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Durham University

Curriculum, Learning and Assessment

Appeals, Complaints & Discipline

The Curriculum, Learning & Assessment Service administers University-level appeals, and institutional disciplinary processes resulting from academic misconduct (e.g. plagiarism, examination irregularities). Further Information, and support, is available from:

Appeals & Academic Misconduct Assistant Registrar (Student Appeals)
Name Role Email
Sam Graham Assistant Registrar
Vicky Parrish Ceremonies Officer
Anna McDonagh Administrative Assistant

Wellbeing and Student Experience administers University-level complaints, and institutional disciplinary processes resulting from non-academic and behavioural misconduct. Further Information, and support, is available from, or via the contacts below:

Name Role Email
Alex Hopkins Head of Student Conduct Office
Clarissa Humphreys Student Support & Training Officer (Sexual Violence & Misconduct)
Charlotte Quarless Case Management & Training Officer
Laura Collin Administrative Assistant


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.

  • Plain English document explaining process
  • Appeals Process Flowchart
  • Academic Appeals Regulations 

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

    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2017-2018 academic year doc
    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2018-2019 academic year 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 2017-2018 academic year doc
    • Appeals relating to academic decisions made in the 2018-2019 academic year doc

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


Complaint Procedure for Students

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.

Strike Action Complaints

If, following the end of the UCU strike action and actions taken by academic departments to mitigate for the impact of the strike upon students, you remain dissatisfied with the resolutions proposed or implemented by the University you will need to complete all sections of the Strike Action Complaint form. 

  • Strike action complaint form Word PDF 

Deadlines for the submission of strike action complaints have now been confirmed as follows:

  • Undergraduate students first year 11th October 2018
  • Undergraduate students other years 12th October 2018
  • Postgraduate students 31st January 2019

You should also review the information about the University’s response to the strike action which is available on the University’s “Strike Action” webpage:

+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.

+Sexual Violence & Misconduct

Students who would like to make a formal report to the University of an incident(s) of sexual violence and misconduct for the purposes of initiating the investigation process under the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policy and Procedure should should complete the Reporting Form below.

For more information on support, reporting options and prevention and response efforts by the University, visit:

+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.

+Admissions Complaints

Durham University aims to provide a high standard and quality of service for applicants and to deliver an admissions process that is consistent, fair and professional, but recognises that occasionally things may go wrong. As part of its commitment to enhancing the applicant experience, we have established a procedure to deal with complaints from applicants in a fair and transparent manner. Please see

+Sources of Help

The University encourages all students to seek advice and guidance prior to or while involved in University procedures. It may not always be appropriate for some staff to provide advice and guidance if they are involved in those procedures. Members of staff are not normally able to advocate for students engaged in formal processes and should refer students to the Students’ Union for advocacy support. Staff can help to make sure you understand and follow the procedures as well as the timelines for initiating them.

You can seek assistance from the following sources:

The Durham Student's Union (SU) Advice Service

The SU is independent of the University and offers procedural advice and advocacy services (including representation and/or support) to students on a range of matters.

To speak to an adviser, please complete the online enquiry form using the 'Get in Touch' button at

College and Societies

Student Support Officers from your colleges or society can offer assistance to help you to understand University procedures. You may wish to let your College or Society know you intend to submit an appeal or complaint to the University as they may hold important information you need. You may also wish to seek advice in dealing with an allegation of misconduct or a breach of University regulations.

Contact information for your colleges is available from:

Academic Departments

For some procedures, members of your academic department (e.g. academic advisor, level tutor) may be able to provide assistance in relation to academic matters or processes.

Contact information for your academic department is available from:

+Office of the Independent Adjudicator

  • 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.