The aim of this guide is to give you an overview of the complaints policy at the University, which you can use if you are not happy with a particular aspect of your student experience.

Where do I find University Students Complaints Policy?

You can find it here. There is also a useful diagram covering the whole process making it easier to understand here.

What kind of complaints can the University consider?

You can raise a complaint about any aspect of your University experience, in particular: facilities and services provided by the University, academic programmes, or conduct of University staff.

I want to complain about another student, what do I do?

If a student has clearly behaved in a way that breaches University regulations or is breaching the Dignity at Work and Study policy, you can raise a complaint using the Student Discipline Procedures. See one of the Student Advisers in the Advice Centre for help with the process.

Can I complain about a low mark?

At the University you will not be able to question academic judgement of the marker, unless you have evidence that proves that the mark awarded to you was incorrect (for example miscalculation of the final mark, or another administrative error affecting your grade). See the Appeals Guide for more information on what you can do about it).

Can we raise a complaint as a group?

Yes, it is possible to raise a group complaint. Normally you would be expected to nominate a spokesperson who would be able to raise the complaint on your behalf. Other students would have to agree to that in writing along with confirmation that they are also affected by the same issue.

If the concerns you have relate to the course delivery or structure and you all feel affected by it, you can speak to your course representative who can raise the concern with the faculty and members of staff.

Can I raise an anonymous complaint?

No, the University will not accept anonymous complaints.

Can SUSU or someone else raise a complaint on my behalf?

Generally, no. The University does not accept third party complaints, unless in exceptional circumstances and the student provides a valid reason for not being able to do it themselves.

What is Mediation and can they help me with my complaint?

Mediation can be an alternative to a complaint, especially in helping to resolve a conflict. It is offered free at the University and it is confidential. It does not affect your rights to complain. For more details please click here.

How do I raise a complaint?

There are 3 stages of the University’s Student Complaints process.

The first stage is more informal and involves you sending your complaint in the form of a statement or by completing the relevant Stage 1 form. If you are complaining about your course or academic staff, you need to send your complaint to the relevant Curriculum & Quality Assurance team. If you are complaining about facilities or a service, you need to submit your complaint to this service manager. If in doubt, check with the Advice Centre.

You will be invited to a meeting during which you will have opportunity to state your complaint and present any evidence you have. The faculty or service will then send you the outcome of their investigation (normally within 30 days of you sending the complaint). If you are not happy with the outcome, you can move to Stage 2 (formal complaint).

The final stage, Stage 3, can only be initiated if you have new information, which for valid reason you were unable to disclose earlier, or the process of Stage 2 was not followed correctly and that’s why you were disadvantaged.

What are the key ‘ingredients’ of an effective complaint?

  • Being factual rather than emotional
  • Referring to relevant evidence supporting your claims
  • Being calm
  • Writing a good statement - find out more here
  • Taking responsibility for your actions
  • Being aware of what is expected of you at the University and what you can expect the University will be offering you (see Student Charter)
  • Being clear and realistic about your desired outcome

How long does the complaint process take?

It depends on various things, including how complex your complaint is, your availability to attend a meeting, whether your complaint is upheld at an earlier stage, or whether you are pursuing it further. For basic idea about the timescales, see the summary of the complaints process here.

Who can help me with my complaint?

The SUSU Advice Centre can help you with your complaint by providing you with independent advice, feedback and representation throughout the complaints process. If you want to make a complaint, book an appointment with an Adviser, prepare a draft statement and get feedback from the Adviser before you start the process.

Further guidance

For further guidance on the complaints regulations and the whole process, contact the Advice Centre.

You can also visit us in Building 40, Highfield campus. Our opening hours are Monday–Friday 09.00–17.00