Complaints

Students are reminded of the "Our Commitment" partnership document, which sets out the expectations of both the University and of students, in order to help ensure the best learning experience.

Purpose

For informal or formal complaints about the delivery and quality of services received, or about the delivery and quality of teaching, tutorial support, supervisory provision or any other matters relating to a programme of study.

Process

Having first attempted to resolve matters by talking with the department or service concerned, a student can make an informal complaint by completing a Complaints Form, and sending it to the address shown on the form.  The complaint is considered first by the Head of the appropriate department or service (unless the complaint relates to that individual).  If it is not resolved at that stage, you can then submit a further formal Complaints Form which will be referred by a nominee of the University Secretary to the appropriate Faculty Officer or other person.

If you are still not satisfied with a decision taken in respect of a complaint or appeal, you may submit a Case Review Request Form requesting that your case be reviewed by a Vice-President.  You may only request a Case Review on one or more of the following grounds:-

  1. that there was a material procedural irregularity which rendered the process leading to the decision taken in respect of the formal complaint or academic appeal unfair;
  2. that material which the student could not reasonably have been expected to produce at the time of the decision taken in respect of the formal complaint or academic appeal casts substantial doubt upon the appropriateness of that decision;
  3. that the decision taken in respect of the formal complaint or academic appeal was manifestly unreasonable.

Contact

Advice for Students

You are expected to familiarise yourself with the Information for Students Submitting a Complaint guidance document below before completing the Complaint form.

In addition to this, the Student Advice Centre can give independent advice to a student on their position. In addition, they have a suite of self-help pages on how to lodge a Complaint, which contain clear explanations on how to submit a Complaint, and the support available to you from the Student Advice Centre. You are strongly encouraged to read these pages before submitting a Complaint. Should you need further guidance after reading the pages, you can contact the Advice Centre for an appointment with an academic adviser.

Procedure

Download Case Review Panel Procedural Notes (WORD)

External Review

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) runs an independent scheme to review student complaints. The University of Sheffield is a member of this scheme. If the student is unhappy with the outcome they may be able to ask the OIA to review their case. Information about making a complaint to the OIA, what it can and cannot look at, and what it can do to put things right is available on the OIA website:

The student normally needs to have completed the Student Complaints Procedure before they can complain to the OIA. The student will receive a “Completion of Procedures Letter” when they have reached the end of the procedure, and there are no further steps they can take internally. The Student Advice Centre can advise on the OIA review process.

Downloads

Complaints about Industrial (Strike) Action (And Covid-19)

Complaints relating to the impact on learning and teaching of industrial action concluding in March 2020 should be submitted using the following form. This form can also be used for complaints that relate to both the impact of Industrial Action and Covid-19:

Industrial Action (and COVID-19) Complaints Form (PDF)

Industrial Action (and COVID-19) Complaints Form (WORD)

Industrial Action (and COVID-19) Complaints Guidance

Download Complaints Form (WORD)

Download Complaints Form (PDF)

Download Information for Students Submitting a Complaint (PDF)

Download Case Review Request Form (WORD)

Download Case Review Request Form (PDF)

Please Note: Separate procedures exist for Admissions complaints and appeals (i.e. for prospective students applying to study at the University):