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Complaints and appeals

Student Academic Complaints Procedure

The University has a Student Academic Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints made about the teaching and learning process and provision made by the University to support that process. If you are considering making such a complaint, you may wish to contact the Students’ Union Education Officer or the Senior Tutor for advice.

This procedure may not be used for complaints which can be dealt with under the Disciplinary Regulations, the Harassment Guidelines, or the Appeals Procedures.

For more information, click on the University’s Complaints procedure.

Changing your supervisor
Every effort will be made to ensure that the supervisory arrangements put in place for your doctoral work continue to work as well as possible throughout your period of study. However, the Department is aware that difficulties do sometimes arise between doctoral students and their supervisors, often through no fault on either side. If you should have any concerns relating to your supervision, please feel free to raise the matter directly with your supervisor, or, if you prefer, to discuss the matter in confidence with the Director of Graduate Studies. You may also wish to speak with your personal tutor, who can offer impartial advice.

Any difficulties raised by the student relating to supervision will not prejudice that student in any way. However, it is important to note that it is the responsibility of the student to bring the difficulties to the attention of their personal tutor, the Director of Graduate Studies or, in the last resort, to the University's Doctoral College Office, in good time. The University cannot remedy difficulties or failings of which it was not made properly aware.

If, for any reason, your supervisor should become absent or unavailable to direct your work, the Director of Graduate Studies will assign a replacement supervisor, on either a temporary or a permanent basis, at the earliest available opportunity.

As a Postgraduate student, what can I appeal against?

Regulation 42 details the decisions and grounds for which a Postgraduate Taught and Research student may appeal against.

How can I submit an appeal?

If you wish to submit an appeal you should complete the appeals form wrd. Please read the guidance notes carefully and provide all of the requested information, including any supporting evidence. Only evidence provided will be considered by the Preliminary Review Panel.
It is the appellant’s responsibility to provide sufficient independent documentary evidence to substantiate their appeal. An appeal is highly unlikely to succeed if no suitable evidence is provided. For examples of the type of evidence required please see the ‘supporting documentation’ column of the table in the University Mitigating Circumstances Guidance.
Appeals should be submitted to within 10 University working days of notification of the decision that is subject to appeal. Appeals submitted after this time will not be considered unless evidence of exceptional reasons why you could not comply with the relevant timescales is also submitted.

Where can I access support in relation to submitting an appeal?

You may wish to seek advice from the Dean of Students’ Office or the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

What happens after I submit an appeal?

If your appeal is not eligible the Doctoral College will contact you to explain why your appeal cannot be considered.

If your appeal is eligible the Doctoral College will contact you to confirm receipt of your appeal and explain the appeals process. If your appeal is eligible, it will be sent to your academic department for their response. The Department’s response will be sent to you for consideration and any further comments you may wish to make.

All paperwork relating to your appeal will then be sent to the Preliminary Review Panel (PRP), which is constituted of academic members of staff as outlined in Regulation 42, who will determine whether or not you have presented grounds for your appeal to be considered by a full meeting of the Graduate Appeals Committee (GAC).

Regulation 42 outlines the procedure of the Preliminary Review Panel and Graduate Appeals Committee.

You can read further information regarding appeals on the Doctoral College webpage: