Find out how to submit an academic appeal if you’re a student on a taught course.
What is an academic appeal?
An academic appeal allows you to raise a concern about a decision made by your School exam board in relation to:
- assessment results
- progression to the next stage of your course
- degree classification.
This is different from a complaint, which you would raise if you were dissatisfied with an aspect of your time at Sussex.
You appeal against a decision of the exam board on one or more of the following grounds:
- circumstances which affected your academic performance, which the exam board were not aware of when their decision was taken, and which could not reasonably have been brought to their attention (for example, through an exceptional circumstances claim before the published deadline)
- an error or procedural irregularity that has a material impact on the outcome
- evidence of bias or prejudice during the assessment process.
When to appeal
You can only submit an appeal after your results have been confirmed by the exam boards and your stage results have been published through Sussex Direct.
Until then, all your marks are provisional and could change.
Exam boards meet at different times during the academic year. The table below explains when your results are published.
You must appeal within 21 days of getting your stage results.
If you are waiting for evidence to go with your appeal, submit your appeal within the deadline and tell us you’re awaiting evidence.
This table outlines when your final results are released through Sussex Direct and the corresponding appeal deadlines.
|Type of appeal||Results 2022-2023||Appeal deadlines 2022-2023|
|Resits for Masters students during the Semester One assessment period||9 March||30 March|
|End-of-year for undergraduate finalists, following Semesters One and Two||14 June||5 July|
|End-of-year for progressing undergraduates, following Semesters One and Two||3 July||24 July|
|For Masters students, following Semesters One and Two||12 July||2 August|
|Resits for undergraduates||7 September||28 September|
|Resits and end-of-year for Masters students||25 October||15 November|
If you’re a PhD student, see information about your progression through a research degree.
Appealing after the deadline
Appeals must be submitted within 21 days of your published results. See section 104 of Regulation 16 for undergraduate students [PDF] or section 72 of Regulation 21 for Masters students [PDF].
We will only consider late appeals if you provide evidence explaining why you could not appeal within the deadline – for example, due to being in hospital.
Preparing your appeal
Important: It is essential you present your case clearly and in full as your appeal will be considered solely on the basis of the case and evidence you provide.
To give yourself the best chance of having your appeal accepted, make sure you have read this guidance.
Appeals will be rejected if:
- supporting evidence is not provided – if you cannot provide evidence, you must explain why on your appeal form (we take this into consideration)
- the grounds of the appeal are not permissible – for example, you cannot appeal against the academic judgment of the examiners, defined by the OIAHE as “a judgment that is made about a matter where only the opinion of an academic expert is sufficient”; in other words, you cannot challenge a mark because you think your marker was wrong
- the outcome requested is not permissible under the examination and assessment regulations.
Typical outcomes that are permissible include the:
- waiver of a late submission penalty
- conversion of a resit for capped marks to a sit for uncapped marks
- offer of a sit for uncapped marks.
Typical outcomes that are not permissible include:
- the disregarding of marks
- an increase in a classification on the basis of exceptional circumstances
- the remarking of work.
For more information, see reasons why appeals get rejected and full details of the academic appeals process.
We therefore recommend you:
- ensure you understand the decision your School exam board made and the rationale for that decision – your School can provide you with this information and explain the examination and assessment regulations the board applied when making its decision
- look at guidance from the Support and Advocacy team in the Students’ Union – it may be the case they can provide independent advice and representation.
Making your appeal
Complete and submit your appeal with supporting evidence using our online form.
Make sure you give yourself time to review your appeal before you submit it.
After your submission
You will get an automatic acknowledgment after you submit your appeal, which you should keep.
If your appeal was submitted by the published deadline, and falls within the permissible grounds above, it will be referred for formal consideration.
Your appeal will be considered by the Chair of the Appeals Board or their approved delegate.
You’ll get a decision from us within three months. We will contact you sooner if it is a high-priority case, such as:
- requesting a resit or sit that’s not already been offered to you
- appealing to progress to the next year, or be offered a repeat year at the time of the resit period.
On rare occassions, cases can take longer than three months to resolve. We will write to you to explain the reasons for the delay, such as:
- your case is more complex
- supporting evidence is needed
- someone who is critical to resolving your case is unavailable.
If you’re not successful
If your appeal is declined, you can ask for an independent review from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.