Frequently Asked Questions

Our Service//

Visit About ASK for more information about our service!

How can I contact ASK?

Full information about how to get advice, including a link to our booking form, is on our 'Get Advice' page.


You can contact us for email advice by emailing You can also book an appointment to speak to an adviser by using our booking form - you can choose to have your appointment over telephone, Teams with camera, or Teams without camera.


Please don't message or call individual advisers on Teams.


If you wish to make a complaint about our service, please read our Complaints Procedure.

Who can get advice from ASK?

ASK advises all current students, except in cases of conflict of interest (please see our policies section in About ASK) or where we have previously withdrawn service from that individual. Where alternative sources of assistance are necessary or recommended, ASK will assist in finding appropriate agencies.


We will also advise potential students and recent leavers in matters relating to the University and their course, such as accommodation, complaints, and appeals.


We can advise members of staff as long as the issue doesn't involve a student. You are requested to source advice relating to employment / university matters from other organisations, such as Citizens Advice, Union representatives, or solicitors.


Please note we do not advise landlords, including student landlords.

Can ASK go with me to a meeting?

We can support you in University meetings, such as academic misconduct, disciplinaries and Fitness to Practise. We can also go with you to less formal meetings with staff where needed. If you would like our support it's really important that you give us plenty of notice or we might not be available.

Will you talk to anyone about my case without my permission?

Any information you tell us is treated in complete confidence and is not disclosed to anyone outside our Confidentiality Policy without your express permission. Please see our Confidentiality Policy for details on the very exceptional occasions where we may need to breach confidentiality and the process we would follow.



Visit our Academic section for more advice!

What can I do if something affects my studies?

If something is happening in your personal life that means you're struggling with an assignment, you can submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim to ask for an extension or ask for a further assessment attempt. Make sure you submit a claim for an extension before the deadline has passed, and within 7 days of your original deadline if you're asking for another assessment opportunity. More information is on our Exceptional Circumstances page.

I've been asked to an academic misconduct meeting, what do I do?

We have advice here on how to prepare for the different types of misconduct cases.


If you're not sure what has gone wrong, read through your essay with the Turnitin report, which you will usually have been sent, and think about whether
you have referenced properly and used your own words. Think about areas where you may have forgotten to reference.


Get in touch with ASK if you are struggling to understand what might be wrong and we can work through this with you.

I've had my progression decision and I don't understand why I have to repeat / why I've been withdrawn

We know your end-of-year results can be confusing, so we've tried to put the essential information on our Progression page to help you understand the university's decision.

I need to repeat, which option should I choose?

All students who need to repeat and haven’t already repeated will be given the option of Repeat Full-Time or Repeat Modular in their progression email. Some may also have the option to take a reassessment year.


You must tell Student Services which repeat option you’re choosing within 10 days of the email.  Your email will advise you to discuss your options with the School and support services before making a decision. It's for you to decide which option is best for you, but we've included a brief description of the differences and how they could impact you.


Repeat Full-Time

You will retake the entire year, studying the full 120 credits again.


The marks you achieved this year will be wiped clean and you will start again with first attempts – this means all the marks in your repeat year will be uncapped.


If you choose this option there will be no need to take summer reassessments.


All students get an extra 'gift' year of funding in case they need to repeat, but if you have any previous years of study or have already repeated you will not have enough funding. You may be able to claim Compelling Personal Reasons to get an extra year of funding; see our 'Compelling Personal Reasons' section.


Repeat Modular

You will only repeat the failed modules, attending classes and taking assessments.  You will start the modules again with first attempts so all marks in the repeat modules will be uncapped.


If you are choosing this option the university advises that you can still take any remaining assessment attempts over the summer, which could mean you have fewer modules to take next year.


Please note that you will be classed as a part-time student.  This means you will not need to pay the full year’s tuition fee but this could affect your Student Finance maintenance loan.  If you’d like to talk to someone about the impact of going part-time please contact ASK.


As with full repeats you will have enough funding for the tuition fees because of your 'gift' year, but if you have any previous years of study or have already repeated you will not have enough funding. You may be able to claim Compelling Personal Reasons to get an extra year of funding; see our 'Compelling Personal Reasons' section.


If you are an international student this option could have an effect on your visa, – please contact for more information.


