Frequently Asked Questions
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I need time away from University
It may be possible to apply for between two weeks and twelve months away from University through an Interruption of Study. We would recommend asking for advice before making an application to interrupt your study as there can be significant impacts on your study, finances and personal life.
The permitted grounds for taking an interruption are:
Financial hardship due to a change in circumstances beyond your control
Exceptional professional commitments for those studying a part-time course
Work experience relevant to your program of study
You will need to submit your application via SIMS online, explaining your grounds and attaching all relevant evidence. It is strongly advised that you speak to your Personal Tutor before submitting your application. We also recommend that you contact Student Advice to discuss the possible implications on your student finance and return to your program.
You cannot apply for an interruption during a formal assessment period. If you are going to miss any formal assessments you will instead need to submit extenuating circumstances form with evidence. Please speak to Student Advice for more information.
I need an extension on my coursework. What can I do?
The University will generally only grant extensions on coursework if students have extenuating circumstances.
Use the link below to access information and the form you need to complete to request an extension for extenuating circumstances.
I think I might fail an exam. What can I do?
If you fail an exam the University will allow you a certain number of re-sits. The number you are allowed depends on your course but is normally limited to two or three. All resit exam grades will be capped at the pass mark unless you have extenuating circumstances which have been accepted by your academic school for your previous attempts.
If you have extenuating circumstances you must report these using the extenuating circumstances by the deadline for your School. if you miss the deadline, your only option will be to report the extenuating circumstances using the appeals process. This means you will have to explain and evidence a very good reason why they did not tell the University by the deadline. If your reason for not reporting is not deemed good enough, your appeal will be rejected and your circumstances will not be considered.
Do not wait to see if you have passed before deciding whether or not to report.
Use the link below to access information and guidance for submitting extenuating circumstances.
How do I submit extenuating circumstances?
You must report extenuating circumstances directly to your academic school. This must be done at the earliest opportunity. If you submit extenuating circumstances after the extenuating circumstances deadline you will have to show good reason why you did not inform the University on time.
Use the link below to access information and guidance for submitting extenuating circumstances.
You will need to complete a form and send it to the appropriate contact within the school with any appropriate evidence.
You will need to contact your Academic School to find out the deadline for reporting extenuating circumstances as this differs from School to School.
Who do I submit my extenuating circumstances form to?
You should your form to the extenuating circumstances contact for your School. We have made a full list of extenuating circumstances contacts and added them to the extenuating circumstances section of our website for your convenience. Use the link below to find the list.
I am unhappy with my mark or grade. Can I appeal?
You have the right to challenge any summative grades or marks using the Academic Appeals Procedure if you believe there has been an error in the Board’s decision.
You can submit an appeal if you have:
received a results letter, about the assessments you wish to appeal, in the last 28 days
evidence to support your appeal (unless it is a factual error)
grounds to appeal:
Arithmetical or other error of fact in your published results
A defect or irregularity in the conduct, the written instructions or written advice relating to an assessment (either unknown to the Board or where the Board has taken inappropriate action)
Extenuating circumstances unknown to the Board where you have a good reason why you did not report/provide evidence at the time of the Board; or known to the Board where they have acted unreasonably
To appeal, you should log in to your Student Record via SIMS and click on the ‘manage/submit an appeal’ link. Complete the online form and include all of the evidence that you wish to be considered alongside your appeal.
We would encourage you to talk to an adviser in Student Advice. Use the link below to access information and guidance on the appeals procedure before you do this.
I have been accused of Unfair Practice. What should I do?
If you have been accused of unfair practice in an exam or piece of coursework you will be subject to the Unfair Practice Procedure.
We would encourage you to talk in confidence to an adviser in Student Advice.
Use the link below to access information and guidance on the Unfair Practice Procedure before you do this.
I have submitted an appeal to the University but it is taking too long to process.
Generally, the University should complete the processing of an academic appeal within 90 calendar days.
If they have exceeded this timescale, we would suggest contacting them directly to ask for an update on your case and explaining that you are unhappy with the delay.
