The Student Complaints Procedure allows students at the university to raise a complaint they may have. For example, this could be about their course or teaching, or about the services and facilities provided by the university.
Most complaints can usually be quickly resolved by speaking informally to a relevant member of staff. This might be your tutor or unit leader. If you are not sure who to speak to or how to go about this, you can speak to the Student Union Advice Centre whose independent advisors can help you.
If you have been unable to resolve your complaint informally to your satisfaction, you can submit a formal complaint. You will normally be encouraged to attempt to resolve your complaint informally before it is progressed through the formal route.
The complaints procedure is for current students of the University. Students who have left the University (including recent graduates) may make a formal complaint within three calendar months of their registration with the University coming to an end.
If a group of students wants to make a collective complaint, the group should aim to identify a single spokesperson. Group complaints are usually progressed directly to the formal complaints procedure. The complaint form should be signed by the nominated spokesperson and all complainants. Each member of a group complaint must be able to demonstrate that they were personally affected by the matter of complaint.
If you have decided you want to go ahead and make a complaint, you can download and complete the Complaints Form.
The complaint form will ask what informal resolution you have attempted before submitting the complaint through the formal procedure, for example, if you have tried to speak to your tutor about it.
You should make sure you fully explain the details of your complaint and submit any relevant evidence you might have along with your form. Completed complaint forms should be submitted to the Student Case Management team - email@example.com
It may be helpful to speak to a member of the Student's Union Advice Centre before submitting your complaint.
Once you have submitted your complaint form, the Student Case Management team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, normally within 5 working days.
The Student Case Management team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email, usually within 5 working days. The Student Case Management Team may explore the possibility of resolving the matter informally if it appears that no informal resolution has been attempted and that there is scope to do so.
Where the complaint is progressed down the formal procedure, it will be investigated by an Investigating Officer appointed by the Student Case Management team. Providing they have not had any previous involvement in your complaint, this will usually be your Head of Department or the equivalent head of service.
You will be invited to attend a meeting with the Investigating Officer, the purpose of the meeting is to clarify and discuss the issues you raised in your complaint to help the Investigating Officer with their investigation. It is up to you whether or not you attend the meeting. You may be accompanied to any such meeting, usually by a fellow student or an advisor from the Student Union Advice Centre. The Investigating Officer will also meet with any other staff they deem relevant as part of the investigation and gather any other information as required.
Once the Investigating Officer has completed their investigation, they will make a recommendation to the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor or equivalent as to the outcome of your complaint. The Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor or equivalent has the final say on the outcome. They will write to you setting out the findings of the investigation and the final outcome.
If after receiving the outcome you are not satisfied, you may be able to request a Review of the outcome. Reviews can only be requested on the following grounds:
1. That the correct procedures were not followed in the consideration of your case through the earlier stages of the complaints procedure.
2. That the outcome of the formal stage was not reasonable.
3. That there is new material evidence that for good reason was not available at an earlier point in the complaints procedure.
A Review is not a re-hearing of the original complaint. New or additional complaints cannot be raised at this point.
If you wish to request a Review of your complaint, you need to write to the Student Case Management team via firstname.lastname@example.org to request this within 10 working days of receiving your complaint outcome letter.
Students will normally receive a decision on whether their request for Review had been accepted within 10 working days of making the request.
Reviews will normally be conducted by a Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Director or equivalent of a professional service area. Reviewers will have had no prior involvement in the case.
A Reviewer can either uphold the decision previously reached on the complaint, or overturn the outcome.
The outcome of the Review stage represents the University’s final decision regarding the complaint. This is the end of the University’s complaints procedure.
If after this point you are still not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you would need to take your complaint externally to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for further consideration. If your complaint is not upheld at the Review stage, you will automatically be issued with a Completion of Procedures notification which will allow you to submit your complaint to the OIA. If your complaint is upheld or part-upheld at the Review stage, you can still submit your complaint to the OIA but would need to write to Student Case Management to request a Completion of Procedures notification in order to do this.