Skip to main content

Student Complaints Procedure

Student Complaints Procedure

Student Complaints Procedure

Student Complaints Procedure

We make every effort to ensure that you have the best experience possible while studying at Exeter. However, we recognise that there may be occasions where you are dissatisfied with some aspect of your experience at the University.

The Student Complaints procedure is designed to cover the following types of complaint:

  • a failing in a University service, academic or non-academic
  • misinformation about academic programmes
  • poor teaching or supervision
  • insufficient facilities

If you are unhappy with your experience or with the service you have received you are encouraged to first talk directly with the person responsible.

If you wish to make a formal complaint full details of the Student Complaints procedure can be found by clicking on the following link: Student Complaints Procedure

If you have been affected by industrial action, and you are thinking about making a complaint, please see the relevant webpages for information before submitting a complaint.

It should be noted that the University does not accept anonymous complaints or evidence.

The informal stage could include discussing this issue with the person most directly responsible, with the aim of resolving it as soon as possible. It is expected that both sides will make a genuine and reasonable attempt to resolve any issues at this stage. In cases of alleged bullying and harassment, you should first seek advice of a Dignity and Respect adviser. Where you complaint is about a member of staff and you do not feel you can raise this directly you should aim to raise this with another staff member of the relevant College/Service area, for example your personal tutor, Director of Education, Programme Director, or other Professional Services staff in the relevant area. Exceptionally if you feel unable to raise the matter yourself the Students' Guild Advice Unit, or the FXU in Cornwall, with your consent, will be willing to help you unless there is a conflict of interest. Before doing so you should see advice from the Students' Guild Advice Unit, or the FXU in Cornwall.

The Informal Stage ends when one of the following applies:

  • A remedy that is acceptable to you has been put forward and you consider the matter resolved.
  • You are not satisfied with the remedy proposed with 15 working days (or whatever longer period was agreed) of your information meeting with the person(s) to whom your complained
  • You have been unable to arrange a meeting with the person(s) concerned within 5 working days of your contacting them or not received a response to your initial email.

If you are a Taught student, and you wish to submit a Formal Complaint about your academic experience to your College having been dissatisfied with the College's handling of your Informal Complaint, please address your completed formal complaint form to the relevant address below:

In order for the complaint to be considered formally, you must put the complaint in writing on the Complaint Form - Formal Stage and send it to the person nominated by the Faculty or Service to deal with complaints. In Faculties this will usually be the Senior Education Partner. For Services, the most appropriate person can be found on the relevant website. Your details, the details of the complaint, the remedy sought and any supporting evidence should be included. You should also explain how you have attempted to raise the matter informally and why you remain dissatisfied you should attach evidence to the form confirming that the matter has been raised informally. Unless you can demonstrate that you have been unable to receive an informal resolution of your complaint, you may be asked to return to the informal stage before a formal complaint can be considered.

If your complaint is not resolved under the Formal Stage, you may refer it to the University centrally via the Student Cases Office within 10 working days of the date of the final response letter from the College Pro-Vice Chancellor or Head of Service (or nominee) under 7.2.7. For your complaint to be accepted your will need to demonstrate one or more of the following grounds and provide supporting evidence:

  • The new and relevant information is available that for good reason and independently verifiable reasons was not available at the Review Stage and now ought to be considered.
  • That at the Review Stage the College or Service failed to follow the University's procedures.
  • That the conduct of the investigation into your complaint was subject to bias and/or prejudice against you.
  • The decision reached at the Formal Stage is one at which no reasonable body (properly directing itself, and taking into account all relevant factors) could have arrived at.

You should send copies of all relevant documentation with the Complaint form - Request for Review to

Advice from the Students' Guild/SU

Please remember that a complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after a problem occurs and in any event must be whilst you are a current student or within 30 days of ceasing to be registered with the University. If you are a postgraduate research student, you may use the procedure for up to 30 calendar days after you have been notified of your final award of your withdrawal. We recommend that you draft your complaint, including your preferred resolution and sent it to us at We can assist you by explaining how the complaints process works and what you need to do. We will read over documents and may accompany you to meetings. However, we cannot represent you or write documents for you.

Students based in Cornwall should visit:

Information and contact details for the Students' Guild Advice Unit

The students' Guild Advice Unit offers a range of support whether you need someone to listen or are looking for support. Friendly, trained advisors can be contacted in person, by phone or by email to discuss any problems you might be experiencing in your University or personal life. The team can provide confidential support and signpost you to expert advice if needed.

You can find the Students' Guild advice Unit on Level +1 in the Forum, phone: 01392 723520 and email:

Information and contact details for the Falmouth and Exeter Student's Union Advice Service

The SU has a team of fully trained and experienced advisers to help and support you. The Service covers the full range of issues including student funding, benefits advice, financial problems, housing queries, consumer advice, employment, institutional/academic related problems and more.

The Advice Service offers free independent, confidential, and impartial information, advice and support to all students of the University of Exeter Penryn and of Falmouth University Campus.

You can make an appointment with an adviser here or by email on: