Procedures for the Conduct of Academic Appeals

Notes on the Procedures for the Conduct of Academic Appeals established under the Regulations relating to Academic Appeals

Introduction

  1. The Regulations relating to Academic Appeals define the circumstances under which a student may appeal against a recommended grade for any module or degree classification or examination result.
  2. It is the responsibility of a student to notify their department, at the earliest opportunity, if there are any extenuating circumstances which might have a bearing on their examination performance, so that wherever possible this may be brought to the attention of the Board of Examiners at the appropriate time. It is also a student's responsibility to check their examination results.
  3. A student wishing to appeal should submit an Academic Appeals Form and any supporting evidence they wish considered to the Student Administration Service (Engagement and Progress Team). The Form must be received within the specified time limits (i.e. within 30 working days for research students or 15 working days after the publication of results for taught students).  The appeal is then passed for consideration to a Faculty Officer authorised to act on behalf of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
  4. Where it is clear that the issues being raised in the Academic Appeal have affected a number of students the University will normally allow a group Academic Appeal to be submitted.  In order to effectively manage the progression of the case the group will be expected to nominate one student to act as representative for the group.  The University will normally deal with the nominated representative and the nominated representative will be expected to liaise with the other members of the group.
  5. Students will be expected to set out the facts of their case clearly and succinctly.  It is the student's responsibility to provide evidence to substantiate the issues raised wherever possible.  Evidence should be provided in English.  If this is not possible then the student should provide an authorised transcript of the relevant document(s).  Medical evidence will need to contain the signature of the relevant health care professional(s).  Copies of original documents will normally be accepted and can be scanned but they must be in a format that can be printed and copied.  All information provided by a student as part of the Academic Appeal will be shared with the appropriate member(s) of staff within the relevant academic department and the Faculty Officer considering the case.  If after consulting with the Head of Department the Faculty Officer is satisfied that the appeal should be upheld or that no substantive case is established, the student should be notified in writing of that decision.  The University aims to deal with Academic Appeals including any subsequent Case Review Request within 90 days of receipt of the Academic Appeal.  If this is not possible, the student will be informed in writing of the progress made towards the consideration of their appeal.  Where the Head of Department has provided written comments in response to the student's appeal, a copy of those comments will normally be sent to the student at the time the decision is notified.  If no substantive case is established, then the original decision of the examiners must stand.
  6. Representations for appeal may be made where the examiners have recommended that a credit or examination result be refused or a grade reduced, in line with the Guidance on the Use of Unfair Means.  Where a substantive case for appeal is established, the Faculty Officer will recommend that the case is referred to the University's Discipline Committee for consideration under the Regulations as to the Discipline of Students.  Student Services will then inform the student about the arrangements for a discipline hearing.  The student has the right to attend the hearing, accompanied by a friend or adviser, and to put their case to the Discipline Committee, both verbally and in writing, explaining why they do not accept the departmental action taken against them.  Such cases will not be referred to an Academic Appeals Committee.  If no substantive case is established, then the original decision of the examiners must stand. 

Procedure for Referring an Appeal to an Academic Appeals Committee

  1. If the Faculty Officer decides to establish an Academic Appeals Committee (in cases where the use of unfair means is not involved), the student will be given notice in writing of that decision and invited to opt either for the appeal to be dealt with:
    (a) on written submissions or
    (b) at an oral hearing.
    A Secretary to the Committee shall be appointed.

Committee Procedure

  1. Where the appeal is to be dealt with on written submissions, the student will be required to submit these by a specified date.  The Secretary should obtain the written comments of the department on the written submissions of the student, again by a specified date.  These comments should be supplied to the student, with an invitation to submit any response to those comments by a specified date.
  2. Where there is to be an oral hearing, the student should be informed of the date, time and place of the hearing.  They should be asked to confirm in writing not later than 3 working days in advance of the hearing whether a friend or adviser will be present, and if so, to provide the name and status of that friend or adviser and an indication of whether or not they are legally qualified.  The student should also notify the Secretary at least 3 working days beforehand of the names of any witnesses they may wish to call.  The Secretary should inform the student of the membership of the Committee in advance of the hearing.  If the student objects to any member, the reasons for that objection should be provided in writing to the Secretary.  The Chair will then determine whether or not that member should be excluded from consideration of the case.  If the student objects to the Chair, the Secretary should be informed in writing and the members shall determine whether the student’s objection should be upheld.
  3. The conduct of the hearing is governed by Regulation 8.  If the student fails to attend the hearing, the Committee may, if it is satisfied that due notice had been given, proceed in the student's absence on the basis of the material available to it, or may adjourn to a later date.
  4. After the meeting of the Academic Appeals Committee, the Secretary will notify the student in writing of the decision.

Recourse to Student Complaints Procedure

  1. Where an academic appeal has not been resolved to a student’s satisfaction, they may request a Case Review in accordance with the Student Complaints Procedure.  Requests must be submitted within 10 working days of the letter of notification of the outcome to the Academic Appeal.

June 2009

Updated September 2015