What is our Academic Structure?

Learn about the Union's academic structure- and how you can get involved!

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Our academic structure can be a bit daunting when you first take a look at it but once we’ve broken it down it’s actually pretty simple to understand (we promise xx). This article will hopefully explain the system we work on and the positions that are still available for you to fill!

To start off with, we have our Class Reps. They are students who volunteer to represent the voice of the students in their year by gathering feedback from their classmates and attending meetings with Heriot-Watt University and Union staff. They are the link between the student body and all levels of staff at the University. We’ll be on the lookout for Class Reps from the start of the semester so if it is something you want to get involved in, let us know!

Next, we have Department Officers. Previously named School Officers, Department Officers handle issues that are affecting their department and sit on school-level committees to communicate students' problems straight to the top of the university. They have a higher level of responsibility than the Class Reps and are also paid.

Elected positions

Our MP positions are extremely varied. The majority of the elected positions are found out at our Student Elections in March. These positions also attend Student Parliament at the end of each month in the semester.

Firstly, we have our School MPs. They support the Vice President Education and work with them to fix issues faced by students to improve academic life at Heriot-Watt. They meet regularly with Department Officers and Class Reps at Academic Congress and attend Department Officer Meetings. They also help ensure Academic Congress runs smoothly, as well as attending University Committees and Working Groups.

Next, we have our Student MPs. There are 5 Student Members of Parliament with no set remit for any of these positions to work on throughout the year, meaning they can work on the issues they find important!

We then have…

The Equality & Diversity Inclusion MP. They work with the Vice President Wellbeing and feed into the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Group.

The Wellbeing MP also works alongside the Vice President Wellbeing and chooses the focus they have on wellbeing throughout the year. They also feed into the Wellbeing & Student Life Group, alongside Student Life MP.

The Societies MP works with the Vice President Community and represents Societies at Parliament. This MP is a Society leader and is voted to this position by other Society Leaders.

And the

Student Life MP who works with the Vice President Community and feeds into the Wellbeing & Student Group, alongside the Wellbeing MP

Postgraduate Structure

The structure for Postgraduate students is very similar to undergraduate. The main difference is that it is broken into Postgraduate Taught who are Masters students and Postgraduate Research who are PhD students. 

You have the PGT MP who represents the interest if the Postgraduate Taught Students in Parliament and works with the Full TIme Officers to inform events and intiatives. The PGR MP has a very similar role but they represent the interests of Postgraduate Research students instead.

Available positions

As mentioned earlier, we will be looking for Class Reps once teaching starts in September. On top of that, we will be looking for a handful of other positions such as:

Two Student MPs

Two School MPs

The new role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion MP

and a Student Facilitiator for parliament 



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