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When to contact the Dean of Students' Office

What sort of issue can I take to the Dean of Students' Office?

In most cases, academic issues are most readily resolved by discussing difficulties with relevant departmental staff, including departmental Personal Tutors, departmental Senior Tutors, Programme Administrative Teams, Module Leaders or Course Directors. If resolution is not reached at the departmental level, Faculty Senior Tutors can be contacted who provide confidential advice and support to students regarding difficulties with their studies. The following list is indicative of issues students might raise with their Faculty Senior Tutors:

  • Academic issues such as appeals against academic decisions (required to withdraw, failure to be awarded degree, etc.), academic complaints, serious and unsettled problems with teaching or modules, supervision, feedback, study skills, marking, temporary withdrawal or a change of course.
  • Concerns about mitigating/extenuating/special circumstances procedures or decisions.
  • Unresolved breakdowns in the relationship with a Personal Tutor, Module Tutor, Course Deader or Supervisor which is impacting study.
  • Termination of registration proceedings.
  • Complaints against the University or its academic staff or other students.
  • Clarification of University regulations, guidelines, procedures or policies.

If in doubt about whether it is appropriate to consult the Dean of Students' Office, an initial email query can be sent and, if necessary, you will be referred to the appropriate person or support service.

The Dean of Students' Office also provides help and advice to members of academic staff who are Personal Tutors and is responsible for the University's Personal Tutoring system.

Guidelines on Confidentiality, Information Sharing and Record Keeping

Please read these guidelines carefully and discuss any questions or concerns with any member of staff in the Dean of Students’ Office.

The protection of student confidentiality is important to us.

The Dean of Students’ Office keeps brief and factual records of meetings and discussions with students that comply with the Data Protection Act, 2018 and adhere to the University Data Protection Policy.

The Act requires a student’s consent for records to be kept, which is sought at the first meeting. This may take the form of a note that a student's verbal agreement was provided.

Basic information is recorded to enable us to provide robust and professional advice and support to students and is securely stored in electronic and/or paper format. This data is not kept for longer than is necessary and beyond this point is securely destroyed. Please see the University's retention schedule for guidelines on how long certain types of information is kept.

We will not normally disclose verbal or written information about a student to others (inside or outside of the University) unless we have permission to do so. However, sharing information with other professionals or departments may be useful in providing the best support, for example arranging adjustments to study or referring to other support and advice services. In such a situation, we will seek students’ permission to disclose information. What we disclose and to whom will be agreed in advance.

Please note that in exceptional circumstances, for example where there is good reason to believe that a student or others are at risk of harm, it may be necessary to disclose information to other professionals, without explicit consent.


If you are considering an appeal against the decision of an Examination Board, and need advice on the process, please discuss with your Departmental Personal Tutor in the first instance. The relevant university regulations and course regulations on appeals, together with information on the grounds for appeal, process and timescales for appeal and a link to the form you will need to complete can be found on the Academic Office Examinations Website. If you require further support with an appeal you can contact either the Student Union Advice Centre or the Dean of Students' Office. Please ensure that you have read through the permissible grounds for appeal and reflected on how your circumstances relate to them (e.g. by drafting your appeal) before seeking further support. This will help clarify the viability of a possible appeal, as well as help the SU Advice Centre or the Dean of Students' Office to provide appropriate advice and support.

Who should I contact?

In the first instance, please contact the appropriate Faculty Senior Tutor as follows:

David Lees - (Faculty of Social Science) - Email address:;
Tel: 024 7652 3331

Helen Toner - (Faculty of Science / Medicine) - Email address:;
Tel: 024 7652 3326

Rachel Dickinson - (Faculty of Arts) - Email address:;
Tel: 024 7652 2847

The Dean of Students can be contacted on: Email:;