What to do if things go wrong

Sometimes the path of your research degree may not go as smoothly as you would hope.

You may experience personal problems, or have issues with your supervisor or with others in your research environment, or elsewhere in the College. You may find that you are not happy with your project, or perhaps feel that a research career is not for you.

Undertaking a research degree can be stressful at times, but it should also be fulfilling and enjoyable, at least some of the time. Often, problems can be solved by discussion with your supervisor or Head of Division.

The Chair of your monitoring committee, or any other member of your monitoring committee, should always be willing to discuss, in confidence, issues that you feel cannot be resolved locally. Alternatively, any member of your Schools Higher Degree Committee can be approached to try and resolve any problems that you have.

All issues will be dealt with sensitively and in confidence.

If you feel that you are having a serious, long-running conflict with an individual, where you cannot see a straightforward resolution, you may wish to consider the option of mediation. The University has trained mediators including members of DUSAs Executive Committee.

Complaints and Appeals - Supervised Research

University Student Complaints Procedure

The University of Dundee Student Complaints Procedure (see Appendix 11 in the Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate Research) aims to provide an accessible, quick, straightforward and informal method of resolving student complaints, with the option of a more formal, written, procedure in serious cases after all efforts for local resolution have been tried. Any student, undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time, who is learning as a student with the University of Dundee, is entitled to use it without concern that they will be disadvantaged by complaining. It is anticipated that no costs will require to be incurred by students in raising complaints. Due regard to privacy, confidentiality and the interests of any third parties will be borne in mind as appropriate.

A complaint is a specific concern about the provision of a programme of study or related academic service, including teaching and academic facilities. An appeal is different, and is a request for a review of the decision of an academic body charged with making decisions on student progression, assessment and awards etc. Complaints will be considered under the procedure described in Appendix 11 of the Code of Practice. However, if a complaint is deemed by the Academic Secretary's Office to be an appeal, the University may then deal with it under the appropriate appeal procedures, or other appropriate mechanism. Please note that matters of academic judgement are in general not open to review either by complaint or by appeal, and that the Postgraduate Appeals Procedures deals with appeals.

Postgraduate Appeals Procedure (Examinations)

Students may appeal against the decision of examining committees on receipt of the formal letter from the Examinations Officer informing them of the Senate's decision on the examining committee's recommendation. Every appeal shall be in writing and shall be lodged with the University Secretary within four weeks of the date on which the candidate was informed of the decision against which the appeal is directed. The Regulations relating to the postgraduate appeals procedure including the criteria on which such appeals may be based , are provided in full in Appendix 2 of the Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate Research. Assistance with the preparation of appeals may be obtained by consulting the Students' Assessor who may be contacted via the Academic Secretary, Dr I K Francis.