Contoso University Student Cases
If you are unhappy with, or you do not receive a reply, there are two things you can do with respect to a delay which exceeds 90 days.
1. Follow the complaints procedure.
More information is available here: Click here. 90 calendar days for an appeal resolution is the guideline issued by the OIA Good Practice Framework, which the University aspires to comply with. Academic regulation 4.3 of the University Academic Appeals Procedure actually requires the University to inform a student of a negative outcome within 38 calendar days of submission.
I want to leave my current tenancy agreement, can I do this?
For most types of tenancy agreements, it is very difficult to leave. Quite often the only way of doing this is if you find a replacement tenant for yourself if you are in a joint tenancy.
It is always a good idea to speak to your letting agent or landlord as there may be a break clause in your contract with them. Failing this you may have a landlord who is willing to let you out of the contract. Though this is rare.
If you want to leave and need to find someone to replace you, we have a housing list where you can advertise your room and/or find a student who may wish to replace you. You can access this here.
Student Advice is happy for you to advertise your room on this list.
We would also advise that you look to advertise your room on other platforms too such as Gumtree and Spareroom. These platforms may reach a larger audience and increase your chance of finding a replacement sooner.
Something to be aware of is that often when it comes to amending a housing contract, there is a fee involved. Again this should be noted on your contract and if not, you should ask your letting agent or landlord how much this will be. Further to this, you may also wish to consider what will be happening with your share of the deposit.
My Landlord/ Letting Agent has not returned my deposit
Landlords/agents withholding deposits from students is very common. Your landlord/agent should have protected your deposit in one of three tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes.
If you have given your landlord/agent reasonable opportunity to return your deposit but they have chosen not to or have become unresponsive, you are best approaching your TDP scheme directly and requesting the deposit be returned through them. Most TDP schemes will give you three months from the end of your tenancy agreement to request the return of your deposit.
If you have confirmed that your landlord/agent has not protected your deposit in one of the three schemes then you can file for court proceedings against the landlord/agent directly and will almost certainly win.
If your landlord/agent has protected the deposit in a scheme, all you need to do is work out which one it is and follow the processes and procedures on their website to secure the return of your deposit.
The process will give the landlord/agent the opportunity to dispute the deposit return and then the process will require you to provide a written submission to dispute the landlord/agent deductions.
I am looking for accommodation but I am struggling to find somewhere
University Halls of Residence
The University has a range of residences to suit individual preferences and budgets.
Could I suggest following this link to find out more: http://www.contoso.com/study/accommodation
Private Student Halls
There are a number of organizations providing accommodation for students in Contoso. If you google search for “Contoso Student Accommodation” a number of options will come up for you.
We advise that once you have found a residence you think might be suitable to telephone them as soon as possible as most private halls will having waiting lists. The fees for a private hall of residence maybe be higher than those offered by Contoso University. The fees start at around £119 per week and are usually inclusive of Wi-Fi and fuel. You will normally sign a contract for a full academic year.
Private Rented Accommodation
An alternative to halls accommodation is to share a house with other students in the private rented sector.
In a shared house you would normally be in a joint assured shorthold tenancy with other students. This means that you and the other students will all be named on the same contract and you will share the rent with the other tenants. An important point to note with joint contracts is that you will all be responsible for paying the whole rent until the tenancy ends. For example, you find a house with four bedrooms for $1200 per month; although you each agree to pay $300 if anyone does not pay their share, all four tenants are liable for the shortfall.
Shared accommodation starts at about $270 per calendar month and the highest amount you should expect to pay would be around $350 per calendar month. It is often the case that bills are not included in the rent when sharing privately rented accommodation. We recommend you allow about £50 per month to cover the cost.
I want to leave university residences
If you have accepted the University’s offer of accommodation you have entered into a legally binding contract. Contoso University will allow you to change your mind before you collect your keys but after that, they will usually only let you out of the contract if
– you leave Contoso University
– you take an interruption of study
– you can evidence exceptional circumstances that mean you need to leave university residences
If none of the above apply to you, you can contact Residences and ask to be released from your contract but they are unlikely to agree. If they refuse you will almost certainly be bound to pay the residence fees for the remainder of the year unless you find another Contoso University student to replace you in your room.
