Section 12: Student Complaint Regulations


Before making a formal complaint, you should speak to the School or Service that you would like to complain about. We strongly recommend that you seek impartial advice and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre if you do wish to make a complaint.


12.1 Introduction

12.1.1 If you are not satisfied with your University experience, or with any of the services we provide, it may be possible for you to resolve your concerns informally without raising a formal complaint. This may be done in person or via email. We provide support to help you do that:

  • The University have a number of Student conciliators and you can discuss your complaint with them in confidence. They can help you decide the best way to resolve the problem and support you in doing that.
  • You can speak to your Supervisor or your School's Director of Graduate Education; course leader, or module leader.
  • You can approach the student support and/or guidance team in your School or a member of staff in the service relevant to your complaint.

12.1.2 Informal resolution is our preferred method of resolving complaints. However, if this approach does not work or you feel the more formal procedure is appropriate in your case, you should follow the Student complaints procedure. You should read this carefully because it tells you what to and when to do it, if you decide to raise a complaint.

12.1.3 For the purposes of this procedure, a complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about the University’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the University. We cannot accept complaints about the outcome to decisions reached in other regulation and procedures.

12.1.4 This procedure may be right for you if:

  • You have a complaint about any programmes, modules, services or facilities we provide.
  • You have a complaint about any action (or lack of action) that we as a University or a member of our staff may have taken.
  • You have a complaint about a University policy or procedure relating to financial support, immigration processes or welfare support; 
  • You have concerns about a service delivered by another organisation on behalf of the University, such as a Collaborative Partner institution, which you feel has affected your learning experience.  

12.1.5 If you are a student studying off the main campus at one of our Partner Institutions, the nature of your complaint first needs to be considered before we decide who will handle the matter in the first instance. For example, the University will deal with all stages of a complaint relating to academic matters through the relevant procedure, but if your complaint relates to staff or the environment at your partner institution, then they will investigate this initially. 

12.1.6 You can raise a complaint about another student using the student misconduct report form, however it is most likely that we will investigate this via our student disciplinary procedure (section 11). If you make a complaint about another student, a member of Registry will contact you to explain the student disciplinary process, should you wish to proceed with your complaint.

12.1.7 This procedure is not normally used for complaints related to:  

  • Third-party complaints, such as The Student Loans Company which has its own complaints procedures;. 
  • Decisions made in relation to assessment and awards  
  • Decisions made under other specific regulations such as Student Disciplinary as these have standalone appeal processes in which your concerns would be addressed.  


12.2 Student complaints stages

12.1.1 There are four stages to the procedure:

  •  Informal resolution stage
  • Stage 1: School-level resolution.
  • Stage 2: University-level resolution.
  • Stage 3: Request for an internal review of your complaint.


12.3 Confidentiality and anonymity

12.3.1 We will handle your complaint sensitively and confidentially. However, we will need to give a copy of your complaint to the person or service you are complaining about so that they can address the issues you are raising. They have the right to reply to the complaint.

12.3.2 If you wish, we can anonymise or redact your complaint in certain circumstances, but please bear in mind that it may not be possible to protect your anonymity in all cases. We can discuss this with you if it is a concern when you submit your complaint.

12.3.3 If you would like to raise an issue anonymously you could use the University’s Report and support tool. Anonymous concerns or complaints will not be dealt with under this procedure.

12.3.4 Information collected through investigation of your complaint will only be used to consider your complaint and will remain confidential. We may discuss your complaint with a third party in line with our data protection policies.

12.3.5 You should not disclose information you have received as part of this procedure, such as your outcome letter, as you may be liable to disciplinary action under the appropriate University regulations and procedures if you do.

12.3.6 No student will be disadvantaged or discriminated against because of making a complaint in good faith in accordance with these regulations. Allegations of such disadvantage or discrimination are grounds for complaint under these regulations.


12.4 Complaints about staff members

12.4.1 If you make a complaint about a member of staff, we will investigate this. We recognise that staff may be anxious about any complaint made about them, whether or not your complaint is justified. We have a duty to support both the student and the staff member in these cases and you should be aware that:

  • We will promptly tell the member of staff about your complaint.
  • They have the right to respond to the complaint at any stage in the process.
  • We will share all documents and evidence with both you and the member of staff.
  • The member of staff has the right to be supported by their line manager, another senior colleague or a trade union representative throughout the process.

12.4.2 Depending on the nature of your complaint, we may need to refer the complaint to be considered under the staff disciplinary procedure. If this is the case we will explain this to you and your complaint will be referred to Human Resources. We will then take your complaint forward through the appropriate HR process. Once the matter is concluded, we will let you know and will issue you with a completion of procedures letter through our complaints procedure.

12.4.3 Although for reasons of confidentiality and data protection, we will not be able to give you specific details about the outcome, please be assured that we take all such complaints seriously and deal with them appropriately.


12.5 Group complaints

12.5.1 If you and other students would like to submit a complaint as a group, you must nominate one student to communicate with us on behalf of the group. We will then communicate only through the complaint nominee and we expect them to liaise with the other students.


12.6 Malicious or unfounded complaints

12.6.1 You should never raise allegations which are malicious or unfounded. If you submit a complaint and we find out during our investigations that you have not been truthful we may refer you to an investigation under the Student disciplinary procedure


12.7 General information

12.7.1 If your complaint would be more appropriately dealt with using a different University procedure, we will advise you which procedure to use and why. If you have raised an issue using a different procedure, we may choose to consider it under the student complaints procedure instead. If so, we will explain this to you and confirm the correct procedure to be used.

12.7.2 If we uphold your complaint or parts of your complaint, we will make recommendations to the School or Service involved. As far as reasonably possible we will put in place measures to prevent the issues you have experienced happening again. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we review the outcome of all complaints in order to learn from and benefit from the investigation and enhance our service.

12.7.3 A complaint may not result in the outcome desired by the complainant.


12.8. Timings of Complaints 


12.8.1 If raising a formal complaint, you should do so as soon as possible and no later than one calendar month of the incident which has caused you to complain. The University will not normally consider complaints made after this period, unless there is a valid and compelling reason and/or independent evidence to explain the delay.   


12.8.2 If you have been unable to provide independent evidence or a valid and compelling reason to explain the delay, you will be informed that your complaint is considered to be out of time and as such, will not be considered. You will then be issued with a Completion of Procedures letter by Registry.  


12.9 Support  

We acknowledge that these procedures can be difficult and as such, the support available to you is outlined below; 


  • Contact the Students’ Union who provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities either by telephone 01484 473446 or email  
  • The Wellbeing support website to seek specific support or contact the wellbeing team for support on 
  • Access the University’s online support network at home or on campus, Togetherall. This service is available 24 hours a day. 



12.8 Additional information

12.8.1 You can find full details of the Student complaints procedure on our website.