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 Academic Appeal - guidance on completing the form


We hope the following information will be helpful to you when completing the form.

  • In the first instance, you should talk the matter through with an appropriate person in your School or Department, which may result in the matter being resolved informally. These discussions can be beneficial to help you understand the reasons for the decision made and the applicable University regulations.  You might also wish to take advice from a Students' Union Education Adviser before completing the form (by telephone on 0115 8468730 or by email at SUAdvice@nottingham.ac.uk). There are timescales for the submission of an appeal, but making a rushed submission without understanding the background or appreciating the prospects of success is unlikely to be the best approach.

  • Please be aware that appeals will only be accepted if submitted within one calendar month of you receiving notification of the decision against which you wish to appeal (or publication of results in the case of classification appeals).  Appeals submitted outside this timescales will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstance and where there is good reason, supported by evidence, for the late submission.

  • 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.

Should you wish to request any adjustments on the basis of a disability which will enable you to access the procedure effectively, please contact the Complaints and Conduct team by emailing academic-appeals@nottingham.ac.uk.

Before submitting your academic appeal form, please refer to the information in the tabs below.

The types of decisions that you wish to appeal against:Further Information

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.

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.

When you have been notified of your degree classification at the end of your studies.

In addition, if you didn't make the University aware of serious circumstances affecting your study before a progression Examination Board made its decision but you have met the progression requirements of the course. As usual, you need to submit your appeal within one month of the marks confirming progression being published. You'll also 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.

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 the School with an explanation as to why you could not submit it at the time of making the original claim.

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

 
The types of decisions that you wish to appeal against:Further Information

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 9 of the Extenuating Circumstances procedure for further information.

Performance in assessment was affected by extenuating circumstances: circumstances that materially affected the student’s performance, for which supporting evidence exists, and these were not known to the Board of Examiners at the time the decision was made and the student, for good reason, could not have made them known to their School/Department before the decision.

 

 

 

You must be able to demonstrate ‘good reason’. 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.  Good reason could include mental or physical ill health (for which supporting evidence exists) which prevented you from making an extenuating circumstances claim before now.  

 

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

Please be aware that the Case handler will have no prior knowledge of your circumstances, so please ensure that all relevant information is 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.

A chronology can be really helpful to demonstrate what happened and when.

 

When submitting your appeal, please include as much evidence as possible at the time of submission, examples of which are:

  • 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 applicable)

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.

 

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), neither can it 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.

 

 

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.

 

Download the Academic Appeal Form