What is a complaint?
A complaint can be defined as an expression of dissatisfaction with services provided to you as a student of LSE. Complaints may be based on procedural errors, failure to fulfil educational or other service commitments or failure to act on the above within a reasonable period of time.
The Advice & Support Service, as part of the Students' Union is independent and gives confidential advice. We can advise you on the complaints procedure and help you put together your case.
It is important to remember that a complaint cannot be made about the academic judgement of an examiner. However, dissatisfaction with such matters can be logged through an appeals procedure if you have grounds, and we advise you to speak to one of the Advisers in the Advice & Support Service. You can find out more about academic appeals on this page.
If you would like to make a complaint against the school then you should consult the schools “principals and procedures for the consideration of student complaints.”
How do I make a complaint?
If you wish you make a complaint you should first try to resolve it with the department. The regulations state that if a “student is dissatisfied with an academic matter they should raise the issues at a local level within the department...for a graduate student, the student should address the matter with her/his supervisor, tutor, program director, research student tutor, departmental convener or dean of graduate studies as appropriate.”
If you refuse to initially follow this route then you must inform the secretary (director of administration). If they feel your reason for not following this procedure is not adequate then they insist that unless you first raise it with the department the school will not consider the complaint further.
Having attempted to raise the complaint with your department you can then raise the complaint formally, if you wish to do so. You can do this by writing to the secretary within 3 months of the date of the incident in question.
The regulations state that after this point the secretary can:
23.1 Direct the student to raise the complaint at departmental level under paragraph 18.
23.2 - Suggest informal means to address the complaint, including but not limited to mediation. If the Secretary proposes this option, s/he must request the student's written agreement within a period not exceeding 14 days. If the student does not respond, the Secretary will consider other options under paragraph 23. The student's refusal to agree to an informal resolution will not be taken into account.
23.3 - If there are matters raised by the complaint that ought properly be investigated under another of the School's procedures, the Secretary may refer the matter(s) to those other procedures.
23.4 - Appoint a named person to investigate the complaint.
23.5 - If the Secretary is satisfied that the complaint raises no issue for investigation, dismiss the complaint. If dismissing the complaint, the Secretary shall write to the student giving reasons for dismissing the complaint. The student may appeal against the decision to dismiss his/her complaint (see paragraph 26 below).
23.6 - The Secretary may further refer the student under the Disciplinary Regulations if s/he considers the complaint to be frivolous or malicious.
What will happen after I have formally made a complaint?
The Secretary will write to the student to inform him/her of the decision normally within 28 days of receiving the complaint. After this point it is up to you to decide how you wish to proceed.
If you wish to discuss your course of action with someone you can drop into the advice centre we will provide independent, confidential advice on all stages of the complaints process.