Become a subwarden

Subwardens receive free accommodation in exchange for duties maintaining discipline and offering pastoral care for other students in their residence.

They are full-time students of the University of Leeds and work under the direction of the wardens. They provide a responsible presence and help to create a positive living environment by protecting the students' right to sleep, study and be safe in their accommodation.

Students can speak to their subwarden on any issues affecting their wellbeing – homesickness, a noisy neighbour, problems with their flatmates or any other concerns.

There is a subwarden on duty every weekday evening and over the weekends, so there's always someone students in the residence can call on for support or advice.

What's involved

You'll work with a team of other subwardens in your residence. You take it in turns to provide a responsible student presence during evenings and weekends.

You act as a link between the residence warden(s), residence office staff and students.

Typical duties could include:

  • welcoming students at intake weekend
  • helping new residents settle in
  • offering help and advice to residents, in some cases signposting them to professional support services within the University eg Student Counselling, Leeds Nightline or Student Medical Practice
  • dealing with noise complaints
  • breaking up unauthorised parties
  • admitting locked-out students or new arrivals to their rooms
  • being present in the residence office at designated times to deal with enquiries or post collection
  • responding to any calls received on the subwarden mobile
  • visiting flats on a regular basis
  • walking around the site/performing locking up duties in the evening
  • attending and sometimes providing support at social events organised by the Residents' Committee
  • assisting in fire drills

Working hours

Each residence operates a rota and you’d be on duty for at least one day in every four. A weekday rota starts at 6pm and finishes at 8am the following morning. A weekend rota starts at 8am and finishes at 8am the following morning.

Each day/night involves periods of being “on duty” (when you are carrying out designated tasks) and periods of being “on call” (when you are available to respond to any calls you receive). A weekday night involves being “on duty” 6pm -9pm and 10.30pm - 11.30pm, and being “on call” the rest of the time. A weekend involves being “on duty” 10am-12 noon and 10.30pm - 11.30pm, and being “on call” the rest of the time.

When you’re on call you are free to carry on with your studies or sleep as normal until you receive a call. You should stay on site or not more than 10 minutes’ walk away. You need to keep the duty mobile phone with you at all times so you can deal with any issues.

Skills and experience

The subwarden position could suit a postgraduate student (or an undergraduate with a mature outlook), who:

  • has excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • has the self-confidence to deal with potentially challenging situations.
  • can be relied on to work without supervision
  • is an effective team player

and has experience of:

  • living in University accommodation (not necessarily in the UK)
  • dealing with young people or students.


All subwardens recruited before September receive a comprehensive training package, which including fire safety training, student mental health issues, typical subwarden scenarios, and more. We also run a short, basic first aid course for those who don’t already have some first aid training.

You also receive a site induction from your warden(s) and/or residence manager.

Subwarden accommodation

To be an effective sub-warden you must live in the residence. This is a condition of the post.

We can’t tell you exactly what kind of accommodation you will get, as all of our residences are different. At some sites all subwardens share the same flat, but at most sites the subwardens are spread around the residence, living amongst other residents. All rooms are single occupancy, meaning that we cannot offer accommodation to couples or families.

Apply to be a subwarden

If you would like to be contacted when recruitment is open, please send your name, student number and contact details to