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Making an academic appeal

Find out how the academic appeal process works and how to submit an appeal.

What you can appeal

There are different kinds of appeal, depending on your course, where you are in your studies and the specific decision that has affected you.

The different appeals cover:

You submit an appeal by filling in a form by the relevant deadline.

Important: An appeal is where you raise a concern about an academic outcome. This is different from making a complaint about the University or reporting an incident involving another student. Don’t use the appeal stage to raise concerns about academic support or the quality of teaching; raise these with your School so they can be addressed and taken into account at the time. Your School will then make any necessary allowance.

What you cannot appeal

Important: You cannot appeal against a matter of academic judgment, such as a specific mark awarded to you or the feedback you have been given.

If you’re unhappy about a mark you have been given, speak to someone in your school. This could be your tutor or school office.

Ask for feedback or clarification about the mark you’ve been given. This can help you with future work.

See more about getting marks and feedback and how your work is marked.

In addition, you’re not able to request an outcome that’s contrary to our assessment rules and regulations.

Example: As an undergraduate student, you can’t ask to progress to the next stage of your course if you haven’t achieved 90 credits, a 40% uncapped stage mean and been given compensated credits or allowed to trail credit into the next stage of your studies.

See the full list of reasons why an appeal may be rejected.

How appeals are considered

If you decide to submit an appeal, this will not result in a lowering of a specific mark you received or your final degree classification.

Any information you provide in the course of an appeal will only be disclosed with University staff where this is directly relevant to your case.

Your appeal will be considered in line with our Equality and Diversity Policy.

Gathering information

If you submit an exam and assessment appeal, you’ll get an automatic acknowledgement by email once you fill in the form.

For other appeals, we will normally contact you within five working days.

We will then gather the information we need.

This could be:

  • further clarification from you, such as extra details
  • University records, such as your marks or an exceptional circumstances claim
  • guidance from relevant staff.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have provided full information and supporting evidence to substantiate your grounds for appeal.

Once we have gathered the information we need, we will tell you if there is sufficient evidence for your appeal to be upheld or if you have not established a sufficient basis for the appeal to be considered.

See reasons why an academic appeal might be rejected.

If there is not enough evidence, the chair of the appeals board may ask you for more information or, in rare cases, arrange an appeals panel hearing.

In most cases, a decision is made by the chair on the basis of the evidence available or in accordance with criteria pre-agreed by the chair. They have the authority to determine a remedy appropriate to the circumstances.

You will be notified in writing as to whether your appeal is upheld or rejected. If it’s rejected, you will be given an explanation in writing outlining the reasons.

How long it takes to consider an appeal

The maximum time to let you know the outcome is three months.

In the vast majority of cases we will let you know much sooner than this, especially in high-priority cases such as when you:

  • request a resit or sit that’s not already been offered to you
  • appeal to progress to the next year or be offered a repeat year at the time of the resit period.

In any case that takes longer than three months to resolve, we will explain in writing the reasons for the delay.

Reasons include where:

  • your case is more complex
  • supporting evidence is needed
  • someone who is critical to resolving your case is unavailable.

Deadlines

There are different deadlines depending on what it is you want to appeal.

For the specific deadlines, see the different kinds of appeal.

Our deadlines exclude bank holidays, minimum service days and exceptional closure days (for example, due to snow).

Submission requirements

You cannot appeal in relation to a previous academic year, because there are deadlines for each year.

An appeal submitted after the deadline can only be accepted if there are strong and valid reasons for doing so.

These are not valid reasons:

  • not knowing the appeals procedure or deadline
  • getting your results late because you did not tell us your current address or email
  • personal arrangements – you are expected to take responsibility for managing these so you meet the deadlines.

It is your responsibility to identify any possible grounds for appeal within the stated deadline.

It is not possible to introduce new grounds, or request a further remedy, after submitting your appeal.

Translations

You must submit your appeal, including any supporting information or evidence, in English.

It’s up to you to translate any documents in other languages into English.

The translation must be completed by an independent person or agency. They must provide their contact details to confirm the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original source.

In most cases, you’ll need to submit your appeal online.

If your appeal is bulky or there are a large number of attachments (or these are not possible to access), you may need to provide a hard copy. We will contact you if this is the case.

Financial matters

We don’t provide financial remedies, such as payments, as part of the appeals process.

This is because appeals only review academic outcomes, not more general financial issues.

Find out how to make a complaint about the University.

Independent review

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal, you can request an independent review.

See more from Academic appeals