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Online Undergraduate Handbook

Student Complaints

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The University defines a complaint as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about the University’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the University’.  (This does not include complaints relating to examinations or assessments or exam board decisions – see Academic Appeals.)  Most complaints can be resolved informally.  If you have a complaint you should let the School know as soon as possible, and in any case within eight weeks, of the events or actions (or lack of action) which have prompted the complaint so that it can be investigated without delay.  As part of the University’s commitment to the student experience, complaints about the standard or quality of academic programmes, services and facilities are taken seriously.  It is expected that complaints will be dealt with promptly and efficiently, investigated thoroughly and objectively, resolved satisfactorily taking on board any feedback.

Who to Contact

The first stage of any complaint should be informal ie raised in the School with the appropriate member of staff to seek a possible resolution.  Matters that are dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively.  Much depends on the nature of the complaint but those to contact could be:

Course Co-ordinator

When there is an issue that relates to the quality of your educational experience the first person to approach is the Course Co-ordinator responsible for the course unit.  This could be verbally, at the start or end of a class, or via email.  Anonymous complaints will not be accepted; if a student feels uncomfortable discussing concerns with a Course Co-ordinator they may refer the matter to their student representative to make the approach on their behalf.  A list of student representatives is available via the Online Handbook.

Academic Advisor

Your Academic Advisor is responsible for advising and assisting students and can provide guidance on how a complaint should be dealt with. 

Undergraduate Office

Report the matter to a member of staff on the front desk in AMBS Room 2.091 or email

Committees with Student Representation

Ask your student representative to raise the matter at your Programme Committee or when they attend Student Staff Liaison Committee.

Whoever you raise your complaint with will follow the same process as highlighted in the flow chart in seeking a resolution.  If you consider your complaint is not being dealt with adequately then you can approach your Programme Director who will liaise with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Having followed the above, should you feel that the matter of concern has still not been satisfactorily resolved, you have the right to approach the Head of School.  In the instance that you would not like to raise the issue with your course coordinator or you feel that is it not appropriate for you to raise this with them, then you can complete the student concerns form which can be downloded by clicking here.  Once completed, please send this to the Student Support & Guidance Team at

Available Support

Students who are involved with the University of Manchester's appeals, complaints or misconduct processes may require additional support from staff at the university.  Please click here to see what support is available to you.

What You Can Expect

A student will normally receive an oral or written acknowledgement within five working days and a full response within fifteen working days of receipt of the complaint by the School, although the full response may take slightly longer depending on the extent of the investigations to be made.


Taking a Complaint Further – the Formal Process

Ultimately, if you have pursued your complaint through the School and feel that this has been unsuccessful or that you have reasonable grounds for dissatisfaction with the outcome, you may invoke the formal complaints process and pursue the matter through the University’s Regulation XVII: Student Complaints Procedure.  In respect of particularly serious complaints, the formal process may be invoked straight away.

Regulation XVII covers issues concerning the provision of programmes, or parts of programmes, services or facilities by the University or the actions or lack of actions by University staff.  It does not cover matters relating to assessment and progression, nor complaints involving allegations of misconduct or harassment as these are covered by separate procedures.

A Basic Guide to Student Complaints

This document aims to make Regulation XVII easier to understand.  It provides information about the procedure for students who want to make a complaint to the University including the kinds of complaints that are covered and how to make a complaint. 

If you are considering making a complaint, you are advised to read this document and, if you do decide to go ahead, follow the details set out within it and the main Regulation XVII: Student Complaints Procedure.  You should download and complete a Complaints Form.  The completed Complaints Form should be submitted to the Faculty of Humanities Appeals, Complaints and Malpractice office by email to

Formal complaints will be considered in accordance with the time limits contained in Regulation XVII.