Day-to-day problem solving and other ways of making your views known

problemYou are welcome to make comments about any aspect of your Degree Programme at any time. If you have difficulties or suggestions please be aware that they should be raised promptly, and that the resolution of problems is likely to be most effective via face-to-face interaction. You should feel free to comment on unit content, delivery or assessment direct to the lecturer or practical coordinator in the first instance. If you feel this is not appropriate, you are encouraged to discuss matters with the Unit Coordinator. If you are still not satisfied, you should seek advice from your Programme Director or Academic Advisor.

Representation on Committees

The structure of the School of Biological Sciences is intended to give you opportunities to express your views and to influence School and University policy. Specific problems should be dealt with by the Unit Coordinator or your Academic Advisor, but from time to time matters of a general nature may arise which will benefit from being discussed in a wider, more formal setting. In addition, the School values your views on academic and organisational matters and welcomes the contributions you can make to the work of its committees. You also have established rights to participate in the work of certain School and University committees.  So if you feel you could serve as a student representative for your Degree Programme please discuss this important and rewarding role with your Programme Director as early as possible. Training is provided by the Students’ Union for Student Representatives.

The Student/Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) is the main student-focused forum for discussion of matters related to teaching.  The committee consists of the Programme Director and one student representative from each year of every Degree Programme. This committee usually meets three times during each academic year and considers questions and concerns of a general nature (rather than those specific to a particular Degree Programme). The name of the SSLC representative for your programme can be found through the Intranet. You can access the list of representatives, dates of meetings and minutes of previous meetings online at -

The Biosciences Programme Committe meets about four times a year and is open to all staff who teach on Biosciences programmes. The Biosciences Programme Committee reports directly to the UG Education Leadership Team, chaired by the Director of UG Studies. The Board consists of academic teaching staff, a final year and postgraduate taught student representative from each Degree Programme.

In the University more widely, your representation is co-ordinated by the Students’ Union. This is run by students who are elected annually, and guided by policy that is passed at referendums twice a year. The structure of the Students’ Union provides a number of different forums, groups and assemblies for students to raise any type of issue, whether specific or general. These can then be acted upon by an elected officer, taken to a referendum or you could be supported in taking an issue forward yourself, for instance with the backing of an action group on a specific issue.

The Executive runs the Union on a day-to-day basis. Executive members sit on various committees within the University, from University wide committees such as Senate (the highest academic body in the University), through to committees specific to Life Sciences.

If you wish to be a representative in the union at any level (i.e. Volunteer or paid) you can stand in the elections which usually take place in the second semester. Please visit for more information.

There is provision, therefore, for you to be represented from your specific Degree Programme all the way through to the university wide level. Students are elected to other School committees, e.g. eLearning, at the beginning of each academic year at the first Student/Staff Liaison Committee.

Unit evaluations


Towards the end of each semester, students will be asked to complete an anonymous Unit Survey about the content and delivery of each School -run unit on which they are enrolled. Unit Surveys are part of the University's commitment to listen to students and to seek annual improvements in the quality of the students’ teaching and learning experience.

The process seeks to highlight units that achieve high levels of satisfaction so that the School can identify and disseminate best practice; the process also seeks to identify units that achieve low levels of satisfaction so that the causes of dissatisfaction can be remedied. The academic staff involved in coordinating the units will review the survey results and individual comments for their specific unit(s) and are required to complete a ‘comments and response’ form to address any issues raised. Links to the forms for each unit surveyed can be found at

Action taken as a result of the issues raised in the unit surveys may also be reported back to students via the Student/Staff Liaison Committee.

Programme evaluation

During the year your Programme Director will seek your views on the year as a whole. You will have the opportunity to comment on all aspects of your year of study.

Complaints procedure

As part of its commitment to ensuring the standard and quality of its programmes of study, services, and facilities, the University has established a Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints from students. Complaints provide useful feedback information and, where appropriate, will be used to improve services and facilities.

The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at

The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation - see

Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first with the Deputy Head of School Operations (Teaching, Learning and Support), Formal complaints should be submitted on the relevant form to:

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