10 Student appeals and complaints

10.1 Appeals

A research student may appeal against the decision of a Dean to terminate or change their registration or a decision of the Research Degrees Examination Board in respect of a decision relating to the award of a research degree.

10.2 Academic appeal procedure for research students

The procedure governing appeals against a decision made by a Dean relating to termination or change of registration or of a decision made by the Research Degrees Examination Board relating to the award of a research degree is set out in the Examination Regulations Section 11, which can be found here.  No degree may be conferred while an appeal is outstanding.

10.3 Student Complaints

The student complaints procedure is set out in the University’s Rules and Regulations for Students.

Schools should ensure that all students are made aware of how they may raise an individual or collective concern and how to make a formal complaint. Students also need to be advised where they may obtain confidential advice on academic and other issues.

As concerns raised at an early stage are more likely to be resolved quickly and effectively students are encouraged to raise any issue that concerns them at the earliest opportunity, initially informally with the appropriate person, who will in many cases be their supervisors. If a student is unable to discuss the issue with their supervisors, they should approach the school's nominated person in charge of postgraduate research programmes or the Head of School. Problems that cannot be resolved within the school should be referred to the faculty’s Graduate Education Director.

Collective issues may be raised via the school and faculty student representative systems.

10.4 Useful sources of information

There is a wide range of sources of help and advice that students may draw on. Detailed information is provided on the Current Student webpages. The Students’ Union “Just Ask” team offers a range of welfare advice and support.

10.5 Monitoring of complaints and appeals

The Student Complaints Officer presents an annual report on appeals under these regulations to Senate and University Council. This report is also considered by the Student Affairs sub-committee of Council. The University Graduate Studies Committee, which is a sub-committee of Education Committee, is also charged with monitoring complaints and appeals made by research students annually and making appropriate recommendations to Education Committee.

The Office of the Independent adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is an independent scheme for the review of student complaints. The OIA will only consider cases when the University’s internal procedures have been exhausted. The OIA will not intervene in matters which turn purely on academic judgement.