Student Rights: Feedback

VP Education Kate Roberts is back with another student rights blog - this time making sure you know the score when it comes to feedback.

Welcome to our new mini blog series on your academic rights as a student!

At the SU we are here to represent your academic interests and improve your education, a key part of this relies on you, as students, being aware of your rights and what you should expect from your academic experience.

To ensure you have all the tools you need to successfully complete your studies, we've created a dedicated page where all my blogs will be in one place should you ever want to check back over things.

Student Rights Hub

In this blog I am going to give you the lowdown on feedback, what the expectations are of you, and what the expectations are of your lecturers.

As part of our work around representing your academic interests, the Students’ Union passed a policy at Academic Board in 2018 that focused on improving your feedback. The policy ensured all feedback is returned within a 20 working day period, is constructive and is clear about your academic performance. This was fantastic work completed by my predecessor in the VP Education role, ensuring you as students understand these rights, and allowing myself and your academic reps to lobby on your behalf if these rights aren’t being upheld.

What should I expect of my department when it comes to feedback?

  • You should receive feedback on all work you submit.
  • Your feedback should be returned to you within 20 working days or less (bear in mind working days are usually Monday to Friday but do not include bank holidays and dates when the College is closed, such as their Christmas and Easter breaks).
  • Some work will not be returned to you in 20 working days because there is a pedagogic (academic) reason, like your dissertation or final year project, but this should be made clear to you if this is the case.
  • Your feedback can come in a variety of forms, on paper, verbally, or peer to peer. All of these feedback methods are useful and can help you to improve on your work.  
  • Your feedback should be clear about your academic performance and the use of marking criteria in assessing your work. This marking criteria should have been made clear to you and have been easily accessible since the assignment was set.
  • Feedback should be constructive, it is there to help you know where and how you can make improvements.

What are the expectations of me in engaging with my feedback?

  • You should engage with your feedback as soon as you are able to, making sure you understand the comments and use it to help your next assignment.
  • You should take your opportunities to develop from your feedback, through the many forms this feedback takes (written, verbal, peer led). Get in touch with your course leader, personal tutor or other lecturers if you would like to discuss your feedback and make improvements for your next assignment. Your course leader should have advertised office hours during which you can go see them and discuss your feedback alongside being contactable via email.
  • Taking a proactive approach to your feedback will be a massive step in being more confident completing your next assignment and really help you get the most out of your university experience.

Feedback is an essential part of your educational experience, allowing you to develop your work and explore your subject. If you have not received feedback in the stated time or have other issues with your feedback you can contact your course rep, myself as VP Education or your personal tutor. 

Every student is also entitled to use our Advice Centre at the SU. They are an independent and confidential service offering impartial advice. You can email them at Alternatively you can book an appointment via the Students’ Union Helpdesk either in person or by calling 01784 276700.

Kate Roberts // Vice President Education