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Academic Problems

Third Level Education is a big commitment. Spending three to four years or sometimes more in an Institute like MTU is a big under-taking. Like anything in life it’s not always going to be plain sailing!

So, in a nut-shell what options are open to students should they have an issue/a grievance with their lecturer or the way their course content is being delivered?

Resolving things locally, where at all possible, is usually a good start. In general we would suggest following the below steps:

  1. If it’s an individual issue, talk it through with the lecturer in question, don’t go in with all guns blazing, most matters can be solved very quickly by just talking things through.
  2. If it’s a general issue across the board in the class perhaps consult your class rep, and ask them to approach the lecturer in relation to the matter on behalf of the class.
  3. If the response from the lecturer is unsatisfactory the next port of call is the course coordinator, who will try to work through it with you/the class and may if necessary refer the matter onto the Head of Department.

Note: At any stage of this suggested process, MTU Cork SU’s Vice President Education may be consulted for advice and guidance in relation to the issue in question.

MTUs Student Grievance Procedure:

The Student Grievance Procedure provides a mechanism for students to resolve grievances internally. It should be recognised that the majority of grievances should be resolved as near to their source as possible.

The following are examples of key matters that may fall within the scope of this Procedure:

  •  Student grievances against members of staff of the Institute in relation to bullying and harassment.
  •  Student grievances in relation to discrimination by the Institute or members of staff.
  •  Student grievances in relation to the delivery of academic programs and courses of study by the Institute or members of staff.
  •  Student grievances relating to the professional conduct of members of staff.
  •  Student grievances relating to student services, academic or non-academic.
  •  Student grievances relating to Institute facilities.


The post of Student Ombudsman is a part-time one, tenable for a period of three years and renewable once only. The holder will be an experienced member (or retired member) of the academic staff who is familiar with the workings of the Institute and will report directly to the President of the Institute. The purpose of the post of Student Ombudsman is to advise and assist students with the resolution of difficulties, complaints or grievances involving staff or services of the Institute in an informal manner and as quickly as possible. The services provided for by this post are complementary to a range of existing student services and the Student Ombudsman may refer relevant student issues for resolution by those services as appropriate. While students are encouraged to avail of this Procedure and will be provided with all necessary support, it should only be invoked in the case of legitimate grievances.

In short, the primary roles of the Student Ombudsman in regards to the Student Grievance Procedure are:

  • To provide advice to students in relation to workings of this Procedure
  • To act as a colleague or mediator at the informal stage of the Procedure
  • To convene the Grievance Review Panel

The Student Ombudsman does not have authority to make any decisions as to whether a complaint should be upheld or not, or to take any action where a grievance is upheld or dismissed.

For further information on MTU Student Grievance Procedure & a detailed role of the Student Ombudsman, the entire document approved by the Governing Body of the institute is available here:

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