Accessibility statement

Complaints and appeals

We want all of our students to get the most out of their time at the University of York and if things are getting in the way of this, it is very important that you let us know. Ideally you should speak to the service involved, eg your supervisor or college, to give them the chance to understand your concerns and offer any support they can. 

Where this isn’t possible, or hasn’t fixed the problem, then you may wish to ask someone else to have a look.

Which one is it?

Complaints and appeals are separate with different processes and guidelines.


Complaints are for all service issues, academic or non-academic. Whatever the reason is for a complaint we take a similar approach to how we address them. Complaints will not normally result in a change to an academic decision. Find out more about the complaints procedure.

Make a complaint


Appeals relate to decisions about your academic progress, eg failure of programme. There are rules about when you can and can’t appeal. Find out more about the Appeals process.

Academic appeals

If you are unsure which process is more appropriate for your situation, or it covers both, then you can take a look at the flowchart below. You can also ask for guidance from YUSU, GSA, or email the Complaints Officer directly: 

Examples: If you have been deemed to have failed your academic programme, but believe this was affected by exceptional circumstances you could not have previously declared, this would be an appeal.

If however you believe the failure of a programme was due to feedback of a quality which didn’t meet the criteria set out in the guide to assessment, this would be a complaint.

If you are dissatisfied with the University’s response to either a complaint or an appeal, you may be able to escalate the issue to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for review. To do this you need to have exhausted the University’s own procedures and have a “Completion of Procedures” letter. Find out more about the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).