What does this mean?

You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect at all times and by all members of the university community whilst at university, taking part in university activity or using university facilities. If you feel that you are not, you  may like to consider a complaint.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction  with some element of your university experience. Think of it as both feedback to the university where things are going wrong and/or as a way to get your concerns resolved. If something is going wrong, the university needs to know about it - they can only take action on things that they know to have happened, and one of the ways to do that is via a complaint.

If I make a complaint, will I be targeted in the future?

Although it is natural to worry about the implications of making a complaint - particularly against someone you need to have an ongoing relationship with, the university has a strong policy on non-retribution, and if you feel you are treated worse following a complaint,  options are available to escalate this.

What do I need to do?

Informal resolution (if possible)

A lot of issues can be dealt with by making an appointment to talk to either the person involved, or to someone who can solve your problem. Depending on your situation, this could be your lecturer, or if the problem is with the lecturer, your Unit Coordinator. It is very important that you keep a record of everything that's being discussed. Student Advocacy can help you prepare for a meeting or go to a meeting with you and take notes for you.

This is called informal resolution, and is often an important first step.

Important note - for some complaints it will be inappropriate to try informal resolution. This could include if you have concerns about confidentiality or safety, or if you have already tried to resolve it and it hasn't worked.

Formal complaint

If you cannot or prefer not to resolve it informally, the formal process is next. It can be a bit daunting thinking about these steps and Student Advocacy can help. Just click on each heading to expand the section. Prefer all the steps on a single pdf? Click here.

It's important to understand how your complaint will be managed, including confidentiality, timelines etc. Click here to read the procedure.

We can support you throughout this process, including:

  • Helping you understand the process and procedure
  • Discussing whether an informal resolution is an option
  • Helping you to prepare your written complaint
  • Explaining the types of evidence that you could include
  • Discussing what kinds of outcomes you could ask for

Please use our appointment form to make an appointment.

You’ll need to describe your concern in as much detail as possible, e.g. unit title, course code (if it relates to your unit), name of people involved, location, time, dates etc. We recommend writing this as a timeline if the situation was complex or went on for a long time. We recommend writing your complaint as a Word document, and submitting it as an attachment.

The complaints form will also ask you the following questions, so you will need to ensure you have prepared a response to them

  • What steps have you taken to resolve this issue?
  • What outcomes are you seeking?

You will also need to upload any supporting documentation that you have – this can include copies of emails/messages, medical certification etc depending on the nature of your complaint.

To assist you in preparing the complaint letter, please use our letter template to help you structure your complaint.

When you're ready, you'll need to submit your complaint via the complaints portal. You should receive an initial reply within 5 working days to tell you whether the complaint will be considered or not, and if so, who will be dealing with it. If you believe the person dealing with your complain has a conflict of interest (e.g. they have been involved in the situation already), you can request an alternative person. Within 20 working days you should receive an outcome of some kind. If you're not happy with the outcome, Student Advocacy can help you understand your options to escalate it further.

For further advice and support: Contact us