The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Student Complaints process

The Basics

There are three steps to the Student Complaints process:

  • First, raise the complaint informally with an appropriate member of staff and explore the option of mediation.
  • If that doesn't work, you should make a Local Stage complaint. You will need to fill in a Student Complaint Form and then send your complaint to the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager who will appoint someone to investigate your complaint.
  • If the Local Stage doesn't give a satisfactory result, you can ask the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager to escalate your complaint to the University Stage. At this point it will be looked at by a Complaint Review Panel made up of three senior members of staff who have had no prior involvement in your complaint.

It will be helpful for you to have a read through Bristol University's Student Complaints Procedure.

Just Ask will be happy to support you throughout the complaints process. We can help by giving you feedback on drafts of your complaint, attending complaints meetings with you, and advising you on your options every step of the way.

Making a Local Stage Complaint

To make a Local Stage complaint you should complete a Student Complaint Form, explaining the details of your complaint and the possible outcomes you would like to ask for.

A Just Ask Adviser can assist you with drafting your local stage complaint letter. Although we can’t write a complaint for you, we can help you with the structure, highlight other factors you may wish to be aware of or mention in your complaint, help with proofreading, and support you to identify possible outcomes you can request.

Once it's ready you can send your complaint and any evidence to support it to the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager (

What happens next?

The Student Complaints and Mediation Manager will then refer the complaint to an appropriate person for consideration at the Local Stage. For academic complaints, this will normally be the Faculty Education Manager or Faculty Education Director. Complaints about other services will be referred to an appropriate member of staff in Professional Services.

The person looking at the complaint at the Local Stage may want to meet with you to discuss your complaint. You could be accompanied to this meeting by a friend or a Just Ask advisor.

Once your complaint has been investigated you will be sent details of the investigation, the findings and the outcome. The University aims to complete the Local Stage within 30 days of the submission of the complaint but realistically it may take longer, particularly at busy times.

If the issue hasn’t been resolved to your satisfaction at the Local Stage, you can progress your complaint to the University Stage by requesting this in writing to the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager within 14 days of receiving the Local Stage outcome.