Academic appeals procedures

Notes on the procedures for carrying out academic appeals, established under the University's general regulations.



These regulations define the circumstances in which you can appeal against a recommended grade for any module, degree classification or examination result.

If there are extenuating circumstances that might affect your exam performance, you should let your department know as soon as possible. This will allow them to bring these circumstances to the attention of the Board of Examiners at the right time.

It's also your responsibility to check their examination results.

Making an appeal

Submitting an academic appeals form

If you wish to make an appeal, you should submit an academic appeals form to the Student Administration Service (Engagement and Progress Team), along with any supporting evidence. 

The team needs to receive the form within the specified time limits after exam results are published (30 working days for research students or 15 working days for taught students). The appeal is then passed on to a faculty officer, who acts on behalf of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Group appeals

If an issue affects several students, the University will normally allow you to submit a group appeal.

Groups should nominate one student to act as a representative. The University will deal directly with this representative, who can then pass information on to other members of the group.

Presenting your case

You should set out the facts of your case clearly and succinctly. Provide evidence to back up your claims where possible.

Providing evidence

It is your responsibility to provide all information and evidence you wish to be considered in support of your case. We do not request evidence from third parties on a student’s behalf.

All information and evidence should be:

  • directly relevant to the assessment or examination period impacted, 
  • should come from an independent third party( not a friend or family member)
  • should clearly explain the circumstances which have impacted you during the assessment or examination period in question. 

All supporting evidence should be submitted with the appeal form. However, if there is a good reason why you cannot submit evidence at the same time as the form, you should contact the Student Engagement and Progress Team using before the deadline to request an extension.

Evidence should be provided in English where possible. Otherwise, you should provide an authorised transcript of any relevant documents.

Medical evidence needs to contain the signature of the relevant health care professional(s). Scanned copies of original documents, rather than photographs of documents are preferred.

It is important that the evidence you provide is genuine, accurate and verifiable. If you provide false or misleading information or evidence/documentation, this can result in the termination of your academic appeal, and disciplinary action and sanctions, including expulsion from the University, in line with the Student Discipline Regulations.

Photographic images and videos are not normally accepted as evidence as they can not be verified, for example:

  • Graphic images of injuries/infected body parts/skin irritations.
  • X-rays/scans.
  • Body fluids.
  • Injured or dead animals.
  • Ill relatives or other persons
  • Packets of Medication(without the student’s details and date of issue)/test kit results

Any information you provide as part of an academic appeal will be shared with:

  • appropriate members of staff within your department
  • the faculty officer considering the case
  • other University services, where appropriate

Please note that in the case of medical evidence we may verify this evidence with the medical practitioner or institution concerned. Therefore, if the medical evidence does not contain clear contact details for the issuing medical practitioner or establishment please provide the email, phone number and address. We may use this information to carry out verification checks on the evidence you have provided, and we may revert to you for further information in order to facilitate this.

When a decision is reached

When the faculty officer decides that the appeal should be upheld, or that no substantive case is established, you'll be notified in writing.

The University aims to deal with academic appeals, including any subsequent case review request, within 90 days after receiving the academic appeal. If this isn't possible, you'll be kept up to date with news on how your appeal is going.

If the head of your department provides written comments in response to your appeal, you'll be sent a copy when the decision is made.

If no substantive case is established, then the examiners' original decision must stand.

Representations for appeal

If the examiners have recommended that a credit or examination result should be refused or a grade should be reduced, you can make representations for appeal in line with the guidance on the use of unfair means.

If there is a substantive case for appeal, the faculty officer will refer it to the University's Senate discipline panel. Student Support Services will then inform you about the arrangements for a Senate discipline panel.

You have the right to attend the panel, and you can bring a friend or adviser. You'll be allowed to present your case to the panel, both verbally and in writing. Such cases will not be referred to an academic appeals committee.

If no substantive case is established, then the examiners' original decision must stand.

Academic appeals committees

The faculty officer might decide to establish an academic appeals committee in cases where the use of unfair means is not involved. You will be given notice in writing and invited to choose whether the appeal is based on written submissions or at an oral hearing.

We will appoint a secretary to oversee the committee.

Written submissions

If you choose to base your appeal on written submissions, you will be asked to submit these by a specified date. The secretary will then ask your department to present their comments, also by a specified date.

You'll be supplied with a copy of these comments, and invited to make a response.

Oral hearings

If you choose to base your appeal on oral hearings, you will be informed of the date and time that the hearings will take place.

If you wish to bring a friend or adviser, you should say so in writing no later than three working days before the date of the hearing. You should provide the name of each person you wish to bring, and say whether or not they are legally qualified.

You should also give the secretary the names of any witnesses you wish to call.

Committee membership

The secretary should inform you who will be on the committee before the hearing takes place.

If you object to anyone being on the committee, you should give your reasons to the secretary in writing. The committee chair will then determine whether or not that member should be excluded from consideration of the case.

If you object to whoever is serving as chair, you should give your reasons to the secretary in writing so the other members of the committee can decide how to proceed.

Attending hearings

If you don't attend the hearing, the committee may decide to proceed without you if they feel you were given due notice. Otherwise, they may postpone the hearing to a later date.

After the committee has made a decision, the secretary will notify you in writing.

Case review requests

If you aren't satisfied with the outcome of an academic appeal, you can request a case review, per the student complaints procedure.

You must submit a request within 10 working days of receiving your letter about the outcome of your academic appeal.

Late submission of extenuating circumstances through an academic appeal

You should notify your department of any extenuating circumstances affecting your ability to engage with your course at the earliest possible convenience.

Presenting extenuating circumstances later, through the academic appeals process, will take time to conclude and offers no guarantee that a mark or award will be changed.

An academic appeal is unlikely to be upheld without:

  • evidence to support any claims you make (eg medical evidence)
  • detail and evidence to support why you couldn’t submit an extenuating circumstances form at the correct time

We won’t consider the following as valid reasons for academic appeal:

  • You submitted late because you didn’t feel comfortable notifying your department of your circumstances prior to the relevant meetings/boards.
  • You wanted to await your results before presenting this information.

The process is confidential, but your academic appeals form and any supporting evidence will be shared with:

  • your Head of Department(s) or delegate
  • other University staff whose input is deemed necessary to consider your case
  • a Faculty Officer and the administrators of the process

An extenuating circumstance form will only be seen by a small number of staff in your department.

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