The Graduate School services the appeals process for postgraduate students. Students can only appeal at certain points of their registration, namely at points that they have not been permitted (usually by an Exam Board) to progress in their studies, or have been awarded a lower degree. There is a set process detailed in the regulations and further guidance provided in the regulations for students and departments to follow: Regulation 37 and 38 for Academic Appeals (see ‘Useful documents’ for links), and the Student Academic Complaints Procedure for Complaints.
Students are expected to try and approach any complaints with their study with their academic department in the first instance. Should they not be able to resolve their complaint through informal representations then they have the ability to escalate the issues raised to University level. As a supervisor, you may well be the first person to hear about a student’s complaint – the opportunity to resolve any complaints early, and informally, is desirable for all parties involved. You may wish to discuss any complaints with your DGS.
The Graduate School also administers processes related to accusations of plagiarism or cheating in a University test (Regulation 11 applies) and procedures to forcefully withdraw a student (either temporarily or permanently) due to disciplinary or progression concerns.
At the conclusion of any complaint, appeal or other disciplinary case, the student is issued with a Completion of Procedures (COP) letter which enables them to appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for external scrutiny of the University’s handling of their case.
In all cases, the University would expect a Head of Department or DGS to lead on representations of cases such as those detailed above, although consultation would inevitably need to be held with the appropriate supervisor(s).