Each year in March, every student at UCL votes to elect the leaders of clubs, societies and the whole Students’ Union. 1,000’s put themselves forward and 1,000’s vote. The students you elect start work in the summer and spend the next academic year making more happen at UCL.

You can put yourself forward to lead a club, society or the Students’ Union, then encourage students to vote for you. The Leadership Race is open to all. 

Most of the leadership roles are voluntary, undertaken alongside your studies, but six are full-time paid positions where those elected take a sabbatical year and lead the entire Students’ Union.

2022 was the biggest election ever at UCL, but we want 2023 to be even bigger...

What can you do?

The Leadership Race gives everyone the chance to choose who leads their club, society, and the Students’ Union.

During the Leadership Race you can stand and vote for:

  • The six full-time Sabbatical Officers who lead the Students’ Union.
  • The 17 Student Officers, including the People of Colour (POC) Students’ Officer and Women’s Officer, volunteer their time to represent students.
  • The president or treasurer of your society.
  • The president or treasurer of your sports club.
  • UCL’s delegates to the NUS National Conference.

Full-time Sabbatical Officers

Sabbatical Officers work full-time for a year representing all students at UCL. Each Officer has a specific area of responsibility, like Education, Union Operations, or to represent Postgraduate students. They’re part of the Union’s Trustee Board, part of UCL’s Council, part of the committees and working groups that shape UCL, and part of all the decisions which are made that affect students. 

It’s a lot of responsibility, but Sabbatical Officers are supported by the staff team at the Union and get lots of training and development throughout the year. It’s a unique opportunity, strategically leading a charity, and one comparable to any grad scheme. If you want to know what it’s really like day-to-day, our current Sabbatical Officer team are here to talk.

Here's the team from 2019...

What you’ll get as a Sabbatical Officer

  • Paid around £27,144 per year, with 27 days holiday.
  • Extensive training and development, and the opportunity to undertake additional training when you need it.
  • Influence at the very highest level of UCL and the Students’ Union.
  • A unique opportunity to build a network of leaders in higher education and beyond.
  • The support of a team of dedicated full-time staff.
  • The chance to make real and lasting change at UCL.

​Even if you're just curious, let us know. We'll be able to help you through the nomination process and answer any questions you have.

We'll arrange a time to catch up, either with a staff member or a current officer. You'll be able to take your time to figure out what's right for you.

I'm curious about being a...
I'm submitting on behalf of...

You've selected President and Treasurer, great news. Please get in touch directly with our Activities teams on [email protected] or come and see us on the 2nd floor of the Bloomsbury Theatre building.

Guides and advice

Grad Scheme or Sabb Scheme?
We don’t need to tell you that this has not been a normal few years. You might already be revaluating your options as graduate jobs and graduate schemes are scaled back – well, we might have just the thing for you. It’s not a normal grad scheme, it’s better.
Being President: Pi Media
Leadership Race: Where are they now?
Since the Leadership Race began, we've been saying what an amazing opportunity this is - that apart from making change within the UCL community, being a student leader can help you grow as a person but it can also help you land your dream career. That the skills you learn and the experiences you have will stay with you, long after you’ve&n
What is the Leadership Race?
What is the Leadership Race? We’re going to be talking a lot about the Leadership Race over the coming weeks, but what’s it all about? The Leadership Race is your opportunity to take on a leadership role at UCL for the next academic year.

Important dates

Your questions answered

How do elections take place?

Elections take place online. In 2022, all campaigning and voting will take place online. Students will vote via a secure part of our website. You’ll be able to share a manifesto on your candidate page for voters to read, and take part in virtual question time events.

Will I get support during the election?

Yes. We have a team of staff ready to help you. They can help you plan your election campaign, talk to you about the different roles, help you reach potential voters, and just be there when you need someone.

Can I stand for more than one position?

Only if they don’t sit on the same Policy Zone or both sit on Union Executive

Do I have to write something to support my nomination?

Not initially. We simply need your name the role you’re interested in to process your nomination. We’ll talk you through writing a supporting statement, or a manifesto, at the Candidate Briefing.

Can I run if I'm Postgraduate?

Absolutely, we have lots of postgrads stand for election.

What happens if I win?

You’ll find out in March, and you’ll start your new role in July. We’ll give you lots of training and support and help you with any paperwork you might have to do, like applying to interrupt your studies.

Who can vote for me?

Everyone who is eligible to stand for a position is able to vote for that position. Some positions, like Education Officer, are open to all students and therefore all students will be able to vote. On the other hand, only those who self-define as a woman, and stand for the role of Women’s Officer, therefore only those who self-define as a woman can vote for the position. Eligibility criteria is listed on the role descriptions.

What are the rules?

In order for our elections to be fair, transparent and legally compliant, there are a number of rules and regulations that must be followed. We have condensed them to be as clear and easy to understand as possible. We'll publish the rules shortly.

Can you share the role with another person?

The Part-Time Officer roles are eligible for a job share. 

What are the time commitments? And will I be eligible for the role?

To see the eligibility requirements and time commitment for each role please review role descriptions below.

Will there be training and opportunities for development?

Yes, plenty. As all of our officers receive 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 as well as opportunities to work on projects that you are passionate about. 

Where will these roles be based?

The Sabbatical Officer roles will be UK based, working primarily from our offices at 25 Gordon Street in London, with some remote working.

If I'm thinking of standing for a position, who can I discuss this with to get advice and guidance?

We're here to help - the first point of call will be our Elections team, you can reach them on [email protected] drop us an email and we'll get you speaking to the right people.

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

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. 

The leadership roles

Sabbatical Officer Role Descriptions

Welfare & Community Officer
Your Role You will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services; and representing the interests of students to UCL, including participating in UCL committees and regular meetings with senior staff
Equity & Inclusion Officer
Your Role You will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services; and representing the interests of students to UCL, including participating in UCL committees and regular meetings with senior staff
Activities & Engagement Officer
Your Role You will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services, shaping the co-curricular and social experiences and opportunities that Members want from the Union.
Union Affairs Officer
Your Role You will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services; and representing the interests of students to UCL, including participating in UCL committees and regular meetings with senior staff
Postgraduate Officer
Your Role You will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services by leading on all issues relating to the needs and interests of postgraduate taught and research students.
Education Officer
Your RoleYou will be a full time Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union working full time to provide leadership to the Students’ Union’s services; you will lead on representing students’ academic interests to UCL and beyond and lead the Union’s work in influencing UC

Student Trustees

Read more information about the Union's Trustee Board and the role of Student Trustees.

Student Officer Role Descriptions

Liberation Officer Role Descriptions

Network Representative Roles

Each Liberation Officer has a network that they lead to create spaces of community! But they can't do it alone! So they have the following representatives on the committee to help them out.

  • Network Secretary
  • Network Social Secretary
  • Network Media and Communications Representative
  • Network Campaigns Representative
  • Network POC Students' Representative
  • Network LGB+ Students' Representative
  • Network Trans* Students' Representative
  • Network Women Students' Representative
  • Network Disabled Students' Representative