On this page, you’ll find guidance about completing the academic appeal form, including explanations of the different rights and grounds that you need to establish when submitting an appeal.

Things to consider before submitting your appeal form

In the first instance, you should talk the matter through with an appropriate person in your school/department. These discussions can be beneficial to help you understand the reasons for the decision made and the applicable university regulations and may enable your concerns to be resolved informally.

You might also wish to take advice from Students' Union Advice before completing the form. They provide an impartial service to help you understand the appeals process.

Appeals will only be accepted if submitted within one calendar month of the notification of the decision against which you wish to appeal (or publication of results in the case of classification appeals). Appeals submitted outside these timescales will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances and where there is good reason, supported by evidence, for the late submission. Making a rushed submission without understanding the background or appreciating the prospects of success is unlikely to be the best approach, so you are encouraged to seek guidance as soon as possible.

You can only appeal a final decision, not a provisional outcome. Usually, Student Services will communicate final decisions in writing to students by email. Including this email with your appeal submission will help speed up the triage of your appeal.

Only written cases made using a fully completed academic appeal form will be accepted.

If you wish to request any adjustments to enable you to access the procedure effectively, please contact the Investigations and Resolution team.

Completing the appeal form

Section 1 - the right to appeal

Decisions that can be appealed against

The conditions imposed and/or the requirement to take reassessment(s) to progress to the next stage of a taught course/phase of research study

For example, you have failed an assessment and are required to take the assessment again before being able to progress to the next stage of a taught course.

A decision to terminate a student’s current programme of study

This includes students whose programme of study is terminated but who are offered a transfer to another taught course or research degree.

This right would apply when you have received notification that there are no further assessment attempts available to you and your studies are being terminated without an alternative, lower award being made.

A classification decision

In addition to appeals against the class of Honours degree awarded, this also includes appeals against the classification of postgraduate awards and of other undergraduate awards. For impact on future classification decisions, please refer to the Academic Appeals Policy, section 4.

This right would apply when you have been notified of your degree classification at the end of your studies, or if you have received a progression decision which confirms that you have met the progression requirements of the course but you didn't make the university aware of serious circumstances affecting your study before a progression examination board made its decision. You'll need to demonstrate compelling reasons why you were unable to make the university aware of circumstances prior to the Examination Board decision e.g. reasons associated with a disability or medically-evidenced incapacity to engage with procedures.

A decision not to award the qualification for which a student is registered

This relates to decisions made at the end of a student's taught course or research degree and includes appeals against decisions not to award any qualification or to award a lower qualification.

This right would apply when you have received notification that there are no further assessment attempts available to you and you are being recommended for an award other than for the one for which you first registered.

A decision of a University Fitness to Practise Committee or Practice Assessment Panel

This is relevant to students on professional courses who have been the subject of Fitness to Practise procedures.

You will have attended a formal Fitness to Practise Committee meeting and received written notification of the outcome which includes, for example, undertakings, conditions, suspension or termination of studies.

The outcome of an extenuating circumstances claim

You must have received an email from Student Services advising you of the outcome of your claim. This does not include you being informed that your claim has not been considered because it was made after an Examination Board’s decision.

If you’ve had an EC outcome but now have new evidence available to support the claim, provided the relevant classification or progression Examination Board has not met (usually at the end of an academic session), it should first be submitted for consideration by your school/department with an explanation as to why you could not submit it at the time of making the original claim.

Your school/department will then issue you with a new outcome letter in respect of your claim. If you submit an appeal before your school/department has the new evidence and before the Examination Board has met, your appeal will be closed.


Section 2 - the grounds for appeal

Circumstances that can be appealed against

Procedural irregularity: that parts of the documented assessment procedure were not applied correctly and this disadvantaged the student significantly enough to have materially affected the decision made, rendering it unsound.

This is important and could be a Quality Manual regulation or information found in a course handbook, for example. In Section 3 of the form you will need to demonstrate how you have been materially disadvantaged by the procedural irregularity. A procedure can be breached without a student being disadvantaged so you will need to be clear about the adverse impact on you.

