academic advice

Making a complaint about the University

If students are unhappy with any service or lack of service by the University, you can submit a complaint via the university complaints procedure. We understand that at times things can be frustrating for students and there is a need to communicate your concerns. It is always better to raise an issue that is bothering you earlier, informally, than leaving it until later.

A complaint may be about the conduct of a member of staff at the University, or the delivery of a course or a service provided by the University. There are multiple stages to the complaints procedure, but it is often not necessary for a complaint to go through all of them.


Stage 1 – The ‘Informal’ Stage

The University prefers and highly recommends that students try resolving issues informally (Stage 1 or “local resolution”) so that an earlier resolution can be found without the need to go through a longer and more formal process. Normally, each stage of the complaints procedure must be exhausted before moving on to the next. In most cases, an informal/local resolution should be pursued, except when the complaint is of a very serious or sensitive nature.

Your complaint should be made within one calendar month of the event which has prompted your complaint.

You should submit your complaint by completing the Stage 1 complaint form using the online form. Once submitted this goes to the Complaints Team who will send it to the department most closely involved with the complaint.

You may be invited to a meeting to discuss your complaint and, hopefully, a resolution to it will be proposed. In any event, the Complaints Team will typically email you the outcome of your complaint within one calendar month .

If no resolution was found, or you are unhappy with the proposed resolution, you can move to Stage 2.


Stage 2 – The Formal Stage

In most instances, a student must have completed Stage 1 of the complaints procedure before they can move to Stage 2. You must submit your fully completed Stage 1 complaint form as part of your Stage 2 complaint. 

The Stage 2 complaint is done via an online form found here. It must be submitted within one calendar month of the date the Stage 1 form is returned to you. As part of your Stage 2 complaint you must explain why the resolution or action taken by the University in response to your complaint has been inadequate. 

The University will appoint an Investigating Officer who will look into the complaint. They will likely request a meeting with you to discuss the matters. A Students’ Union adviser can attend the meeting with you if enough notice is given, usually 48 hours or more, and there are advisers available. The Investigating Officer will also likely meet with others involved in the complaint as part of their investigation. They will then produce a report that will include proposed outcomes. 


When do I need to submit my complaint by?

A Stage 1 complaint needs to be made within one calendar month of the event which has given rise to the complaint. 

For Stage 2, this needs to be submitted within one calendar month of the date the completed Stage 1 complaint form was returned to you.


Can a group complaint be made?

Yes, a group of students can make a complaint together about an issue that has affected them as a group. The process and timeframe are the same as an individual complaint, but the details of each student involved in the complaint should be included on the form and all members of the group should approve what is included in the complaint form and the evidence submitted in support of it. 

In a group complaint, one person should be nominated to be the spokesperson for the group. They will communicate with the University on the group’s behalf, attend meetings and receive communication from the University regarding the complaint.