Our Commitment

We encourage all students to read 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.

The complaint process

Informal complaints

Once you've attempted to resolve matters by talking with someone from the relevant department or service, you can make an informal complaint by completing a complaints form and sending it to the address shown on the form. 

Formal complaints

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 another complaints form, which will be referred by a nominee of the University Secretary to the appropriate faculty officer or another member of staff.

Case review requests

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:

  • There was a material procedural irregularity that rendered the process leading to the decision taken in respect of the formal  complaint or academic appeal unfair.
  • Material that you 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.
  • The decision taken as a result of a formal complaint or academic appeal was manifestly unreasonable.

There are separate procedures for admissions complaints and appeals for prospective students applying to study at the University.

Advice for students

Make yourself familiar with the Information for students submitting a complaint document.

The Student Advice Centre can also give independent advice to a student on their position. Their website contains advice on how to lodge a complaint, as well as the support available to you from the Student Advice Centre. 

We strongly encourage you to read these pages before submitting a complaint. 

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 you are unhappy with the outcome of your appeal, you may be able to ask the OIA to review your 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.

You will normally be required to have gone through the student complaints procedure at the University before you can refer to the OIA. Once you have reached the end of the procedure, and there are no further steps they can take internally, you will receive a “completion of procedures" letter.