Please detail the specific procedure which you consider has been breached. Including a link to the procedure is also helpful.

Prejudice or bias: that prejudice or bias on the part of one or more of the examiners took place and can be proven or there are reasonable grounds to support the perception of prejudice or bias and this disadvantaged the student significantly enough to have materially affected the decision made, rendering it unsound.

For grounds of this nature, you will need to be able to provide evidence of specific circumstances and to describe when and how has this resulted in a material disadvantage.

Manifestly unreasonable: the decision making body took a decision which no reasonable person would find comprehensible. You must provide substantive argument as to why this is the case.

You believe that a fair-minded observer would not understand the decision made.

The following ground is only applicable if you have not already submitted an extenuating circumstances claim. Please refer to section 4.4 of the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure for further information.

Performance in assessment was affected by extenuating circumstances (EC):

The student’s performance was materially affected by circumstances and there is new evidence of these circumstances which was not, and could not have been, made available to the Board of Examiners at the time of its original decision.

If you were aware of the circumstances affecting your performance and could reasonably have been expected to make an EC claim before the Examination Board’s decision, you will not establish grounds for appeal. Reasons why the circumstances weren't raised and new evidence was not made available could include mental or physical ill health (for which supporting evidence exists) which prevented you from making an extenuating circumstances claim before now.

Remember that you are responsible for ensuring that you inform the university promptly of any circumstances that you consider are affecting your ability to study and/or undertake assessment. An appeal handler will expect to see evidence that you notified the university of circumstances at the time of impact and that the supporting evidence is only now available.


Section 3 

Student's summary

As stated on the form, this section is critical. There is some information already on the form but you should also:

  • Be aware that the case handler will have no prior knowledge of your circumstances, so all relevant information needs to be included in your summary.
  • Think about the structure and perhaps take the points you wish to make in turn so that your case is clearly set out and your concerns are easy to understand.
  • Remember to attach a copy of the email or letter to you confirming the formal decision you are appealing.
  • Consider providing a timeline of events, which can be really helpful to demonstrate what happened and when.

Section 4 

What outcome are you hoping for?

It’s helpful to be specific about the outcome you are seeking. Examples could include:

  • I would like another attempt at the assessment
  • I would like my resit marks to count as my first sit marks
  • I would like the late submission penalty to be removed
  • I would like to resit the whole academic year.

The university can't increase the marks you were awarded for a piece of work (other than by removing a late submission penalty) or lower a prescribed pass mark. Your case also needs to be considered in the context of the regulations that apply to your course of study or of visa and immigration rules, if applicable.


Section 5 

What documentation should you include?

When submitting your appeal, please include as much evidence as possible at the time of submission. These are some of the types of evidence we often receive:

  • The notification of the decision against which you are appealing
  • Evidence of the attempt to resolve the issue(s) informally with the school/department
  • Copies of relevant emails
  • Extracts from handbooks
  • Extracts from regulations
  • Extracts from webpages
  • Medical evidence
  • A copy of your support plan (if you have one)

The university reserves the right to take such steps as are deemed necessary to verify the evidence submitted without prior notification. Where the university is unable to authenticate the material to its satisfaction, the appeal may be rejected. The university reserves the right to request sight of original documents, if necessary.

If there is evidence that a student has fraudulently presented documentation to the university, the matter will usually be referred for consideration under the university’s academic misconduct regulations and, where applicable, the university’s Fitness to Practise Procedure.

If you are submitting an appeal against the outcome of an extenuating circumstances claim, please ensure that you include:

  • A copy of the form you submitted and supporting evidence, including submission dates
  • A copy of the outcome letter/email in respect of the claim and any additional correspondence regarding the claim.

What will happen with my appeal once I submit?

Your appeal will be triaged and given initial consideration by a case handler. This will involve initial assessment of your concerns by, for example, evidence being requested from a school/department, support service or yourself.

It’s important that you understand that in submitting this form, you are giving your consent for the form and supporting evidence to be disclosed to relevant university staff responsible for the consideration of the appeal.

You will be provided with an outcome letter (by email) and notified of next steps available to you.

The form and associated documentation and correspondence will be kept on your university record.