I’m unsatisfied with the University, can I complain?

You can make a complaint on any grounds if you are unsatisfied with any aspect of the University, but here are some common examples:

  • Dissatisfaction with academic provision, such as teaching, assessment, course information or resources
  • Dissatisfaction with the quality of supervision or tuition
  • The University has failed to meet obligations set out in the University Prospectus, course handbook or Partnership Agreement
  • Dissatisfaction with a University service, such as accommodation or administrative services
  • Harassment, bullying and victimisation

How do I make a complaint?

You must make the complaint yourself; but LUU Advice can help you.

There are different levels at which a complaint can be made:

  • You can make it to the School or Service concerned, by having an informal chat with a staff member or the Head of the School or Service - you should have a response within 15 working days. 
  • More formally by writing to the Head of the School or Service concerned - you should have a response within 15 working days. 
  • In writing to the  University Complaints Officer. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your complaint with the Complaints Officer, they should respond in 20 working days. If you wish to appeal their decision you have 20 working days.  
  • In an appeal to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, if the response of the Complaints Officer is unsatisfactory. 

Sometimes these deadlines are exceeded, especially if your complaint is complex. The University should keep you informed of the reasons for any deadlines being missed.

It is usually most effective to complain to the School or Service first because it’s often quicker and gives the chance for them to explain or fix the problem. They may not have known about the problem and you are the first person to bring it to their attention. 

Of course, it may not be always be appropriate to do this, for example if a complaint concerns the Head of your School.

If you complain in person, it’s a good idea to note the date you complained and keep a written record of what you said and the response. Formal complaints should be made in writing.

You can download the University’s Complaints Procedure leaflet here.

Are there any time limits?

If you have graduated or left the University, you must make your complaint within 3 months of graduating or leaving.

Try to complain as soon after the event concerned as you can so the complaint can be investigated promptly and it is more likely to be resolved quickly. You are also more likely to remember details.

What should I include in a complaint?

Your complaint should explain:

  • The grounds, or reasons, for the complaint. You should include any relevant University rules or guidelines and explain how, in your opinion, these have been breached. 
  • You should also give specific examples of what happened for example, instead of just saying a staff member was rude to you, explain exactly what they said or did. 
  • Be as specific as possible about the dates and people involved, and include supporting evidence such as witness statements, if possible.
  • How it has affected you - this may be academically, emotionally, financially or health-wise.
  • The solution you are seeking.


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