Matters of Student Contention
The Secretariat is responsible for the management and administration of the University’s regulations and procedures with respect to the following areas of student contention: academic appeals, academic offences, student complaints, student conduct and discipline and fitness to practise. This includes interpreting complex regulations and procedural information; producing and disseminating written guidance, procedural flowcharts and proformas; case managing student complaints from the Head of School stage, advising and supporting senior staff across the University to ensure the implementation of the procedures and adherence to the standards set for dealing with cases; corresponding with staff and students to provide advice and guidance; managing fitness to practise and disciplinary cases that are referred for institutional-level consideration; issuing Completions of Procedures letters; overseeing, monitoring and evaluating the operation of the contentious issues processes across the institution; collecting equality and diversity data; and producing annual reports. The Secretariat also provides an officering service to the Extenuating Circumstances Panel. The Governance Manager also acts as the institutional contact for the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and manages OIA cases.
Review and Academic Appeal
When a student would like to dispute the decision of a Board of Examiners, they should initially raise their concerns informally with individuals such as tutors, programme leaders, Academic Officers and staff in Student Services. Frequently matters can be resolved quickly and satisfactorily in this way.
Under the University Regulations, a student can formally pursue a dispute by requesting a Review and, if they remain dissatisfied with the outcome, it may be open to them to lodge an Appeal. A student may not lodge an Appeal unless a Review has been concluded.
Further details, including the relevant forms, are available at Academic Reviews and Appeals
Appeals Against Withdrawals For Non-Attendance
Information about appealing against withdrawals for non-attendance, including forms and the relevant extract from the regulations are available at Appeals Against Withdrawals for Non-Attendance.
Academic Offences are taken very seriously by the University, and may lead to significant penalties. Information on what constitutes an academic offence, and the consequences of committing an academic offence may be found at Academic Offences
In addition to the standard University Regulations, all postgraduate research students are also subject to the University’s Code of Practice on Misconduct in Research – for full details see the Graduate School’s Research Degrees Handbook.
The complaints procedure provides students with a means to channel complaints about:
- the provision and delivery of academic programmes and related services;
- any aspect of their experience at the University.
The complaints procedure is not to be used for representations against decisions of Boards of Examiners (Review and Appeal Procedures) or allegations of misconduct by students (which are governed by the Student Conduct and Discipline Procedures).
If students are unhappy about any experience they have had, they should raise the matter at the earliest opportunity, either directly with those concerned or with their personal tutor, programme leader or the student advisor. They may also seek the help and advice of the Students’ Union, which actively encourages students to attempt to resolve the issues informally.
To record a formal complaint, students should direct their enquiries to the Secretariat to invoke the student complaints procedure which has two levels: School and University. It is hoped that most complaints can be resolved at the School level and only progress to the University level once the School procedure has been exhausted without resolution.
Further details are available at Student Complaints
Student Conduct and Discipline
The Student Conduct and Discipline regulations detail the procedure with respect to students accused of misconduct. Information about the different stages and the relevant extract from the regulations are available at Student Conduct and Discipline