APPLY TO BE A Department OFFICER 2023/24 

Applications are OPEN! Apply here.


What is a Department Officer? 

Department Officers represent the student voice for each undergraduate department at Heriot-Watt University. There are 24 Department Officers in total, who represent the views of every year group in their department and work together to tackle issues that are faced by students across the whole of their Department. To do this, Department Officers act as team leaders for all the Class Reps for each year group in their department and work closely with staff in their Department and the Student Union. 

What do we look for in a Department Officer?

The role of Department Officer is an important one, but we don’t expect you to be able to do everything straight away! You’ll have lots of support throughout the year from Student Union staff, University staff and other Department Officers and School MPs to find your feet and become an amazing leader!   

You will learn a lot in the role, but we are looking for a few key qualities that are essential to being a successful Department Officer.   

You will need to be able to gather the opinion of a wide range of students on your course through leading the Class Reps in your department. This means you should be a confident communicator, approachable and friendly, and be able to actively listen to a range of views and decide what appropriate action to take.  

You will need to be organised and able to manage your time well around multiple commitments. You should be able to analyse information, see the bigger picture and present thoughts clearly verbally and in written reports. The Union will help you develop confidence and negotiation skills during Department Officer training.  

You will be attending a wide range of meetings including some with senior university staff. Change can come slowly in universities and there are always many things to consider when making a decision, so you must be able to strike a balance between advocating for students, while being patient and diplomatic to ensure you come to realistic and achievable solutions.   

Overall, the biggest quality we are looking for is a clear passion and enthusiasm for improving academic life at Heriot-Watt by working in partnership with students and staff! 

Why apply to be a Department officer?

  • The role is a big responsibility and can take up to 40 hours a semester to fulfil. However, the University acknowledges that this is a substantial commitment and pays £150 twice a year as an honorarium.  

  • Develop essential transferable skills through training and ongoing support; including meeting skills, policy development, negotiation, problem-solving, team working, volunteer management and communication skills. 

  • Be one of the first to find out what is going on in your Department and become familiar with senior University staff.  

  • Help to make things better for your fellow classmates and students in general. BE THE CHANGE! 

  • Be part of the decision-making processes of the Union and in particular helping to shape the policies on academic issues.  

  • Be part of the wider volunteer team within the Union and benefit from its Volunteer Support Programme – this includes exclusive events, merchandise and the Volunteer Awards. 



If you have any questions regarding the application or the role, please don't hesitate to reach out to Alba, our Representation and Democracy Coordinator. 


Apply for your department below!


Construction Management 

Civil Engineering 


Architectural Engineering 


All Department Officer roles for EPS have been filled!


All Department Officer roles for MACS have been filled!




Fashion Technology 

Fashion Marketing