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Academic Support Office

Appeals, Complaints and Discipline


An academic appeal is a request for a formal review of an academic decision of the University. Relevant information regarding the appeals process is provided below.

  • Senate Academic Appeals Flow Chart (plain English document explaining process)
  • Academic Appeals Regulations

  • University Faculty Appeals Proforma (to be used for a first appeal):

    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2014-2015 academic year pdf - doc
    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2015-2016 academic year pdf - doc

  • University Senate Academic Appeals Committee Proforma (to be used after an original faculty appeal has been turned down):
    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2014-2015 academic year pdf - doc
    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2015-2016 academic year pdf - doc

  • Access Requests - information on requesting access to personal information held by the University
  • Student Welcome Guide - provides an outline of the appeals process


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction requiring a response. The complaints procedure should be used by all students for complaints about academic departments, Colleges, Societies, University services and by postgraduate students for complaints about their supervision, teaching or assessment prior to the final examination.

Respect at Study

Complaints relating to harassment or bullying by other students or members of University staff will be investigated under the Respect at Study Policy and Code of Practice and Procedures. Students who consider that they have been harassed and would like to make a complaint should use the procedures set out in the Respect at Study Code of Practice.

The University also has a network of trained Harassment Contacts who can assist you with enquiries and provide information on policies and sources of support if you feel you may have been harassed.

Code of Practice on Student Behaviour in Appeals and Complaints Matters

We are committed to dealing with complainants fairly and impartially and to providing a high quality service when investigating appeals and complaints. However we do not expect Durham University staff to tolerate unacceptable behaviour. Therefore this Code of practice sets out the University’s approach to the relatively few complainants or appellants whose actions or behaviour we consider to be unacceptable. Consequently, this code of practice should be read in conjunction with the University’s General Regulation VII Academic Appeals and the University’s Complaints Procedure for Students, both of which are to be found in Durham University Calendar Volume 1.


Students are expected to adhere to the University's regulations on conduct and assessment. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action. The Discipline section below contains the University's regulations on discipline and examinations.

Sources of help

in making an appeal or complaint or responding to an allegation of infringement of discipline procedures.

  • The Durham Student's Union Advice & Help Centre, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham. DH1 3AN. Tel 0191 334 1777 offers advice to students on appeals, complaints or allegations of infringement of University discipline regulations.
  • Students based at Queen’s Campus should make an appointment to see the Advice Centre staff by calling at Student Services in the Holliday Building or telephoning 0191 334 0090.
  • Students should inform their College or Society if they intend to appeal and they may also consult their Head of House for advice in dealing with an alleged breach of University discipline regulations. Colleges or Societies may also offer advice on complaints.

Additional Information

  • The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent body established by law to investigate student complaints. If the University is unable to resolve your complaint or appeal and you are a current or very recent student of the University, you might be able to appeal to the OIA but you must contact them within TWELVE MONTHS of completing the University's internal complaints procedure. You can obtain details of the scheme either directly via the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, via the DSU Advice Centre or by telephoning the Office of the Academic Registrar on 0191 334 6136.