Procedure for Complaints on Academic Matters

The University, The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division and the Mathematical Institute all hope that suitable provision is made for students at all stages of their programme of study, so making the need for complaint (about that provision) or appeal (against the outcome of any form of assessment) infrequent.

However all those concerned believe that it is important for students to know that they may raise concerns or make a complaint or appeal.

Nothing in this guidance precludes an informal discussion with the person immediately responsible for the issue that you wish to complain about (and who may not be one of the individuals mentioned below). This is often the simplest way to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

General Points

You may find that the matter could best be dealt with by your student representatives. The Department has a Joint Consultative Committee with Undergraduates which regularly discusses matters of academic provision. Please contact the Academic Administrator in the Mathematical Institute for details of your representatives, or see the list on the MURC website. The Department also has a Consultative Committee for Graduates which discusses all matters of Departmental Provision for Graduate Students. Please contact the Graduate Studies Assistant in the Mathematical Institute for details of your representatives, or see the CCG website.

Please note that these committees are only concerned with general issues, and will not consider cases about particular individuals.

Departmental Procedure

Any student who wishes to lodge a complaint on any academic matter in relation to their studies should proceed as follows.

Graduate Students

Graduate students should, in the first instance, contact their supervisor. If the supervisor is unable to help they should contact the Director of Graduate Studies at the Mathematical Institute. If the matter is one related to examinations, MSc students should contact their college adviser/Senior Tutor, who will be able to refer matters to the Proctors if necessary.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduates with a complaint should first normally discuss it with their college tutor. If the concern or complaint relates to teaching or other provision made by the faculty/department then the student should raise it with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr R. Earl). Within the faculty/department the officer  oncerned will attempt to resolve your concern/complaint informally and as speedily as possible.

In thinking about causes of concern/complaint, please bear in mind that the first step if at all possible is to raise the matter that is troubling you with the person who is immediately responsible. If this is difficult, then many sources of advice are available within colleges, within faculties/departments and from bodies like OUSU or the Counselling Service, which have extensive experience in advising students. General areas of concern about provision affecting students as a whole should, of course, continue to be raised through Joint Consultative Committees via student representation on the faculty/department’s committees. If your concern or complaint relates to teaching or other provision made by your college, then you should raise it with your tutor or with one of the college officers, e.g. Senior Tutor. Your college will also be able to explain how to take your complaint further if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of its consideration. In the rare instances where you are  issatisfied with the outcome of a complaint, and all other avenues listed above have been explored, then you may take your concern further by making a formal  omplaint to the University Proctors. A complaint may cover aspects of teaching and learning (e.g. teaching facilities, supervision arrangements etc), and  on-academic issues (e.g. support services, library services, university accommodation, university clubs and societies, etc.) A complaint to the Proctors should be made only if attempts at informal resolution have been unsuccessful.  See Section 13 of the Proctors' and Assessor's Memorandum for further information.

The Proctors can be contacted at the University Offices, Wellington Square, or on (2)70090, or at proctors.office@admin.ox.ac.uk.