Reassessment Year

If you have attempts remaining in all your failed modules you may be offered a reassessment year in which to take them. You would not be attending any classes during that academic year; you would only take your remaining reassessments. Your marks would be capped, unless you have first attempts granted through ECs


A reassessment year does not count as a year of study for Student Finance funding as it is treated as taking a year out. You will not be charged any tuition fees but you also won't get any maintenance loan from Student Finance.

How is my degree calculated?

We know that degree classifications can be confusing. In short, you need to have all your credits to graduate and your average module marks for your second and third years will determine which degree class you'll get.  We've written a guide on our Degree Classifications page to help you understand.

What can I do if I'm unhappy with my results?

The University has an appeals process, but appeals can only be made on the grounds of exceptional circumstances or procedural irregularity. Unfortunately, it is not possible to appeal against academic judgement or to ask for a remark without solid evidence that there has been a procedural irregularity.


Appeals must be made within 10 days of results being published, unless you have a good reason for being late, and you must use the official appeal form. We have an appeals guide to help you get started.

What can I do if I'm not happy with an appeal decision?

If you submitted an appeal against your results, or a university decision, and you're not satisfied with the outcome you may be able to take your case further.


The university has one final process you can try, called a grievance. Information about grievances is on the University website and ASK can help you with the process.


You must submit a grievance on the official form within 14 calendar days of the appeal outcome. You will need to look at the reason your appeal was rejected and think about whether the university was wrong to reject it or if there is anything you can add to your case. Look over your appeal form again to see if there's anything that might have been misunderstood or ignored by the committee.


If you decide to submit a grievance, remember to focus on why your appeal was rejected - don't just repeat your appeal or say you don't like the outcome!




I've been given my timetable but I don't understand the class locations

You're not alone! The room numbers are confusing at first but once you understand them and get used to the building names you will find it easier.


The letters at the start tell you which building to go to, for example DH means Dorothy Hodgkin, HNB means Hornbeam and LJ means Lennard-Jones. The Chancellors Building is split into three blocks (A, B and C) so they are a bit different - their building letters start with CB then have the block letter, so you will see CBA, CBB and CBC.


The first number will tell you which floor of the building. 0 is ground floor, 1 is first floor, 2 is second floor etc. Remember that the university uses the British numbering system, which is different to some other countries because it includes the ground floor - you will need to go up one floor to get to the first floor and up two floors to get to the second!


The next numbers (after the dot) tell you which room to go to on that floor. For example, CBC2.002 would mean it's in Chancellors Building (block C), second floor, room 2.


You can see a full list of building codes on the University's website.

I've been given a Parking Charge Notice (parking ticket), do I have to pay it?

It is a myth that students can ignore parking tickets on campus - students have been pursued by debt collectors and even taken to court!


You can try appealing if you believe the ticket was incorrectly given to you - Money Saving Expert has guidance to help you build a case. If you don't have a case for appealing, or your appeal is unsuccessful,  then the parking company will pursue you and the costs will increase. It's important that you engage with the company and, if you've parked incorrectly, pay as soon as you can to avoid rising costs and potentially being taken to court. The University can only intervene on rare cases.

How do I get a parking permit?

You can read about parking permits on the University website.


Please be aware spaces are limited so you must fit into one of the following groups, and even then a permit is not guaranteed:

  • Students with health issues that restrict their use of public transport
  • Registered Blue Badge Holders (although the permit is free, you will still need to apply)
  • Students registered on the Sports Centre’s Talented Athlete Programme
  • Non resident students with principal caring responsibilities ie: parent of a child in pre-school childcare or in primary school and/or registered carer for a partner or relative
  • Student society or club members who look after club equipment that has to be stored off campus
  • Students who serve in the British Armed Forces reserves
  • Campus resident students  who have to travel from the campus to their placement – where the placement is outside of a 1 hour journey radius; or starts or finishes when public transport is not operating; or starts or finishes at a time when only private transport will assist the student in meeting both placement and academic requirements
  • Students studying Music at Keele and transporting a large instrument to campus
  • Commuter students - those who live off campus with journey time over 1 hour on public transport or where the journey cannot be made by public transport.  Priority is given to those living in the family home. 



Visit our Housing section for more advice!

When should I start looking for housing?

It is a myth that all the best properties will be gone if you don’t sign up before Christmas – you don’t need to even start looking for housing for next year until the end of January at the earliest. We hold a Housing Fair every year in late January/early February, and there are many landlords looking to rent out their properties at that time; this year's fair will be held on Tuesday 30th January 2024.


