UPSU Governance

UPSU is a membership-led organisation and it’s important that our members (Plymouth University students) know exactly how the Union runs, and through this, how to get involved. We are governed by a Constitution, which sets out the rules and processes behind everything that we do.

We're autonomous

from the University although we’re part funded by Plymouth University, and are located on the campus, we’re also a completely autonomous organisation. This ensures that we remain entirely focussed on our members with one purpose in mind: to make student life better.


The Trustees of UPSU have made the decision to change the legal form of UPSU and become a company limited by guarantee. The main reason for this change is due to the personal liabilities of our trustees. We will still be a charity and from the effective date we will have to abide by both charity and company law. This will not affect UPSU’s democratic structures, processes or our student members in anyway.

We're led by students

They are at the heart of everything that we do. They sit out on our Student Forums, which determines our campaigning and political priorities. They make up the largest share of our Trustee Board, which is legally responsible for hiring the staff team and making sure the Union remains financially viable. They deliver most of our services through our large student staff team. And they have the power to shape everything the Union does through our Executive Committee, AGMs and referenda.

We're a charity

Our charity number is 1143614. Like a number of other Students’ Unions in the UK, we’re also a registered charity. This means that: We’re not-for-profit: any income we gain from our commercial services goes straight back into providing services for students. We’re governed by charity law: which has some implications on how we can spend our money – making sure it’s spent on students, for example. We’re accountable to our members: which means we’re constantly looking to help students better understand what we get up to, and how we spend our money.