See how to submit a complaint relating to the recent period of industrial action (summer 2023).

Submitting a complaint

Find out how to submit a complaint relating to the period of industrial action associated with:

  • the 2023 marking and assessment boycott and,
  • if you have received provisional results and have missing marks.


Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this current period of industrial action.

As you will be aware, the trade union representing some university staff (University and College Union / UCU) is currently taking action in universities across the country, including Sussex.

Some UCU members are taking part in a form of industrial action known as ‘action short of a strike’ (ASOS). UCU called on their members to take ASOS in the form of a marking and assessment boycott from 20 April 2023. This period of ASOS may potentially continue, based on current information, until 30 September 2023. Staff who choose to take part in the marking and assessment boycott will not undertake marking and associated assessment activities, including invigilation and the processing of marks.

See further information and updates concerning this period of industrial action.

Responding to your concerns 

The University’s priority is to ensure that any disruption is minimalised and mitigated as much as possible for our students.

However, we understand that some students may wish to submit a formal complaint relating to this period of industrial action.

Consequently, we have therefore launched a bespoke procedure for such concerns to be considered. This bespoke procedure is designed to ensure swift responses to your concerns. This is with the objective of reducing any further disruption experienced as much as possible.

Industrial action (summer 2023) complaints procedure

This procedure will consist of two tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2 (if applicable).

Any responses submitted to this scheme will respond to the marking and assessment boycott 2023 only. Any matter raised that is not associated with this industrial action period is likely to be referred to alternative university procedures/policies for consideration.


Concerns considered under this procedure must be received in accordance with the below timeframes. Where a student submits their concern early, they will be required to resubmit their concerns at the appropriate time.

A University of Sussex student may submit a concern under this procedure as outlined below: 

Procedure for submitting a concern
Student statusFirst date of eligibility Last date of eligibility*
Undergraduate finalist students 19 June 2023 7 July 2023
Undergraduate continuing (progressing) students 5 July 2023 25 July 2023
Postgraduate taught students 17  July 2023 4 August 2023

*until midnight of the stated date.

For Postgraduate research students, you are eligible to submit your concern/s under this procedure for 15 working days from 5 July 2023, and, where you have received confirmation from the Student Administration Office confirming that you have been impacted. Any postgraduate research student who believes they have been impacted and not received confirmation should contact the Student Administration Office, where confirmation will be provided (if applicable) and referral to this procedure will take place.

If you submit a complaint after the above stated timeframes, it is likely that the University will issue you with a letter explaining that you are out of time.

The University reserves the right to consider concerns outside the published timeframes at its discretion.

Tier 1 – Assessment stage

On 19 June 2023, an online form was made publicly available to all students to submit their concern/s regarding this period of industrial action. The last deadline has passed to submit a Tier 1 request.

All students who submitted an on-time Tier 1 assessment will receive an outcome at the earliest opportunity or have already done so.

If you have any queries regarding the Industrial Action (Summer 2023) complaints process you can contact If you submit a complaint outside of our time limit it is likely that the University will issue you with a letter explaining that you are out of time.

Tier 2 – review stage

We hope that the Tier 1 outcome provided to students addressed their concern/s. In the event that a concern remained, students were eligible to request a review of their Tier 1 outcome under any of the three grounds below (if applicable).

The Tier 2 review was not a re-assessment of a student's concern/s. It considered ongoing concerns on three grounds.

These were:

  • there were procedural irregularities in the assessment of the complaint, and, this irregularity had a material effect on the outcome
  • there was new evidence that can be presented now (which wasn’t available at the earlier stage), and, you were unable to reasonably provide this sooner
  • the outcome of the assessment is unreasonable based on the weight of the evidence.

A student was eligible to request a review on any of the above applicable grounds for 15 working days, from receipt of their Tier 1 outcome.

The deadline for all students eligible to request a Tier 2 review has now passed.

If you have any queries regarding this scheme you can contact If you request to submit a Tier 2 review outside the time limit specified in your Tier 1 letter it is likely that the University will issue you with a letter explaining that you are out of time.


You can get advice and support about your complaint from:

Completion of Procedures

You will get a Completion of Procedures document when we have reached a point where we cannot pursue your complaint any further.

The University’s decision on this is final.

You can use your document to request an independent review.

Independent review

If you have exhausted our complaints process, or you have received a Completion of Procedures document, you may wish to contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).

The OIA provides an independent scheme for the review of university student complaints and appeals.

Other appeals and complaints

This process should not be used if you wish to appeal a final mark or assessment result.

For this, read about our process for academic appeals. You have 21 calendar days from the publication of your final results to submit an academic appeal.

You can also raise concerns and complaints about anything else you feel has gone wrong by reading our complaints procedure.

See more from Industrial action at Sussex.

See more from Industrial action at Sussex