Students who sign up to off campus housing too soon can experience problems that include:


Finding a more suitable place or leaving university before your tenancy starts


Tenancy agreements are legally binding agreements, meaning you usually have to pay the rent for the whole length of the contract even if you change your mind before you've moved in. We’ve seen many students who didn’t realise this and have signed up for one property then later signed up for another that they preferred, finding themselves legally bound to pay rent twice.


Changing friendships


The students who you were closest to in the first few months of your time at Keele may not be your friends by the end of the year and you could regret agreeing to live with them. Also, no one has taken and passed any exams yet, so how do you really know who will be here to move in with you next year?


Bear in mind that if you sign up for a joint tenancy you’ll all be responsible for each other’s rent so make sure you fully understand your responsibilities and are comfortable entering into this form of contract with each other. The total household rent could be around £15-20,000 for the year - you would normally take a lot of time to think about it before spending this much money on anything else!


Rushing into signing a contract without properly checking the condition of the property or the contract terms


It is important that you follow some simple steps to avoid repeating the same mistakes that other students have made; this can take some time but is well worth it. If possible, view the property in person or at least look carefully at any photos or videos and ask questions. If possible, talk to the previous tenants. Visit our Tenancy Agreement page for advice on what should/shouldn't be in your contract. We can also check your tenancy agreement before you sign it, to make sure there are no issues with the terms and explain anything you don’t understand.


Being unable to afford the full cost of living there


Take the time to make sure you can really afford the cost of living in that property. If it's more than you can afford you may fall into debt and rent arrears, which can affect your studies and mental health and may even have a long-term impact on your future. Our Bills page has a guide to living costs.

Where can I go to look for housing?

We have a House Hunting page with information on where to look and what to consider.


Remember - a tenancy is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make, so think very carefully about whether it is right for you and whether you need to sign up for anywhere now! It is a myth that all the best properties will be gone if you don’t sign up before Christmas.

What do I need to look for in a tenancy agreement?

We have a guide to tenancy agreements that includes common issues to look out for before you sign, as well as information on your rights under different types of tenancies.

I signed up for accommodation but changed my mind - can I get out of my contract?

In ASK we get many enquiries from students who want to leave their tenancies early and some who have changed their minds before they've even moved in. On very rare occasions a tenancy agreement may have a clause allowing you to serve notice to leave early, but if yours doesn't have one you can normally only be released or have the terms of the tenancy varied if the landlord agrees to it. This is still the case, even if you never moved in.


We advise students to talk to their landlord about why they want to leave and see if the landlord is willing to negotiate. Most landlords will only agree to end the tenancy early if there is a replacement tenant to take over from you - you can try advertising to students on Facebook groups, like Keele Student Life, and the Keele Studentpad message board.

What should I do when I move into accommodation?

Make sure there's an inventory and take plenty of photos of your house / room when you move in; this shows what was there when you moved in and if anything was already dirty or broken so your landlord / the university can’t blame you later and try to keep your deposit.


If you're renting privately and your landlord doesn't arrange an inventory, you can make your own. Try to get the landlord to sign it along with everyone who lives in the house - if the landlord refuses to sign, get an independent witness to sign instead.


Shelter has more information about inventories.


Make sure you tell the landlord in writing if there is any disrepair so that you won't be blamed for it later.

How do I prove I'm a full-time student for council tax purposes?

The University sends a list of full-time students to the local councils of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire East. However, we still advise contacting your local council to tell them your name is on the list and to make sure they don't send you a bill. If you're living in another council area or if there are any problems with the list you can send them a student status letter - you can find this by logging into eVision, clicking on the 'Common Actions' button on the home page, then selecting the 'My Status Letter' button. 


It is very important that you don't ignore correspondence from the council as they will keep pursuing you for council tax until they've confirmed your student status and you could still be liable for any costs the council has incurred, such as debt collectors and court fees, in spite of your council tax exemption. Make sure you contact the council as soon as possible and if you need any help you can contact ASK.


More information about council tax is on our Council Tax page.

What can I do if my landlord won't carry out repairs?

If your house is in disrepair and it's the landlord's responsibility, you should inform your landlord as soon as possible. We do not advise you to just stop paying rent - you would be in breach of contract and the landlord can take you to court to claim the rent due to the end of the fixed term, along with interest and any costs they incurred while pursuing you. 


