Educational Rights


Understanding your Education Rights

For Educational Rights Week 2020, we put together the top ten rights we think you need to be aware of during your time at Bath Spa University. While some might already be familiar to you, others might not be so obvious, and we think it's essential that you know exactly what you’re entitled to while studying. Some of these rights apply to all students but the majority apply just to undergraduate and postgraduate taught students. If you are a postgraduate research student and would like to discuss your rights, please contact your Vice President Education on [email protected] 

We’d also recommend that you download our handy information sheet for undergraduates, which includes all the same information as this page for you to store on your own device - in case you need to know your rights in a pinch.


During your time at university, you may find yourself unable to submit your work on time due to deterioration in your mental health, sudden illness or another reason out of your control. Whilst you are able to request a short extension from your module leader, this may not be adequate. If this is the case you can use your right to apply for mitigating circumstances and if approved, you will be able to submit work at a later point, with no penalty (submission will usually be the next assessment period, so if your work was due in January, you can submit it during the Semester 2 assessment period, usually around June). 

Mitigating Circumstances will usually require evidence such as a doctor’s note, though this doesn’t apply during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are unsure what evidence is needed, you can ask either the Student Information Desk ([email protected])  or the Students’ Union Advice Centre ([email protected]

Support and next steps 

You can find out more information about mitigating circumstances and how to apply here:

https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/about-us/governance/policies/mitigating-circumstances/

You can also contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre for support through the process and for advice on what evidence may be appropriate.

Your course may require you to pay additional course costs, these may be mandatory for you to successfully complete your course or they could be optional. Examples include art supplies and materials, workshop fees, and field trips. You have the right to know about these costs before you begin your course.

Support and next steps 

If you are asked to pay any additional course costs that weren’t communicated to you in advance of starting your course, you can contact your Vice President Education, Ceri ([email protected]) or the Students’ Union Advice Centre ([email protected])

As a student, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to attend a formal meeting with University staff. Examples of these formal meetings include academic misconduct panels, being asked to give evidence or to talk about your progression. Before these meetings, you are entitled to support from the SU Advice Centre and to request a SU representative to support you at the meeting.

Support and next steps 

Get in touch with our Advice Centre on [email protected].

During your time at Bath Spa changes may be made to your course. This is usually because staff believe these changes will help to improve your experience. However, students have the right to be consulted about, and in some cases to provide consent for, changes to their course. Often the students who are consulted are the Course Reps. 

Support and next steps 

If there has been a change to your course that you do not believe students were consulted about, you can get in contact with your Course Rep who can discuss with your Senior Academic Rep or your Vice President Education, Ceri. If you don’t know who your Course Rep is, contact [email protected]

When you submit a formal assessment, you have the right to receive your mark along with feedback within 15 working days, not including vacations and university closure days. Dissertations and major projects may take 30 days.  If there is a reason that it may take longer than this, the reason for the delay should be clearly communicated to you along with when you can expect your result.

Support and next steps 

If you do not get your feedback within 15 working days we recommend contacting your Course Rep who can look into this for you. To find out who your Course Rep is, email [email protected].

All students should receive appropriate support to successfully complete their studies. This includes support from your module tutors, course leaders, personal tutors, and Student Wellbeing Services. If you declare a disability to the University, you have the right to support which may include reasonable adjustments. When you declare a disability, you are invited to complete an Academic Access Plan Questionnaire. This questionnaire helps the Accessibility Team to create an appropriate Academic Access Plan for you which will include recommendations for reasonable adjustments. This may include extra time in exams, making sure the content is in an accessible format for you or alternative assessments.

The Accessibility Team in Student Wellbeing Services can also support you to access the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help cover the costs of equipment you may need for your course such as text to speech software or specialist support such as a mentor. The amount you can access through DSA will depend on your disability and how this impacts your ability to study your course.

For some disabilities, you may have to pay to get a screening before you will be able to access support but the Accessibility Team in Student Wellbeing Services will be able to advise if you need to do this. 

Support and next steps 

If you have a disability, make sure you get in touch with Student Wellbeing Services if you haven’t already done so. If you have any issues with your Academic Access Plan not being implemented properly, contact Student Wellbeing Services ([email protected]) or the SU Advice Centre ([email protected]) for advice.

 

When you begin your studies at Bath Spa you should be assigned a personal tutor. If you don’t know who your personal tutor is you can email [email protected] to find out. Your personal tutor will usually introduce themselves at the beginning of the academic year and then provide ongoing support throughout your studies. 

Support and next steps

If you are unable to make contact with your personal tutor or you are not receiving appropriate support, you can contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre on [email protected].

Consumer law can be complex and a bit tricky! It applies to the relationship between undergraduate students and universities. The university is required to provide you with accurate material information to help your decision when applying for your course, this includes course content, the full cost of the course and how the course will be assessed. This doesn’t just include written information included in the prospectus or on the university website but also includes any information shared with you during an open day. Consumer law also applies to terms and conditions which set out what you can expect from the university and what the university can expect from you. These terms must be fair, accessible, and transparent - you will have been asked to agree to these when enrolling each year. 

Support and next steps 

If you feel like any aspect of your student experience has not been what you expected,  you can get in touch with the SU Advice Centre ([email protected]) to talk through your options.

You have the legal right to be treated equally including in all decisions regarding assessments, learning conditions and progression regardless of any protected characteristic you may identify with. The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The university has an equality policy which applies to all staff and students and activities run by the university. At no point at university should you feel disadvantaged or discriminated against due to your identity.

Support and next steps 

If at any time during your time at Bath Spa, you believe you have been treated differently due to your identity, you have a number of options.  You can make a report via the University’s Report and Support tool (https://reportandsupport.bathspa.ac.uk/), you can access advice and support from Student Wellbeing Services ([email protected]) or the Students’ Union Advice Centre ([email protected]). Or you can contact any of your Sabbatical Officers https://bathspasu.co.uk/voice or the relevant Equality and Campaign Rep https://bathspasu.co.uk/voice/equality-and-campaign-reps

If something isn’t quite right on your course or your wider student experience you have the right to complain. The easiest way to raise your concerns is via your Course Rep or via Unitu https://bathspa.unitu.co.uk/board/university/42. Both allow you to raise concerns and complaints anonymously if you wish to and allows others to share if they have had a similar experience. You can also directly contact the relevant staff member about your concerns, and they may invite you to a meeting to discuss possible solutions. 

If you are unable to informally resolve your concerns through these methods, you are able to submit a formal complaint. The University is required to provide a complaints process that is accessible, clear and fair to students. You will need to complete a form where you will be asked to outline the informal steps you have already taken to resolve the issue and then to provide details of the issue itself. We strongly recommend you contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre before submitting a formal complaint. 

Support and next steps  

If you want to complain about any aspect of your university experience, you need to do this informally to start with either via your Course Rep, on Unitu https://bathspa.unitu.co.uk/board/university/42 or by contacting a relevant member of university staff. The Students’ Union Advice Centre can help you if you’re not sure where to start. 

The University’s complaints process is available here https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/about-us/policies/academic-and-student/Complaints-Policy-and-Procedure.pdf.

If you would like to submit a formal complaint, we strongly recommend you contact the SU Advice Centre on [email protected]. We can support you throughout the process and accompany you to meetings.