SECTION 13: Student Complaints


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


13.1 Regulation Introduction

13.1.1 Before making a complaint, we would normally expect you to speak to the school or service that you would like to complain about. We strongly recommend that seek impartial advice and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre if you wish to make a complaint.

13.1.2 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. We provide support to help you do that:

  • All schools have 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 personal academic tutor, course leader, or module leader;
  • You can approach the student support and/or guidance team in your school.

13.1.3 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.

13.1.4 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.

13.1.5 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 can raise a complaint about another student, however it is most likely that we will investigate this via our student disciplinary procedure.

13.1.6 This procedure is for students and is not available or appropriate for third-party complaints.

13.1.7 If you are on a higher or degree apprenticeship course, the procedure for raising complaints about your employer will be documented in your commitment statement. You should check your commitment statement and if in doubt, contact your School’s apprenticeship team for advice. 


13.2 Student Complaints Stages

13.2.1 There are three stages to the procedure:

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


13.3 Confidentiality and Anonymity

13.3.1 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.

13.3.2 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.

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

13.3.4 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.

13.3.5 You should not disclose information you have received as part of this procedure as you may be liable to disciplinary action under the appropriate University Regulations and Procedures if you do.

13.3.6 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.


13.4 Complaints about staff members

13.4.1 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.

13.4.2 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.

13.4.3 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.
13.5 Group Complaints

13.5.1 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.


13.6 Malicious or Unfounded Complaints

13.6.1 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.


13.7 General Information

13.7.1 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.

13.7.2 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.

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