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How to make a complaint – the right way

Thinking of making a complaint, but unsure of the process?

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Hopefully, this will help you to understand the different University complaint procedures and help it all feel a little less complicated. This guide will shed light on how you would begin the process.

Students who are currently studying (or have completed a course recently) have the opportunity to raise a concern to the University by using a complaints procedure.

At the University of Manchester, there are two types of complaints. The first is a general complaint, and this could be about something on your course, or about a service which you have received.

The other type is a ‘Dignity at Work and Study’ Complaint. This is the kind of complaint that you would make if you felt that you had been subjected to bullying, harassment or discrimination, by either a member of staff or another student.

There is a university complaints form which you will need to complete, and this is the same for both of the complaints procedures. However, the procedures do have different policies so this is something to watch out for. You can find all of the relevant documents on the university website, including the complaints form and the regulations for each of the complaints.

The complaints form has questions for each section, and we would advise you to include any information that you feel is relevant to the case. Then, you would also be required to attach any evidence you may have, to support your case. This could include emails, letters, and any other type of correspondence you may feel is relevant.

Once you have done a draft of your complaint, you can send it to the Students’ Union Advice Service and one of our advisors would be happy to review this for you. We can also offer you any comments or suggestions that we feel may help you and you can then decide if you feel our advice is useful to your case.

One of the first things to remember when considering whether to raise a complaint, is that if you are seeking an academic outcome (such as a change in grade, or another chance at a piece of work or an exam), then you would need to do an academic appeal and not a complaint. For further guidance on the academic appeals procedure please see our website.

If you are unsure about anything to do with the complaints procedure you can always pop into the Advice Service. And remember you can also send us a draft of your complaint to advice.su@manchester.ac.uk and receive some feedback from one of our professional advisors.