If you are unhappy in your room/flat but happy to consider moving to a different room within university residences you can apply for a transfer. The transfer process usually opens from the end of September/beginning of October each year.
For more information please contact Student Advice.
I’ve received a fine from the council for leaving my bin out
The council will collect your waste free of charge but expect you to follow certain rules. Recycling and food waste will be collected once a week. Recycling should be placed in green bags issued by the council (also available at Contoso University Students Union) and food waste should be placed in food bags, inside the brown food bin. General waste is ordinarily collected every 2 weeks and should be placed in your black wheelie bin or the red and white striped bags depending on what the council has issued you.
Waste should not be put out earlier than 4:30pm the day before collection and bins must be brought back in no later than 9am the day after collection. Not following these rules can be classed as littering. As littering is a criminal offense, the council can issue a fixed penalty notice (a fine) of $100.
The bad news is, there is no appeals process for receiving a fine for littering. The council issue the fine or the fixed penalty notice as an alternative to court action. You can choose not to pay the fine, however, the council is likely to continue with a court action against you.
If the council proves their case, this can result in you being liable for costs that exceed the original fine of $100.
Though there is no appeal process, it is important that you dispute the fine if any of the information is incorrect. If the letter is addressed to someone who does not live at the property, let the council know. If in any doubt, please feel free to contact Student Advice.
Health & Wellbeing
Who can I speak to about mental health issues?
There are a number of services available to students who feel they are suffering from mental health issues.
Mental Health Advisers
Please access the link below to see how you may benefit from contacting mental health advisers in the university.
If you are experiencing personal, emotional or psychological issues which are impacting on your mental health, you may wish to access the universities counseling and wellbeing services.
Some of the most common things that students go to counselors to address are:
academic problems, including loss of motivation
difficulties with sexuality
loneliness, or homesickness
low, or lost, self- confidence
If you wish to speak to a counselor, please see the link below.
This is a student-led, confidential listening service which offers emotional supper and information for students in Contoso.
The line is available 8pm-8am.
General Student Questions
I have lost my Student ID card, where do I get a replacement?
If you have lost your student card you can approach the University Security Centre for a replacement. There is a small charge for lost/misplaced cards.
Contoso University Security Centre
If you have any further questions with regards to ID cards please note the contact details below.
ID Card Enquiries
Where do I go for lost property?
Lost Property in the Students’ Union
If you suspect you’ve lost property in the Students’ Union you can head to the second-floor security desk to ask if it has been handed in. You can email SSUUS@contoso.com (General Students’ Union Security Enquiries) or CorneliusD2@contoso.com (Students’ Union Concierge) or call 02920 781412.
Lost Property in the University
For lost property inquiries for the University in general (i.e. outside the Students’ Union, on University grounds) you are best directing your inquiry at University Security. Details here: ControlRoom@contoso.com
Where can I get a copy of my council tax exemption certificate?
Your council tax exemption certificate should be available for you to download via your SIMS account within 24 hours of enrolment.
If your exemption certificate is not available, or you have any questions about the certificate you can contact Student Records.
Contoso University General Enquiries
Contoso University Registry
If all of the above fails, students can visit the University Registry, 2nd Floor McKenzie House, Monday-Friday 9:00-16:30 or email PhillipsCG@contoso.com.
I need Financial Assistance
If your inquiry relates to the Financial Assistance Programme (also known as the Hardship Fund or Financial Contingency Fund) or any issue related with student finance, your best source of support will be the Advice and Money Service in Student Support within the University. The Students’ Union will always be happy to speak to you but an application for financial assistance will ultimately have to be made to Student Support, so it may be worth directing your inquiry to them. I’ve included their details below for your reference.
Student Support – Advice & Money Team
I need a bank letter
Most banks will require a letter confirming your student status to open a student account for you.
Once you have enrolled and collected your ID card, a bank letter will be available to download via SIMS online. Click on ‘Generate a bank letter’ and check your details are correct. A bank letter will then be emailed to you as a PDF.