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Complaints Process

The University has a detailed complaints process that deals with anything that affects your university experience, from an academic issue to bullying. A link to the complaints process can be found here.

The complaints process includes the following stages.

Informal Complaint / Mediation

This stage is recommended but not compulsory. It is an opportunity for the matter to be investigated informally and to agree a resolution for all parties concerned. You can contact the university conciliators to discuss your issue – here is a list of trained consillators and their contact details.

Stage 1 Complaint - School Level Resolution

This is a written formal complaint that you should make within 1 calendar month of the incident. You must complete stage 1 of the complaint form and submit this to the School Manager. They will identify the most suitable person to investigate the matter and they may invite you in to discuss the matter. You should receive an outcome and an explanation within 20 working days. Click here to find this form.

If the complaint relates to misconduct of another student and it is proven – the appropriate disciplinary procedures will follow.

If the complaint relates to a member of staff, the matter may be referred to HR to be dealt with through the university internal staff disciplinary procedure.

If you wish to make a group complaint – you must nominate just one person for the university to communicate with and attach a list of all students’ names and signatures involved in the group complaint.

Stage 2 Complaint – University Level Resolution

If you are not happy with the outcome of the Stage 1 complaint you can progress to Stage 2. You must submit your Stage 2 complaint within 10 working days of the outcome of Stage 1 and registry will aim to investigate the complaint within 2 months. This may involve meeting with you and other parties involved.

Stage 3 Complaint – Request For An Internal Review of Your Complaint

Finally, if you don’t feel that the complaint has been resolved at stage 2 you can invoke stage 3. You must do this within 10 working days of the outcome. The review will be carried out by a different member of staff within Registry who will consider whether procedures have been carried out correctly and whether the decision was reasonable. This decision will be signed off by the Pro Vice Chancellor and you will be notified of the decision within 20 working days.

Once all university procedures have been exhausted, a ‘completion of procedures letter’ will be issued and you have the option of taking the complaint to the Office of Independent Adjudicator (OIA) within 12 months.

Tips for making a complaint

Keep a journal

  • Keep a note of dates, times and events
  • A description of incidents and how they made you feel
  • Names of Witnesses
  • Your response / actions to incidents
  • Keep copies of emails/messages etc.

Filling in the complaint form

It is important that you structure your complaint so that the person reading it can follow what has happened in a logical and concise manner and that you back up what you are saying with evidence.

  • Start with an introduction as to why you are putting in a complaint
  • What steps have you taken to attempt to resolve the issue (Meeting with Head of Department, supervisor, School Support Service and SU Advice Centre)
  • Write a Step by step account of the complaint in chronological order – backed up with evidence to support your points
  • Quote relevant sections of the Guidance, policy, your PLSP etc and explain how any error in following procedures has affected your learning or grade.
  • Think about a realistic outcome that you are hoping for and conclude your complaint with this.
  • Visit the OIA website to read examples of complaints made to them for tips around what you can reasonably expect as an outcome to your complaint.

Support Services:

If the issue that you are making a complaint about has impacted on your wellbeing and you need support – there are a number of services available.

The SU advice team are happy to support you through the complaints process. We can also accompany you to meetings with the University to provide support.

Contact us at or by phoning 01484 473446 to book an appointment.