Frequently Asked Questions

Who can stand?

Any current student at Salford can stand for election. The Students’ Union is very flexible organisation and we can work with you to adapt your working hours and environment to meet your needs and ensure that you do the best job possible! 

So whether you’re a part time, postgraduate or mature student we can help you to ensure you can get the most out of your role.

If you’re a student parent or have dependents we can work with you to make arrangements for your caring responsibilities and your hours can be flexible.

However, students are not eligible to run to be Sabbatical Officer for a school they are not from (i.e. an Arts and Media student couldn’t run to be Business and Law Officer). If a student believes they should be eligible to stand for another position they must talk to the Deputy Returning Officer.

If you want to discuss your specific circumstances please email

I’m a postgrad, can I stand?

The elections are open to everyone who is a student at the University of Salford. If you’re currently studying for a postgraduate course there are options available to you. You could suspend your studies for a year, or the Union can be flexible around your working hours whilst you are completing your dissertation during July to September.

What are the rules on international students?

Any student can run in the elections, even overseas students. If you’re from outside the European Union, there are special conditions on your tier 4 visa that allow you to extend your stay in the UK if successfully elected. You can find out more information from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Isn't it just a popularity contest?

Well yes, that’s kind of the point! An election chooses the most popular person for the role and students have the final say in who that is. You might not be popular right now but you’ve got time before voting closes to make sure you’re well known! You’ll also have access to lots of information, training and support to ensure that you can run get as many students as possible to vote for you.

How much time will it take?

We’re not going to lie, running in the election can be hard work. During voting week if you want to win you’re going to have to put in some hard work. This doesn’t necessarily mean working ridiculous hours as there are many different ways to run an election campaign.

You should make sure you plan your time now and speak to your lecturers if you have any imminent deadlines to see if you can get any extensions.

I am studying for a professional qualification in nursing/midwifery/social work/etc. Can I stand in the election?

Yes! All registered students are eligible to stand in the election. If you choose to stand during your academic studies i.e. as a Sabbatical year between your first/second or second/third year, this will be classed as a year out, or an intercalating year, and will not impact upon your progression or qualification. You will return to your studies and complete as planned.

You can also choose to stand for election at the end of your final year i.e. taking the year as a placement after graduating. If you do this, you will still need to keep up the requirements of your professional body once registered so for example you will need to demonstrate a certain number of practise hours in order to maintain your professional registration. In this instance, the Union would accommodate your requirements fully, allowing you the time needed to do this.

I just want to get on with my career – why should I stand?

It is understandable that you are keen to complete your studies and start your chosen career – this is the reason you are at University after all! However, there are a host of benefits to becoming a Sabbatical Officer, and plenty that will positively impact your future employability. You will likely already be a member of a trade union so will understand the importance of having independent representation – this is exactly what the Students’ Union offers students. As a Sabbatical Officer you would have responsibility for a number of the University’s schools. 

In nearly 50 years of the Students’ Union’s current format, there has NEVER been a Sabbatical Officer from a professional programme – imagine what you could offer the Union if you became the first?! As well as overseeing the representation of students in your college, you would take the lead on campaigns, events, activities and services that impact on the student experience. You will also have the opportunity to take part in political campaigning, both on campus and through the national work of NUS. Developing your leadership, communication, negotiation, and diplomacy skills will prove invaluable to your future careers.

I will be on placement during the voting period – how will I get elected?

Students tend to vote for students they perceive as ‘like’ them. That is why we struggle to get high voter turnout from the College of Health and Social Care – there are few candidates! Even when on placement, there are plenty of ways to encourage your peers to vote for you, and we will be advising students on the best forms of communication and campaigning during the time leading up to voting week. As all the voting is done online, being physically on campus is not the most important part of campaigning. With our help and guidance, you can successfully engage students from your school and beyond.