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Complaints about the University

Complaints about the University

The University has a set complaints procedure if you are unhappy about how you have been treated by the University. This can include complaints about the behaviour of University staff, inadequate teaching or supervision, or poor quality service provided by University departments or support services. The current procedure for complaining about the University is set out here.

There is an informal stage and a formal stage to the complaints procedure, which are explained below. DSU’s independent and impartial Student Advice and Information Bureau can guide and support you throughout the complaints process, including representation if required.

Informal Complaints

Before making a formal complaint to the University, you should raise any concerns you have with the person or department responsible.

If you're unhappy with the standard of teaching or supervision it is best to discuss this with your course leader, or another member of departmental staff, at an early stage. Your departmental handbook will tell you who the best person is to speak with in your department.

If you're unhappy with the standard of service provided by a support service (e.g. Careers Advisory Service, Student Planning and Assessment, etc) you should raise any complaints with the Head of that service. Complaints about your College should be discussed with your Senior Tutor or Principal.

Formal Complaints

If you're not happy with the response you received after your informal complaint, you can make a formal complaint to the University. A formal complaint must be made in writing, ideally using the Complaints proforma, and be sent to the Deputy Academic Registrar.

An investigation will be carried out by a University Senior Officer into your complaint, and they will decide if the University have behaved improperly. It may be necessary for a meeting with the Senior Officer to be held to discuss your complaint. You can take a fellow student or an adviser from the DSU with you to the meeting.

You cannot remain anonymous during the complaints procedure as the person or department you are complaining about are given an opportunity to respond. The University policy clearly states that there should be no recriminations against you after making a complaint, and your complaint will be treated discreetly and confidentially.  If your complaint is malicious or vexatious (i.e. you are making a complaint deliberately to attack someone or waste the University's time) then you may be subject to disciplinary action, but this would not happen just because your complaint was not upheld.

If you are unhappy with the decision you can ask for a review of the complaint, which will be undertaken by the Registrar and Secretary of the University. If you still remain unhappy with the decision after the review, you can complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, an independent body which deals with complaints about Universities.

Extra support

You can come to DSU’s Student Advice and Information Bureau for advice, guidance and support at any stage during the complaints procedure. We’re impartial, confidential and completely independent of the University, so you can rely on our advice. We can even represent you if necessary.

Your Senior Tutor in College may also be able to help with some aspects of your complaint, but as University staff they are more restricted in what they can assist you with.


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