)?
Yes. You can spend up to two years on a Tier 4 visa as an SU Officer, either during your course or straight after you graduate.
The University would need to notify UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) of this as a ‘change of circumstances’ but it is still permitted.
If you start your SU Officer post at the end of your course, and need a new visa, the University can issue CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) to do this, even though you would no longer be studying.
For more visa advice, please contact Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a visiting student at the University of Bath, and the rest of study has been at another university. Can I take part in the election?
Yes. Visiting students are registered at the University of Bath during their time here, so can vote and stand in the election.
I’m a doctoral student in a Doctoral Training Partnership/ Doctoral Training Centre/ Centre for Doctoral Training. I spent time at several different universities while doing my research – can I take part in the election?
Yes, doctoral students in Doctoral Training Partnership/ Doctoral Training Centre/ Centre for Doctoral Training are counted as visiting students. So you would be able to vote, but if you stood as a candidate you would need to discuss with your university of origin about arrangements for taking a sabbatical year.
I’m a doctoral student funded by a university studentship. Will I be able to take a break in my funding in order to serve as an Officer?
This shouldn’t be a problem. The University supports the postgraduate Officers and is happy to consider breaks in funding for research postgraduates who are elected.
I’m a doctoral student funded by a research council. Will I be able to take a break in my funding?
This may be possible but you will need to discuss your position with your research council or agency funding you and with your Director of Studies before standing. The SU can provide advice, support and guidance in these matters.
I’m a doctoral student funded by industry, overseas government, charity or other funder. Will I be able to take a break in my funding?
This may be possible but you will need to discuss your position with your funder and with your Director of Studies before standing.
We recommend you do the following steps:
1. Read more
This site has a lot of useful information ranging from full job descriptions, ex-Officer experiences, previous manifestos to the process of running for Officer. (The Candidate Information Pack is essential reading once you have decided to run.)
2. Talk to someone
Find out more about the role. You can talk in confidence to any of the existing SU Officers, a member of staff or the Chair of the Elections Committee. This year (2018/19) the Elections Chair is Matt Hewitt.
3. Attend the training sessions for candidates
There will be sessions run in the week beginning 4 February 2019 which will include Manifesto Writing and How to Run an Effective Campaign. The training sessions will be in the SU meeting room, 1E 3.20 and are open to anyone interested in the Officer roles, this year or in the future, or any other leadership roles within the SU.
You can find the training dates and times on the election timeline.
4. Nominate yourself
Nominations are open and are made on-line through The SU website. The deadline for you to submit your nomination is noon on 19 February 2019. Your nomination must include a manifesto. Try to get it submitted as early as possible in case you experience online problems and miss the deadline. If you have any problems please do contact the Returning Officer.
In addition to the manifesto, you will be asked to write a short piece about yourself and also to extract the four main points from your manifesto. An example of a previous candidate profile can be seen here.
5. Plan your campaign
You must attend the candidate meetings and briefing sessions on Wednesday 20 February 2019 at 14:15 and Friday 22 February at 16.15. You will also need to plan an election campaign with your supporters to persuade students to vote for you. Online campaigning only begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday 23 February 2019. Physical campaigning begins at 9 a.m. on Monday 25 February 2019. (If you start trying to persuade people to vote for you before this time, you may be sanctioned.)
There will also be a Candidates' Debate for each post, when other students will be able to see the candidates and hear what they have to say. These will be available to view on-line.
Chair of Elections email: email@example.com.