Academic Complaints

Your first step if you are unhappy with the delivery of your course is to raise this up with your college so that something can be done about this and hopefully resolved. This is the informal stage of resolving a complaint.

In the first instance this could be an email or meeting with someone to put forward your situation and how you have been impacted and what outcome you are looking for.


Informal Stage

You could do this in a number of ways:

  • Speak to your lecturer or module convenor or send them an email to raise the issue.
  • Speak to your course representative
  • Speak to the advice service for more information.

What can the course reps do?

If you have an issue with your course or your academic experience, you can take this feedback is to your Subject Rep. You can find out who your Reps are here: Find Your Reps - Students' Guild.

Your Reps will take this feedback to your department, liaise with the relevant staff members, and try to find a solution. The Reps will then feedback to you and the student body the result of this discussion.

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of this process, you can speak with your Reps to escalate your feedback further.

You should escalate any non-subject feedback through your Subject Chair to your College officer for their involvement in taking it to higher-level meetings.


Formal Stage

If your complaint cannot be resolved informally especially if you are looking for a refund or compensation you will need to submit a formal complaint, using the complaint form (found in section 7.2.1 complaints procedure.

University Complaints Procedure

You should be able to evidence that you have followed these procedures before making a formal complaint to the University.

We would always recommend that you read the procedure first to make sure that you understand the process and if you believe you have grounds to raise a complaint

In writing a complaint it is useful to consider the following:

  • Clearly state what the nature of the complaint is
  • Adopt a clear, non-accusatory tone to explain your situation
  • Including a timeline of events relating to the complaint can be extremely helpful
  • List action already taken to try and resolve the matter
  • Include evidence that supports your case such as emails, lecture recordings and handbooks
  • Clearly state your desired outcome
  • Writing a good complaint can take

You will need to look at whether the delivery of the course met the learning objectives and if you can show if these were not met. 

For example, if you were doing a practical course where you needed access to labs etc but had not had any, this would be clearer to show that you had not had what you paid for.

Please remember that any complaint needs to be submitted as soon as possible in relation to the issue with which you are dissatisfied.


Can I get help with my complaint?

Yes, you are welcome to contact the Guild Advice Service who can support students who would like help with writing complaints or would just like more information. Contact Advice

Depending on the processing of your complaint a meeting may be scheduled to discuss the matter with the relevant University staff members. If you would like support at the meeting we may be able to attend with you. Please note that we cannot represent you, and have no automatic rights to speak, but can be there to help you ensure you are treated fairly and are given the opportunity to make your case and explain your desired outcomes.

What are the chances of being successful?

This is difficult to say as each situation is different. We can sometimes see similar complaints that have gone through to the OIA to gain more information about a similar complaint being successful. The OIA is ombudsman who oversees Higher education and if you were unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you could go to after completion of University procedures.

What happens if I am not successful?

More info coming soon.


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