School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work Engagement Charter

The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is committed to maintaining and improving its delivery of the highest standards of professional service.   This charter sets out the standards of service you can expect from the School and how you may contact us.

Our Commitments to You

We will seek to ensure that all enquiries are handled with courtesy and with the minimum delay possible.

Telephone Enquiries

  • In the receptions, we will answer the phone promptly during the opening hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm.  The greeting should clearly indicate the correct School name.
  • Callers will be informed as to the name of the section and person to whom they are being transferred.
  • If we cannot provide a caller with an immediate response, their name, organisation, contact number or email address will be taken, and a return call or e-mail will be made as soon as possible.
  • Staff will maintain an updated voice mail message to inform callers if they are out of the office for any more than one working day or provide an alternative contact. We will check, respond to and clear all messages promptly within 5 working days.
  • Phones will be diverted to a main office or alternative contact, where staff are on unexpected/sick leave and cannot update voicemail
  • If the query cannot be answered by the School, we will endeavour to provide a possible alternative source of information.

Written Correspondence – email/postal

  • We will ensure that a contact name, telephone number and email address will be given with all School correspondence to ensure ease of communications, including signatures on emails.
  • We will use an out of office email auto response to inform senders if staff are out of the office for any more than one working day.
  • For all queries received by email, an initial acknowledgment of receipt will be issued within 5 working days.
  • We will provide a response to a routine query within 10 working days.
  • We will endeavour to respond to complex queries or queries requiring further research or consultation within 20 working days.  In the event that a full response cannot be given within this timeframe, we will send an interim reply indicating when a full response can be expected.
  • We will reply in a clear and simple manner, with use of technical terms kept to a minimum.

Callers to Our Offices

  • Staff will inform receptions of all events and meetings that are scheduled, and of all changes and cancellations.  Organisers should communicate all changes to attendees directly.
  • We will treat all visitors with respect and courtesy.
  • If an appointment has been confirmed in advance, we will keep waiting time to a minimum.
  • If an appointment has to be changed or is delayed unavoidably we will endeavour to communicate the change with you as quickly and directly as possible.
  • If you wish to meet with a specific staff member, it is advisable to contact them in advance for an appointment.  However, we will welcome all callers and do our best to accommodate visitors who do not have an appointment.

Classes and Coursework

  • Classes will be held on the day and times as advertised.  Only in exceptional circumstances will the day, time or venue of the class be changed. 
  • Comments/marks on assignments will normally be made available on QOL within four weeks of the specified submission date.
  • Students can expect a supportive and interested support service.

Internal Communications

  • Staff requiring support with the planning and organisation of events should give as much notice as possible and a realistic timeframe for the booking of goods and services, such as catering, car parking and rooms.  For priority and external events, the timeframe should be several weeks at a minimum.
  • If a task or communication is urgent, staff should be contacted over the phone or in person, not by email.
  • When requesting assistance, as much information as possible should be provided in the request e.g. what is needed, for whom and the purpose, the timeframe/deadline, date, duration and who is involved.  This will allow staff to respond to queries as efficiently as possible with less time required for follow up questions.  Staff will be aware, when making requests, that colleagues may have other deadlines or priorities to meet.
  • Staff should endeavour to provide a contact or out of office information if they are away during working hours, in the event of urgent queries.
  • Staff should add all relevant meetings to their diaries and ensure that apologies are sent in a timely manner prior to the meeting, and forward comments or reports for inclusion, where relevant.
  • Where possible, staff should use an electronic meeting request to invite attendees to meetings, so that responses are prompted and diaries are updated.


  • We welcome and encourage feedback on our services and the manner in which they are provided.
  • You can make a compliment, comment or complaint about the service you have received by writing to any member of our staff
  • We will handle complaints about standards of service received or decisions made in a fair, transparent and professional manner.
  • If it is not possible to resolve the complaint with the person you are dealing with, you may address your complaint to the Head of School by writing to the Head of School, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, 69/71 University Street, Belfast  BT7 1HL.
  • An acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint will normally be issued within 5 working days. We will issue a written response regarding the outcome of investigation into the complaint within 20 working days or receipt of the complaint.
  • You can view the University’s Student Complaints Procedure on the Academic and Student Affairs webpage.


  • We will incorporate the principle of equal treatment into all aspects of service delivery, with services provided in an impartial and courteous manner.

Help Us to Help You

  • You can assist the School to provide a better service by providing the student number/other reference number, a contact name, a phone number and/or an email address (if one is available) in all correspondence.
  • If you have internet access, please check the School website and University webpages as the information you require may be available.  School policies and a range of information are available on the Staff SharePoint site or on the Shared Student Resources site (accessed via the Learning Homepage on Queen’s Online).
  • Visitors calling to the offices in person are advised to arrange an appointment in advance so as to ensure that the appropriate person is available and to notify us in the event of delay or cancellation.
  • Please treat our staff with courtesy and consideration.

Contacting the School

You may contact the School:

By Email

The general email address of the School is Individual staff email addresses are available on the Our People pages.

By Telephone

The main School telephone number is + 44 (0)28 9097 5941

If you know the name of the person you wish to contact, you can telephone directly by replacing the last 4 digits of the phone number with the extension number you require.

By Post

Postal correspondence can be addressed to –

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Queen’s University Belfast

69/71 University Street




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