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Do you have a specific question, or just want to know more? You may find your answer here.

Considering standing for election, but need to know more? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions. If yours isn’t listed, we’re happy to talk. Contact us on

TL;DR international, PGT and final year students are able to stand too

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: How do I write a manifesto?

Students standing for election will need to write a manifesto to set out their plans and pledges for their term. A clear manifesto should lay out what you hope to achieve, so take some time to think about what inspires you, and what is realistic. Don’t fall into the trap of making unrealistic promises, or just bad-mouthing your opposition.

We’ve put together a guide to writing a manifesto to help you along, or you can come along to one of our Manifesto Writing Workshops.

Q: Can I get help to make my campaign better?

We can offer advice and support to help you learn skills that will help you on the campaign trail. These include primers on manifestos, public speaking and running an effective campaign.You’ll find out about the support and resources available at the Candidates’ Briefing on 22 February.

Q: When do elections take place?

There are two rounds of elections each year, one in the Autumn and the other is in the Spring. The elections schedule for the upcoming Spring elections here. 

Part-Time Officers & Representatives

Q: Do you get paid as a Part-Time Officer?

A: Part-Time Officers do not get paid, but you will be able to claim expenses for work such as travelling to conferences and delegate fees. The Union provides a series of budgets which Part-Time Officers can access – you won’t have to pay your own money to do your officer role!

Q: What is the time commitment for a Part-Time Officer?

A: The amount of time you put in depends on how much you want - and are able to give - to the role. There are some meetings that you need to attend (see next question) but for the most part your workload is down to you. Your study and personal life doesn’t - and shouldn’t - need to suffer because of the role. You also have the option of running for a part-time position as a job-share with another student.

Q: Would I need to attend many meetings?

A: The amount of meetings you attend as a Part Time Officer depends on your role. Check the positions profiles for information on what meetings your specific role attends. You may attend more meetings to organise and plan your projects or to meet staff from UCL, but this will depend on the work that you hope to achieve.

Q: Can you share the role with another person?

A: You have the option to share the role with another student. To do this, you must stand with someone else as a joint candidate. In the elections you would be classed as a single candidate. If elected to a role that sits on Union Council, you would only have one vote, and if one chose to resign then both members would have to step down from the role. In the current elections, these roles can be shared by two students: 
Disabled Students’ Officer
External Accommodation Officer
Halls Accommodation Representative
Mature & Part-time Students’ Officer
Officer for Students with Caring Responsibilities

To discuss this in more detail, please email

Q: Would there be opportunities for training and personal development?

A: Yes, plenty. As a Part-Time Officer you will have training which will cover a number of areas and skills including assertiveness, public speaking, working in a team and more. You will gain more experience just from being in the role. There will also be the opportunity to go to events and conferences relevant to your officer role.

Still have questions? Email us at

Full-Time Officers

Q: Can I stand for a Full-Time Officer position if I am an international student? Won’t I need a new visa?

A: You should be able to stand, but check for more information. You may not need a new visa, but you may need to get an extension. The UK Council for International Affairs also has more information on this.

Q: I am a PhD student funded by a Research Council. Will I lose my funding if I interrupt my studies for a full-time position?

A: You will need to check with your Research Council on whether they will allow this. See our Advice Service for more information (Floor 1, Bloomsbury Theatre Building, Monday-Thursday: 10am-4pm)

Q: I am a medical student and have exams over the summer. Will I need to interrupt my studies to become a Full-Time Officer?

A: You can still take your exams over the summer as required. The Union runs an induction and training programme over the summer months (i.e. July, August) for incoming Full-Time Officers, but this will be adjusted to accommodate your exams.

Q: I am a student who has clinics/dissertation/exams over summer and will therefore miss out on training. Am I eligible to stand?

A: Yes, you are eligible to stand. We will work our induction and training arrangements around your study commitments.

Q: I am a final year student, and I will have finished at UCL by the summer. Can I still stand for a Full-Time Officer position?

A: Yes, you only need to be a registered UCL student (and Students’ Union member) when you stand for the elections.

Q: I am a first year student and want to stand for a Full-Time Officer position. Is this possible?

A: Yes, you can stand for a Full-Time Officer position if you are currently a registered UCL student (and Students’ Union member).

Q: If I am earning a salary as a Full-Time Officer, will I have to pay Council Tax?

A: Yes, you will have to pay Council Tax. However, if you just live with other students, you are entitled to 25% discount from your local council.

Q: Will being a Full-Time Officer completely take over my life? Will I still be able to be active in clubs and societies and have some free evenings and weekends?

A: It’s true: Being a Full-Time Officer often involves long days in the office and out on campus. However, you will still be able to continue with your clubs and activities. You may need to attend some meetings in the evenings, but there are not many of these. There will be some training and events and conferences on weekends, but you’ll be able to take time back during the week for any hours worked over the weekend..

Q: Would I need to attend many meetings?

A: Full-Time Officers are required to attend meetings. They will need to be present at meetings of the Board of Trustees, its committees, Union Council, and UCL meetings. There may also be other team and project meetings. 

Q: Will there be opportunities for training and personal development?

A: Yes, plenty. Apart from the induction programme in July/August, many useful sessions are planned and delivered throughout the year including Project Planning, Public Speaking, Meeting and Chairing Skills, Harassment & Bullying and Equal Opportunities & Diversity Workshops, just to name a few. In addition, as a Full-Time Officer you will be able to register for Personal Development sessions run by UCL and take up opportunities with external training and conferences.

Important documents 

Take a look at these important documents if you are thinking about standing for election: 

Memorandum & Articles of Association (PDF)

Bye-Laws (PDF) (Election regulations are contained in the Bye-Laws)

Staff Student Protocol (PDF)

How to write a manifesto

Candidates’ Briefing 2018

Governance Structure - August 2013 (PDF)

Elections Budget Form (PDF version / MS Word version)

The voting system explained (Youtube video)

Attached file(s): 
PDF icon elections_schedule.pdf83.28 KB