SOAS University of London

Information for Current Students

Making a complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about the School’s action, inaction or standard of service provided by or on behalf of the School. 


We want you to have a pleasant time studying with us, but we understand there might be occasions where you are not as satisfied as you could be. The Student Complaints Procedure (applicable from 1 November 2020) (pdf; 495kb)   describes what you need to do if you wish to complain about any aspect of the delivery of your programme or other service provided by or on behalf of the School.

In summary, there are 3 stages to the Student Complaints Procedure:

Stage 1- Early Resolution – Students should make a complaint in writing to their Head of Department or the relevant Director of Professional Services to which their complaint relates, in the first instance. Some complaints can be resolved early and informally at this stage.

Stage 2- Formal complaint Investigation- If the matter is not resolved at Stage 1 or Early Resolution is not suitable, students can submit a formal complaint to the Student Casework Team using the Stage 2 Formal Student Complaint Form . Formal complaints should be submitted to the Student Casework Team at studentcomplaints@soas.ac.uk. If the complaint is assessed as valid for consideration, an investigator will be appointed and the student will get a written outcome in the form of an Investigation Report.

Stage 3- Review of complaint – If a student is dissatisfied with the Stage 2 outcome, they can request a review of the Stage 2 decision using the Stage 3 Student Complaint Request for a Review Form. If the review request is submitted on the permissible grounds and assessed as valid for consideration, the review will be referred to a Reviewer. A written outcome will be sent to the student, normally accompanied with a Completion of Procedures Letter depending on the outcome of the complaint. This is the end of the School’s internal complaints process.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator- If a student is dissatisfied with any final decision made by the School relating to a complaint, they might have further recourse to the Higher Education Ombudsman- The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIAHE). Further details can be found in the Student Complaints Procedure.


Points to note

Students must use the relevant forms provided at each stage of the procedure during the complaints process and should provide details and evidence where possible, of how they believe the matters in the complaint have affected their ability to engage effectively with their studies. All formal complaints should be submitted to the Student Casework Team at studentcomplaints@soas.ac.uk. The Casework Team can also assist with any queries about the  Student Complaints Procedure (applicable from 1 November 2020) (pdf; 495kb)  or other related procedures.

Please note there are timescales associated with the Student Complaints Procedure and the Procedure should be read in full in order to understand what happens at each stage. You can direct any queries about the procedure to the Student Casework Team at, studentcomplaints@soas.ac.uk.