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Full-time Officers (eligibility):

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

A: Yes, you can stand. You will not need a new visa to your existing visa but you may need to get an extension.  We will help you through this process and may be able to cover the associated cost. We have had a number of international sabbatical officers in the past, including students from Hong Kong, the United States of America and Jamaica. 

Q: Are there any restrictions on being a Sabbatical Officer? 

A: Four out of the seven positions are Sabbatical Trustees (see role descriptions for Trustee reference)  and as a result there are legal restrictions about who can carry out the role of a trustee. You would not be able to take on the role if any of the following apply: 

  1. being on the Sex Offenders’ Register
  2. unspent conviction for an offence involving
    • deception or dishonesty
    • terrorist offences
    • money laundering
    • bribery
    • misconduct in public office, perjury, perverting the course of justice
    • contravention of certain preventative Orders of the Charity Commission (s.77 of the Charities Act 2011)
    • attempting, aiding or abetting these offences
  3. contempt of court
  4. designation under specific anti-terrorist legislation
  5. found guilty by the High court of disobeying a Commission order or direction
  6. removed from:
      • trusteeship, or as an officer, agent or employee of a charity by the Court or the Commission for misconduct or mismanagement
      • a position of management or control of a charity in Scotland for mismanagement or misconduct
  7. disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
  8. undischarged bankruptcy
  9. composition or arrangement with creditors which includes an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), and is currently on the Insolvency Service Register

Q: I am a PhD student funded by a research council, how can I interrupt my studies to stand for a Full-time/Sabbatical Officer position? Will I lose my funding?

A: You will need to check with your Research Council on whether they will allow an interruption. We have had several PhD students in the past take on the role of Sabbatical Officer and have worked with them to ensure they could take on the opportunity. 

Q: I am a Medical Student and have exams over the summer. How will I be able to interrupt my studies to stand for a Full-time/Sabbatical Officer position?

A:  You won’t need to interrupt your exams; you can take your exams over the summer as required. The induction/training programme the Union runs over the summer months (i.e. July, August) for the incoming Full-time Officers, will be adjusted for you 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? How can I make this up?

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

Q: I am a final year undergraduate/one year masters/final year PhD student meaning I will have finished at UCL. Can I still stand for a Full-time Officer position?

A: Yes, you only need to be a registered UCL student  and SU 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 first year student as you are a registered UCL student (and SU member).

Full-time Officers (responsibilities and benefits):

Q: If I am earning a stipend 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: What will be my normal hours of work? 

A: We operate a flexible working schedule with some core hours (10-4) on Monday to Friday, although there may be events which mean you would need to work evenings and weekends.  However for any additional hours you work, you can take these back as time off. 

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 evening and weekends?

A: Being a Full-time Officer is an amazing opportunity but there may be long days in the office. However, it does not take over your life: you will be able to carry on with any clubs or societies’ activities, e.g. Wednesday afternoons can be blocked booked in your diary for these activities and even though you will need to attend meeting on some evenings, there are not many, you’ll have most of the evenings free for yourself. As for weekends, there are optional training events and conferences which you can attend, so it’s up to you.

Q: Would I need to attend many meetings?

A: The Full-time Officers attend meetings of the Trustee Board, its Committees and Union Council as well as meetings of UCL Committees. There are also other meetings for project planning or team work. Attending the meetings is compulsory and apologies should be sent if for any reason you are unable to attend. There are always many other reasons for many other meetings but every effort is made to keep a balance in your daily diary commitments allowing time to plan your own work, deal with your messages, etc

Q: Would 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 to Personal Development sessions run by UCL and take up opportunities with external training and conferences.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at