Volunteering for Graduate Students
UCL has the largest volunteering department of any university in London, and one of the biggest in the country. The Volunteering Services Unit – a joint project of UCL and UCL Union – exists to help students get involved in community projects across the capital. The Unit works with over 400 different not-for-profit organisations, and supports around 30 student-led initiatives each year.
Overall, around 1900 students got involved last year, many of them PhD students.
What can I do?
We’ve a real choice of activities. You could:
- support children’s learning at a Kings Cross after-school club;
- conduct research into the needs of older people in Camden;
- visit someone with learning disabilities once a week to help them live independently;
- teach IT skills to older people in West Euston;
- help school students set up small social enterprises;
- befriend and support refugees and asylum seekers
… or something else completely different. To see ourlatest volunteering vacancies, visit the VSU Website.
Postgraduate Volunteering and Public Engagement Fair
We run seven volunteering fairs throughout the year, including the Postgraduate Volunteering and Public Engagement Fair on Wednesday 26 November. All of our Fairs give you the chance to speak directly to recruiters from London’s community and voluntary sector and find something that will suit your interests, skills and availability.
For more information, visit our Volunteering Fairs webpages.
VSU Student Led Projects
The VSU are also looking for active, creative students who can set up and run their own community action projects. If you’ve an idea that might help others, then please get in touch. The VSU will provide one-to-one staff support, training, community contacts and access to resources to turn your idea into reality. They also administer a small grant scheme that you can apply to for running costs.
Projects have included:
- Roots & Shoots - UCL students deliver workshops in primary schools on environmental issues
- Free Hype – Providing marketing and promotional support to local charities
- Save A Baby’s Life - Basic First Aid awareness for parents, working with community centres across Camden
- Raspberry Python - Afterschool tutorials on how to use RaspberryPi computers, how to use Linux and how to program in Python.
Last year, the VSU supported 72 different student projects. For more information, visit the VSU Student Led Projects Websites.
If you have a project idea that connects your research with the wider community, the VSU can help there too. The Step Out Programme provides funding and support for UCL postgraduates’ public engagement projects. For more information, visit the VSU Step Out Website.
Students tell the VSU that volunteering has helped them develop new skills and boost their CVs, and help them in finding paid work.
They are there to help you get the most out of volunteering, and so offer an additional training programme to help you develop your skills.
The VSU courses include:
- Project Leader Training
- Working with Children
- Classroom Management
- Volunteering and Your CV
For further information follow the Course Link below.
Please log your points for these activities via the boxes at the bottom of this page.
Researcher Development Framework CategoriesD3) Engagement and impact
Course Recommended for
This course is particularly relevant to the following groups:
- 1st Year Research Students
- 2nd Year Research Students
- International Students
- VSU Website: http://www.uclunion.org/volunteers/
- VSU Innovations Websites: http://uclu.org/services/volunteering/students/innovations-programme
- VSU Step Out Website: http://uclu.org/step-out
Registration information will be available in due course.