Student complaints and appeals

The University of Birmingham is committed to providing a high quality educational experience, fully supported by a range of academic and administrative services and facilities. However, we understand that from time to time, things do go wrong. This page helps you decide which process to follow to address your concerns.


The appeals process allows you to appeal against a progress decision that has a negative effect upon you or your future career. This process is right for you if:

  • you feel that a progress decision you received at the end of a module or course of study isn't right, because something went wrong with the University’s procedures or because you had difficulties that the University didn’t know about (and you have good reason for not having submitted extenuating circumstances).
  • you are a postgraduate research student, and you feel that there has been bias in the assessment of your thesis on the part of one or more of the examiners.

You are only able to appeal against a progress decision (e.g. fail module or course, grant alternative qualification); you are unable to appeal against marks.


The complaints process covers situations in which you are unsatisfied with your experience at the University or with the services it provides. This process is right for you if:

  • you have a concern or complaint about  programmes, modules, services or facilities provided by the University
  • you have a complaint about action, or lack of action, by the University or its staff
  • you have a concern or complaints about another student

The complaints process covers both informal and more formal stages of complaint.

Grievance to Council

Under specific circumstances, if you exhausted all other routes but your issue remains unresolved, you may have the opportunity to raise a Grievance to Council. You will always need to have tried all other possibilities before you can raise a Grievance.

Completion of procedures

Under the Higher Education Act 2004 the University subscribes to the independent scheme for the review of student's complaints. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal or complaint, and you have completed all of the University's internal procedures, you may be able to apply to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) for a review of your complaint, providing that the complaint is eligible under it's rules.

Alternative formats

We can provide information about our service in different formats and adapt the way we communicate with you depending on your needs. Please contact us to let us know what your particular needs are, and we will try to help.

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