Complaints – Self Help Guide

Unhappy about something in the University?

Here’s how to deal with it:

  1. What you can complain about? A complaint can be made about any aspect of your experience at university including the services provided by the university, the behaviour or students or staff towards you and course related matter except for your assessment results. *Unhappiness with your marks or results is covered by the appeal process.
  2. Take a step back. Think about why you are unhappy and how it’s affecting you.
  3. What you would like to see happen? Think about the possible outcomes that would leave you satisfied.
  4. Talk to someone. It may help to share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Our Union Advice service can provide free confidential non-judgmental and impartial advice. We are independent from the University.
  5. Writing your complaint. Don’t worry it’s not an essay so a few bullet points should be fine. Be clear and concise about what you are unhappy about. It may help to write a timeline of the events in date order explaining what happened, when it happened and how it has affected you. Always end by suggesting what your preferred outcome would be to resolve your complaint. This helps the University to understand exactly what you are asking for.
  6. Evidence. Think about what evidence you can provide and obtain it. A complaint is always stronger if it is supported by relevant evidence. If you don’t have evidence you can still complain but you may have to provide a detailed account of what has happened to try to compensate the lack of evidence.
  7. Submitting the complaint. Students are expected to first try to resolve a complaint informally where possible. The first stage is an informal resolution where you are expected to try to resolve the matter informally. This is best done by sending an email outlining your complaint and your desired outcome to the person or service (person responsible for the service). If you have already done this, you would then be able to submit a formal complaint by completing a complaint form and submitting it to the person in your School or the University department who is responsible for handling complaints. If you are unsure who it is, ask someone. Once you have submitted your complaint you should receive a response.