SU Career Pathways

Why work for a students’ union?


Join us in representing the voice of over 7 million people in the UK, giving students a truly national voice.

Who are we?

We know students. We are students. We are 7 million students.
The Students’ Union movement champions students to shape the future of education – and create a better world. Education is the defining factor in creating a fairer, more prosperous society, and students are the hope for the future of education.

What are Students’ Unions?

Students’ Unions are unions for students; each provides a strong, collective voice on the issues that matter to students, and they use that voice to make life better.

There are over 600 students’ Unions from small specialist colleges through to general further education colleges, large universities, and higher education colleges across the UK.

Each Students’ Union is a separate organisation, each might provide a different combination of services, activities, and functions, but all represents, supports, and enhances the lives of their students.

At each Students’ Union, Students’ Associations or Guild, officers elected by the students listen to and express their views. Elected officers also help to run the organisations, as well as driving change for students and representing the national student voice.

..and what is the National Union of Students?

More than 500 of those students’ unions are members of the National Union of Students, (NUS). NUS is a voluntary membership organisation providing infrastructure that helps member students’ unions to undertake their own work.

NUS assists individual students and students’ unions in taking control of their educational lives, campaigning to defend and improve their rights nationally, as well as providing access to research, advice, support and resources.

NUS has a team of nationally elected officers, who represent all students across the UK both in higher and further education. These elected officers work on a national level with the elected representatives from member Students’ Unions to develop research that influences national policy and represents students’ interests.

What does all this mean?

As a movement, we take on the issues that affect students’ lives now and in future. We bring together evidence-based campaigns and student-led democracy.

We promote, defend and extend student rights. We fight discrimination, isolation and injustice through campaigning and targeted action. We harness the collective power of students through collective and democratic representation.

Together we are a movement that supports the issues that matter to students, and we want you to join us!

A career like no other…

The student movement is full of outstanding staff, volunteers, elected officers and trustees, who hold specialist skills and experience to help our students’ unions to grow and flourish.

Students’ unions have a range of career opportunities, not just jobs. There are roles available at all levels, from entry-level to CEO: marketing, communications, membership, HR, finance – you name it!

People of all ages work in students’ unions. Our workplaces are diverse in age, reflective of the student population.

There is an annual elections cycle in Students’ Unions where new officers are elected annually to lead and oversee the work of the Union. Professional staff don’t leave when student leaders do, they work on a permanent basis.

For many, jobs in students’ unions are comparable with any charity or not-for-profit role. Students’ unions form a sector within a sector; it opens up opportunities to work within or alongside similar organisations, for example Higher Education and Further Education institutions. In many cases we are looking for professionals with the same transferable, specialist skills that are needed by employers in a wide range of other employment sectors.

At our careers site, Careers in Students’ Unions, you can search and apply for the latest jobs across the UK, read about career pathways in the sector, and learn more about what it’s like to work in students’ unions from some of the people already there. You can also register your details to receive future job alerts.