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Making a complaint

The University is a large community engaged in many activities of both an academic and non-academic nature. From time to time, you may feel dissatisfied with some aspect of your dealings with the University and, when that happens, it is important that the issue is dealt with constructively and as quickly as possible without risk of disadvantage or recrimination.

Complaints procedure

The University aims to resolve complaints quickly and informally in accordance with the Student concerns and complaints procedure. Examples of complaints might include:

  • failure by the University to meet its obligations including those outlined in the course/student handbooks or Student Charter
  • misleading or incorrect information provided by the University in prospectuses or promotional material
  • concerns about the delivery of a programme, teaching or administration
  • poor quality facilities, learning resources or services provided directly by the University

Guidance and forms

Complaints not covered

The definition of a complaint is very broad and the list above is not exhaustive. However, some issues may be more appropriately considered under processes other than the complaints procedure. The complaints procedure will not normally cover:

  • appeals relating to examinations or assessments or to academic progress or against a finding of guilt in relation to an academic offence (see the academic appeals procedure)
  • complaints involving an allegation that a student has failed to meet his/her academic commitments (see the academic progress procedure for taught programmes (.pdf) or for research degrees (.pdf))
  • complaints involving an allegation of misconduct by a student or dissatisfaction about an outcome of the student conduct process (see the Code of Student Conduct)
  • complaints involving an allegation of harassment
  • a concern about a decision made under other specific regulations such as Fitness to Practise (.pdf) or Disclosure and Barring Service
  • complaints regarding admissions decisions

Advice, support and guidance

SU Advice provides independent advice, support and guidance and representatives are permitted to accompany students to meetings at any stage of the complaints procedure. The complaints procedure is an internal process and does not have the same degree of formality as a court of law. It is not normally permitted for students to be legally represented at investigative meetings that form part of the complaints procedure.

Guidance for staff responding to complaints

Contact us

Student Progress Team

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

Telephone 01206 874000

Please visit the Student Services Hub on the Colchester Campus