If your landlord isn't responding or is refusing to fix the problem, you can visit our Disrepair page for advice on further letters you can send and who you can contact. You can also read more about repairs on Shelter's website.

What do I need to do when moving out?

The information below is for students who have been renting off campus. If you've been living on campus, the University has a guide to moving out of their accommodation that you can read through.


You are jointly responsible for the condition of any communal areas and if you are in a joint tenancy (rather than individual tenancies) you are also jointly liable for the condition of the whole property. 


You should leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. Make sure you clean the property thoroughly, remove all your belongings and empty the bins - your landlord can take money from your deposit to cover reasonable costs for cleaning, replacing broken items, and for removing items.


Take plenty of photos of the property to show you left the house in a good, clean condition. If you paid for any service or bought any products to help you leave the house in good condition, keep the receipts as proof.


If you're responsible for bills, contact the utility companies to let them know the final date of your tenancy. Read the meters on the final day (and keep a record), tell the company to close your account and get the final bill sent on to your forwarding address. Send proof of paying final bills to the landlord, as some won't return your deposit unless they have this proof.


Make sure you return your keys and follow any check out procedures outlined in your tenancy agreement.


Council Tax - don't get caught out!


If you're a final year student, you will start being liable for council tax from the date your course ends (this will be before your graduation ceremony).


You will then remain liable for council tax until the end of your tenancy, even if you move out early. This could mean you are liable for council tax in this area starting from early July until around August-September, depending on the official end date of your course and tenancy. It is your responsibility to contact the council to tell them you're moving out and make sure you pay any council tax you are liable for, as costs can escalate quickly if you don't pay.


What can I do with items I don't want anymore?


There may be some items that you have bought but don’t want to take with you when you leave Keele. You may choose to give some items to friends, donate them to charity, or sell them. Below are some of the different ways you can sell or donate any unwanted items:

  • The Great Donate has donation points around campus to help you give your unwanted goods to charity or for recycling.
  • You can advertise your items on eBay
  • You can advertise on Facebook marketplace
  • You may want to donate items to a local charity
  •  ‘The Emmaus Furniture Mine’ collects unwanted furniture and white goods and passes them on to people in the community who are on benefits or low incomes.

What can I do if my landlord isn't returning my deposit?

Most private landlords must register your deposit with a deposit protection scheme and send you information about the scheme within 30 days. This is a law created to make sure landlords don’t unfairly keep your money. After protecting the deposit, the landlord must also send you details of the deposit protection scheme they have used.


If your landlord isn't returning your deposit or wants to make unfair deductions, you can use the deposit protection scheme's dispute resolution service. Don’t wait too long - you can only use the scheme for 3 months after your tenancy ends.


If your landlord was legally required to protect your deposit and failed to do so, you could take them to court to claim 1-3 times the worth of your deposit. This could be useful to use against your landlord, as they may be willing to pay you back the deposit in exchange for you not taking court action.


If you were a lodger, the landlord didn't need to protect your deposit. You can write formal letters to the landlord requesting the return of your deposit and, ultimately, you may want to consider legal action to get it back.


Shelter has great, easy to read information about deposits on their website to help you, including template letters.



Visit our Money section for more advice!

I haven't got my tuition or maintenance loan yet and I need to pay for tuition or University accommodation

Get in touch with the Income Office to explain what's happened and ask for more time. They are used to students having delays with their loans and are usually willing to give extensions, but they need to hear from you!

I have no money and my maintenance loan hasn't been awarded yet

You may be able to get the basic loan payment from Student Finance while you're waiting for your income to be assessed. Ask Student Finance if you can get the non-assessed part of your loan.


You can also talk to Student Services about an emergency loan.

What can I do if I think they've calculated my loan wrong?

You can call Student Finance to find out more information, or if you set up a consent to share for us to call on your behalf we can use the practitioners' line.


If you still believe there has been a mistake you can appeal to ask for them to reconsider. Information about appealing Student Finance decisions is in this leaflet.

I'm not used to handling my own finances, do you have any advice?

Having a budget can help you manage your spending by encouraging you to set aside the money you need to cover essentials like rent, whilst showing you the amount you have leftover to spend on other things on a day-to-day basis. Visit our Budgeting page for tips.

