Academic Appeals

Students are reminded of the "Our Commitment" partnership document, which sets out the expectations of both the University and of students, in order to help ensure the best learning experience.

Purpose

To allow students to apply for a reconsideration of a recommended grade for any module or degree classification or examination.

Grounds

Students must be able to show that either there has been a procedural error or that there is new evidence concerning mitigating circumstances that was not made available to the examiners and that it could not have been produced at an earlier stage.

Appeals will not be considered against the academic judgement of the examiners or in respect of the quality of teaching or supervision prior to the examination unless the student could not reasonably have been expected to have made this a subject of a complaint before the examination.

Representations may however be made where students do not accept departmental action taken against them where they have been found to have used unfair means in the assessment process.

Process

Students must apply in writing within 15 working days of the publication of the exam results using the Academic Appeals Form below (30 working days for a graduate research student).  The appeal will then be considered by the appropriate Faculty Officer.  If they find that there is a substantive case they will either determine that the appeal be upheld or refer the matter to an Academic Appeals Committee where it will be dealt with in accordance with the established procedures (involving a reopening of the issues originally dealt with by the examiners).

Contact

Advice for Students

The Student Advice Centre can give independent advice to a student on their position. In addition, they have a suite of self-help pages on how to lodge an Academic Appeal, clear explanations for the meaning of the individual and specific grounds, and what happens after you submit an Academic Appeal.

You are strongly encouraged to read these pages before submitting an Academic Appeal. Should you need further guidance after reading the pages, you can contact the Advice Centre for an appointment with an academic adviser.

Regulations

Read  the General Regulations as to Academic Appeals for the relevant academic year in the University Calendar

Procedures

External Review

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) runs an independent scheme to review student complaints. The University of Sheffield is a member of this scheme. If the student is unhappy with the outcome they may be able to ask the OIA to review their case. Information about making a complaint to the OIA, what it can and cannot look at, and what it can do to put things right is available on the OIA website:

The student normally needs to have completed the Student Complaints Procedure before they can complain to the OIA. The student will receive a “Completion of Procedures Letter” when they have reached the end of the procedure, and there are no further steps they can take internally. The Student Advice Centre can advise on the OIA review process.

Time Limits

Students must submit their academic appeal within 15 working days (for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students) or within 30 working days (for Research students) of the publication of the exam results. If an appeal is to be submitted beyond that deadline, students must submit a Late Submission Request Form to explain why they missed the deadline, or why they couldn't contact the Student Engagement and Progress team during that time to enquire about extending the deadline.

In completing a Late Submission Request Form, students should focus on the period of time between the publication of their results, and the date they submit the Late Submission Request Form, and provide an explanation (supported by evidence if appropriate) why they were unable to submit their academic appeal by the deadline. This form is not used to present the case for appeal, but to explain actions taken during the period between receiving result(s) and submitting the Late Submission Request Form.

Once the form is submitted to the Student Engagement and Progress team, it will be forwarded to a senior member of the Faculty, to decide whether there are sufficient grounds for extending the deadline. No action will be taken with regards to the case for appeal until this decision is made. The original decision of the Examiners stands, pending consideration of the appeal. Students are therefore advised to proceed with their studies on this basis.

Students should be aware that the Faculty Officer will not see or consider the case for academic appeal itself at this stage; and as a result, we advise students not to submit their academic appeal form at this point, to allow them to focus on the reasons why they were unable to submit their appeal within the deadline.

If you are completing a Late Submission Request Form, you should explain your actions during the period between receiving your result(s) and the date you submitted your Late Submission Request form, supported by evidence if appropriate. Should the Faculty Officer agree to extend the deadline for submission of an academic appeal, you will then have 15 working days (Taught Students) or 30 working days (Research Students) to submit your academic appeal form and evidence in full.

Downloads

Download the Academic Appeals Form (PDF)

Download the Academic Appeals Form (Word)

Download Information for Students Submitting an Academic Appeal (Word)

Download Academic Appeals - Late Submission Form (PDF)

Download Academic Appeals - Late Submission Form (Word)