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Concerns and complaints

Concerns about your university experience

York St John University is committed to giving you the best learning experience possible. Find out how we will address problems and seek to resolve these with you.

Sky with tower in shot

We pride ourselves on being a responsive and supportive organisation and in listening to our students. We recognise that sometimes you may encounter problems and below you can learn more about how these will be addressed.

Your feedback

The University welcomes your feedback. There are a number of ways to contribute your views constructively, including through your programme representatives, the Students' Union, and through student evaluation surveys.

If would like to raise a specific concern outside of our feedback methods, find out more below.

Raising a concern

You may be dissatisfied with an element of your university experience. This could include things like:

  • Academic or other University services
  • Teaching or supervision
  • Facilities
  • The behaviour of a member of staff

Who can raise a concern

All current students at York St John University can raise a concern about their university experience. You can also make a complaint if you have withdrawn or graduated from the University, provided the complaint fits within the time-frame set out below.

Timeframe for raising concerns

You should raise any concerns as soon as possible, and within 1 month of an incident occurring, so that they can be dealt with effectively.

Formal complaints must be sent within 1 calendar month of the incident or the conclusion of the level 1 discussions relating to it. The University Complaints Officer has the discretion to permit late complaints to be considered, either because there are exceptional circumstances justifying the late submission of the complaint, or because the exceptional nature of the complaint means that it should still be considered.

How we address your concerns

We have a 3 stage approach to addressing concerns related to your university experience.

  • Level 1: Local resolution
  • Level 2: Formal complaint
  • Stage 3: Review

You can view this approach in our Student Complaints Procedure Flowchart 2023-24 (PDF, 99KB).

Full details are outlined in our Student Complaints Procedure, which is available below.

Level 1: Local Resolution

If something has gone wrong, we recommend first raising your concern at the place where it arose to try to put things right, which is usually within the Academic School or with the service provider concerned.

We believe that dealing with small problems or areas of concern as they arise will often prevent them becoming larger problems which are harder to resolve.

When raising your concern, you should clearly state the resolution you are seeking.

Level 2: Formal complaint

If you believe your concerns have not been properly addressed locally or it is not appropriate to seek local resolution, you may request that the University investigates the matter under our formal complaints procedure.

You can do this by submitting a complaint form to Forms are available to download below.

The University Complaints Officer will review your report and confirm whether it has been accepted as a formal complaint for investigation. We may ask you for further details or evidence at this stage to make sure we fully understand your concerns.

If your report is not accepted for investigation you will be informed of the reasons why.

When a report has been accepted under our formal complaints procedure the University Complaints Officer will appoint an Investigating Officer. This will usually be a senior member of staff who will look into your concerns. They will consider all appropriate facts and evidence, and complete a report explaining their findings. You may be contacted by the Investigating Officer for more information to help them during this process.

The Investigating Officer's report will include recommendations to the University Complaints Officer. The Complaints Officer will review the report and specify an outcome. You will receive a copy of the report and you should receive this within 8 weeks of submitting your report.

Stage 3: Review

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the report you may ask for a review of the finding. To request a review, complete the Complaint Review form and send it to within 10 working days from when you received the Investigating Officer's report. Forms are available to download below.

You can request a review for the following reasons:

  1. The University made an error in following its complaint procedures.
  2. The outcome was unreasonable in light of the evidence available.
  3. Material new evidence is available which for a valid reason you could not provide earlier in the process.

Reviews are referred to the University Vice Chancellor, or their nominee. The University will provide advice throughout the Review Stage and keep you informed of any further actions, which may include further enquires, or additional recommendations to address your complaint. You will normally receive a response within 10 working days and will be informed if the review will require more time.

Completion of Procedures Letter and OIA

If the University Vice Chancellor or their nominee upholds the original outcome, or if you do not accept an alternative outcome proposed, you will be sent a 'Completion of Procedures' letter saying you have come to the end of the York St John University complaint procedure.

If you remain dissatisfied, you may seek an independent review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). The OIA is an independent body established to consider student complaints which have not been resolved internally. More information can be found on the OIA website.

Documents, support and advice

To submit a formal complaint or request a complaint review, you will use the following documents:

Support and advice

The Student Casework team can answer general questions about the complaints process. You can contact them at

The Students' Union can provide independent advice and support in making your complaint: Students' Union website.