I've run out of money, is there anyone who can help me?

The university has a hardship fund that you can apply to if you are in financial hardship. There is an application form to fill in and you need to show your bank accounts as evidence.


There are also smaller emergency loans available, but you would have to pay those back. The fund and loans are administered by Student Services and you can visit their page for more information.


More information about alternative income sources is on our Charities and Grants page.



Visit our Wellbeing section for more advice!

How do I register with a GP and dentist?

GPs and Emergency Treatment


A GP (general practitioner) is a local, family doctor who provides the main point of contact for general healthcare. If you're living away from home during term, we would advise registering with a local GP so you can access health care quickly while at Keele. You can find local GPs by using the NHS 'Find a GP' search. Consider how far away the GP is, how easily you can get there, and their opening hours. You may prefer to use Keele Practice, which is situated on campus in the Horwood area. This is the nearest practice for those living on campus and their GPs are used to seeing students and writing letters for the University.


If you become unwell  and you're not registered locally, you can still contact your nearest practice to ask for emergency treatment for 14 days - after that you will have to register as a temporary resident or permanent patient. You can read about registering for temporary medical care here. 


You can also visit an NHS urgent treatment centre for minor injuries and illnesses. You can find your local centre using this NHS search.




You don’t have to register with a dentist in the same way as a GP, you can just contact a dental practice to check if you can make an appointment, However, if you would like to receive treatment on the NHS you will need to check if the dental practice is taking on new NHS patients - you may need to join a waiting list or pay for private treatment.


You can search for a local dentist on the NHS website.

What health support is available on campus?

Keele Practice is the nearest GP surgery for those living on campus. It is situated in the Horwood area.


Well Pharmacy is in the row of shops outside the Students' Union building and can also provide some medical advice as well as filling your prescriptions.


Keele students can now access the Health Assured Student Assistance Programme (SAP). This service offers students access to support via a 24 hour confidential helpline, the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app, and online portal too. The services include mental health support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on issues including emotional and physical health, mental health, counselling, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues, and legal information. More information about Health Assured is on the Keele website.

What support is available on campus if I'm struggling with my mental health?

More information about mental health support is on our 'Mental Health' page.


The University has a free counselling service on campus, you can visit the Counselling webpage for information about their service, how to contact them, and for some great self-help resources. 


Keele students can now access the Health Assured Student Assistance Programme (SAP). This service offers students access to support via a 24 hour confidential helpline, the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app, and online portal too. The services include mental health support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on issues including emotional and physical health, mental health, counselling, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues, and legal information. More information about Health Assured is on the Keele website.


You can also talk to your GP to discuss support, which could include accessing NHS mental health services or trying medication.

Are there any organisations I can call for support if I'm struggling?


Talk to them anytime you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. 


PAPYRUS - Prevention of young suicide

Provides confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person

Tel: 0800 068 41 41


Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline

Weekdays 7pm - 2am Weekends 2pm-2am by phone 08088 002234 and by email



Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. By texting the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 you will start a conversation with a trained Shout Volunteer, who will text you back and forth, sharing only what you feel comfortable with.


Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service 

0300 303 0923


Beat - Beating Eating Disorders

Providing helplines, support & a network of UK self-help groups to help people in the UK beat their eating disorders. Tel: 0845 634 1414.


MindLine Trans+

Specific mental health helpline for trans+, A gender, gender fluid and non-binary /people wanting to talk about their gender identity for the whole of the UK.


The Dove Service

After someone dies, you may experience natural feelings of numbness, sadness, anger or feeling unable to cope.  It is also common to have difficulties with eating, sleeping, poor concentration, headaches and other physical symptoms. If you have suffered from a bereavement and feel the need to talk to someone about how you feel, Dove is a local organisation based in Hanley that can help. You can go to their website for more information and contact details.

I'm struggling to settle in to University life

For some people moving to University will feel exciting, but for many it can be overwhelming at first. University life is a big change - give yourself time to adjust and remember that other people will be having similar feelings to you even if they seem like they're having a great time. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself!


If you're feeling homesick it can be tempting to shut yourself away but this can leave you feeling more isolated. If you're not clicking with your neighbours you may find that you have more in common with people from your course. Joining a society or team will introduce you to people with a shared interest and there are also volunteering opportunities and activities such as Crafternoons you can take part in to help you meet people.