Outside the learning arena

Information on student representatives and extra curricular activities

Another part of university life to consider is the vast amount of learning, social and networking opportunities that take place out of class.  Building from your own circumstances and availability, the extra and co-curricular are areas not to completely forgotten.  You might consider becoming a class representative or volunteering in the local community, taking a part time job, looking at a short (local) internship or even consider a short international experience.  These experiences are wonderful in their own right and very often involve working to serve community.  However, they also are rich in a learning and development sense.  The skills and attributes that you develop are vital when considering what you can offer a future employer.


Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to be in touch with the student parents’ representative and for those of you who are over 21 at the start of your studies, the mature students’ representative.  Both are students that will effectively represent you via the students’ association – please feed back to them your experiences throughout the year.  You will also be invited to drop in sessions run by a member of staff from the Widening Participation team - in partnership with the student reps already mentioned.  These will take place twice each semester and provide opportunity to discuss your success, challenges and to answer questions you may have. 

Student Parents representative: 

Mature Students representative:


Other resources

The Student-Parent’s Guide to Navigating University (housed on the UCAS website):

  • This five-step guide provides advice on settling into university, making connections, accessing support and managing the common challenges of being a student-parent.  It also includes appendices containing an induction checklist and some suggested time-planning methods for student-parents.
  • Brief (4 min) video explaining the guide to students (link here)

Positive Digital Practices, aims to support students with work and family responsibilities. ‘At a crossroads: navigating work and/or family alongside study’ is an immersive film-based interactive OER that allows students to explore and consider the evidence-informed strategies or supports that are available to them. The OER is freely available on the OU’s free learning platform (OpenLearn) here:

Initial feedback from students indicates the resource is salient and relevant. One member of a student panel that informed the development, and feedback on the interactive, noted “I genuinely felt connected with the characters in the video, and their stories gave me the courage to face my own challenges in time management and prioritizing. Many of the tips and advice I already know but just lack the motivation or courage to put into practice. What these materials give me is emotional support after watching the videos and understanding others’ stories”.