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. This is called local resolution. If you are not sure who to speak to or how to go about this, you can speak to the Student Union Advice Centre or the Student Hub who can help you.
If you have been unable to resolve your complaint locally to your satisfaction, you can submit a formal complaint. You will normally be encouraged to attempt to resolve your complaint locally 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.
There are seperate complaints procedures available for applicants and for University accommodation.
If a group of students wants to make a collective complaint, the group should identify a single spokesperson. Each member of the group must provide their student ID number and consent to participate in the group complaint, which should be provided with the complaint submission. Each member of a group complaint must be able to demonstrate that they were personally affected by the matter of the 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 local 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
It may be helpful to speak to a member of the Student's Union Advice Centre before submitting your complaint. If you would like any support in completing the complaint form, they will also be able to help you with this.
The Student Case Management team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email, usually within 5 working days. The Student Case Management Team will check that the matters you have raised fall within the scope of the Student Complaints Procedure, and may refer it to be considered under another procedure if appropriate – for example, if your complaint relates to your assessment results, it may be referred to be considered under the Academic Appeals Procedure. The Student Case Management Team may explore the possibility of resolving the matter locally if it appears that no local 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, who will normally be a member of the Student Case Management team. There may be circumstances in which other members of staff may be appointed to act as an Investigating Officer.
You will be invited to attend a meeting with the Investigating Officer, to clarify and discuss the issues you raised in your complaint and to help the Investigating Officer with their investigation. You may be accompanied to any such meeting, usually by a fellow student or an advisor from the Students’ Union Advice Centre. The Investigating Officer will also meet with staff they deem relevant as part of the investigation and gather any other information as required. In order to investigate your complaint fully, relevant staff members will be made aware of the issues you have raised, and will be given an opportunity to comment or provide information.
Once the Investigating Officer has completed their investigation, they will produce a report outlining the process followed, the evidence gathered, and any additional information. This report will be considered by a University Complaints Panel, who will determine the outcome of your complaint. Once the outcome has been approved by the Panel Chair, the Student Case Management Team will send you a report setting out the findings of the investigation and the 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 email@example.com to request this within 10 working days of receiving your complaint outcome letter.
The Student Case Management Team will initially consider whether the grounds for Review have been met. You will receive a decision on whether your Review request has been accepted.
Reviews will normally be conducted by a Dean of Faculty, a Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, or a 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.