Institute of Archaeology


17 Student representation

Student representation - published for 2023-24

17.1. Information on Students’ Union UCL, how to run for election and how to find a representative

Students’ Union UCL

Students’ Union UCL helps you to do more at UCL, experience something you’ve always dreamt of, turn a curiosity into a new passion and help you reach your potential. The Union cares about the things you care about, it’s made up of all kinds of people from all kinds of places and it’s there to fight for you when you need someone in your corner. 

The Union is the representative body of all UCL students. It’s run by students for students and is a registered charity, independent of UCL. All UCL students at every level are automatically members of the Union (but can opt out), and student leaders are elected annually by and from all current students. The elected student leaders who work full time for you are called Sabbatical Officers and they represent students on various UCL committees and influence decisions that matter to students. Alongside the Sabbatical Officers there are more than  2000 other student representatives, who cover every part of UCL life, from your programme, research studies, department, faculty or the UCL accommodation you live in.

Further information:

17.2 Student Clubs and Societies

Student Clubs and Societies         

At Students’ Union UCL, there are over 320 different student-led clubs and societies for you to get involved in. Maybe you are interested in sports with our TeamUCL clubs or low commitment exercise with our Project Active scheme? Perhaps you are keen to perform on-stage in the Bloomsbury Theatre or you want to learn about and celebrate different cultures? With such a diverse offering available there is bound to be something that sparks your interest! Clubs and Societies are a great way to develop your skills and find a community at UCL. The Welcome Fair in early October is the perfect chance to meet them all in one place and learn more about what they have on offer!

Further information:

The Student Archaeological Society (SAS)

The SAS is the Archaeology undergraduate students' society, which organises parties and events, and organises the social side of the Experimental Archaeology course for first-year undergraduates.  The elected officers present students' views to the Director at regular meetings during Term, and act as student representatives on Institute committees.  The officers of the SAS are as follows: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Secretary, First-year undergraduate Rep, Second-year undergraduate Rep, Third-year undergraduate Rep, Fieldwork Rep, Overseas Student Rep, Welfare Rep, Communications Officer.  Elections to the SAS are organised by the SAS, in November for first-year student representatives, and in March for the next year's second and third-year representatives.

17.3 Information on Academic Representatives

Academic Representatives
Your Students’ Union is there to make sure you have the best possible time while you’re studying at UCL. One of the ways they do that is by working with departments and faculties to ensure that every student is represented and has a voice in the way that the university works.

Every student at UCL will have a Course Representative or a Research Student Representative who will be your eyes, ears, and voice. They’ll work closely with staff in your department to make sure that they understand what you most value, and take action to deal with things you’d like to see improve. They’ll also work with your Lead Department Representative as well as your Faculty Representatives and the Students’ Union to make things better across the whole of UCL.

These Academic Representatives are appointed during early October – if you’d like to take up the role, staff in your department can tell you how. If you take up a representative role, the Students’ Union will work closely with you to provide training, support, and advice, and you’ll be able to change the experience of everyone on your course or in your department for the better.

Even if you don’t fancy taking up a role yourself, keep an eye out for your chance to vote for which students you feel will do the best job.

Further information:

17.4 Role of the Staff-Student Consultative Committee

Staff-Student Consultative Committee
Every department at UCL has a Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) that meets at least three times a year. Staff Student Consultative Committees are meetings where Academic Reps and staff work together to develop solutions to students’ concerns, and prioritise areas for improvement. SSCCs are co-chaired by your Lead Department Representative. Some departments have a single SSCC, while others split this into different levels of study. Most commonly, departments operate both an undergraduate and postgraduate SSCC. The IoA’s SSCC has Joint Chairs – one member of staff (the Director) and a final year undergraduate student.

17.5 Other ways that students can give feedback, including local processes and key contacts.

Other Committees and Sub-Committees which have responsibility for making decisions about activities within the Institute, which have  student representatives, are:

  • Teaching Committee:  Teaching Committee has responsibility for designing, administering and monitoring the quality of all teaching provision in the Institute.
  • Library Committee:  Library Committee liaises with the College Library staff and administration, over the provision of library resources and services within the Institute, and elsewhere in College of relevance to teaching and research in the Institute.
  • Fieldwork Sub-Committee:  A Sub-Committee of Teaching Committee which has responsibility for the design and monitoring of fieldwork components of teaching within the Institute.
  • Student representatives also attend the Institute Staff Meeting as observers.

17.6 Students’ Union Advice Service

The Students’ Union Advice Service is available to all current UCL students, as well as those who have interrupted their studies or recently completed their programme. Trained and experienced staff are ready to support you with any difficulties that might occur during your time at UCL.

The Advice Service specialises in:

  • Academic issues - including extenuating circumstances, plagiarism and complaints 
  • Housing concerns - including contract checks and housemate disputes
  • Money and Debt advice – including budgeting and income maximisation
  • Employment - including unpaid wages and part time employment contracts
  • The team can also offer help and support with many other legal and university matters

The service is free, independent, impartial and confidential. No information shared with the service is shared with your department or any other university staff unless you request it or give your permission.  Students can make an appointment or attend a drop-in session for advice and support. 

Further information:

17.7 Informal and Formal Student Complaints

Student Complaints

UCL aims to ensure that every student is satisfied with their experience of UCL. However we recognise that from time to time problems do arise and students may wish to express concern or dissatisfaction with aspects of UCL or the quality of services provided.

17.7.1 Informal resolution

Many complaints can be resolved at an informal or local level without needing to submit a formal complaint. Students can speak to their Personal Tutor, Programme Leader, Departmental or Faculty Tutor, Course Representative, or Research Student Representative if they have any concerns about their programme. They can also speak to the UCL Student Mediator or the Students’ Union’s Advice Service. UCL strongly encourages this kind of resolution and does expect students to have attempted some form of informal resolution before making a formal complaint.

17.7.2 Formal complaints

If an issue cannot be resolved at a local level, students may feel they need to submit a formal complaint using UCL’s Student Complaints Procedure. UCL aims to ensure that all complaints are treated fairly, impartially, effectively and in a timely manner, without fear of victimisation. The Complaints Procedure applies across all Schools, Faculties, Academic Departments and Professional Service Divisions. Students’ attention should be drawn to the timescales set out in the Procedure.

Further information: