Academic Appeals - Frequently Asked Questions

Submitting an appeal

I have received my results and they aren’t what I was expecting, what do I do?

If you believe that there has been an administrative error in your results you should contact your module leader to discuss your concerns. For all other concerns you should speak to the advice zone.

Each campus advice zone runs results surgeries to offer students the opportunity to discuss their end of year outcomes at results days. This is early resolution; we advise that all students attempt early resolution prior to submitting an appeal.

I have spoken to the Advice Zone/ the relevant academic member of staff and it hasn’t been possible to resolve my issues. I believe that I have a valid appeal, how should I submit one?

If you have tried to resolve your issues though early resolution you should submit an appeal form and supporting evidence to the Student Casework Unit within 10 working days of your results being published. You can find the form on the Student Casework Unit’s web page.

Appeals can be submitted on the following grounds:

a) Material procedural defect or irregularity which is relevant to the outcome of the academic decision.

Students must demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • there has been an administrative error
  • proper process has not been followed in relation to the assessments
  • there were defects in the advice provided in relation to assessments
  • an academic decision was not arrived at in accordance with the regulations of the course.

b) Unconsidered extenuating circumstances*

Students must demonstrate that they had unforeseen exceptional personal circumstances, outside of their control, which significantly affected their performance and, which supported by evidence, were not made known prior to the award and progression board through the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations.

What evidence do I need to provide?

If you are appealing on the grounds of incorrect advice relating to an assessment you should provide copies of documentation and correspondence which identifies the inaccurate advice i.e. emails from your lecturer.

If you are applying on the grounds of personal circumstances you will need to provide independent evidence that confirms:

  • the circumstances,
  • the impact on your ability to study and how long your ability to study was affected
  • the impact on your ability to submit an extenuating circumstances claim

Where a student has sat an assessment and therefore confirmed that they are fit to sit, the evidence will need to demonstrate that a student’s judgement was impaired.

Further information on acceptable evidence is available in the appendix of the appeals regulations. If you need advice on what evidence to include you should contact your Advice Zone or the Student Casework Unit.

If I submit a complaint and an appeal at the same time how will the University manage this?

If the complaint and appeal are unrelated they will be dealt with under the separate relevant regulations.

Where part, or all, of the complaint and appeal are related the University will consider all the information presented. Please note that it might take the University longer than the deadlines set out in the regulations to deal with the issues raised. The University will ensure that you are notified throughout any investigations of the status of the issues you have raised.

I had extenuating circumstances earlier in the year but didn’t submit a claim as I wanted to wait for my results. Can I appeal?

Students should submit extenuating circumstances during the year, as the circumstances arise. Appeals should not be submitted if you do not have evidence as to why you missed the published extenuating circumstances deadline.

Sensitive personal, family or cultural reasons will not be accepted as good reason as to why your circumstances were not made known previously.

I worked really hard on my assignment but I didn’t get the mark I think I deserved. Can I appeal?

Appeals cannot be submitted based on the disagreement with the academic or professional judgement of the assessment board.

‘Academic and professional judgement’ means the mark awarded by the assessor and includes assessing a specific piece of work, and/or reaching a decision on a student’s progression, or on the final level of the award, based on the marks, grades and other information relating to the student’s performance. The University has a robust system in place to assess students’ work, which includes internal moderation. This means that more than one person makes a decision about the mark that you have received and checks that the marking criteria has been applied correctly. An external examiner is also involved in the moderation process. If you are unhappy with the mark you have been awarded you should speak to your lecturer to get further feedback. The feedback should help you understand how the mark was arrived at.

Can we submit a group appeal? How do we do this?

Yes, you can submit a group appeal. You will need to nominate a spokesperson from your group. They should complete the Stage 1 Appeal Form and gather all the relevant evidence. There is also Group Appeal Consent Form, which should be completed. All members of the group need to sign this form. The nominated spokesperson should submit the Group Appeal Consent Form, the Stage 1 Appeal form and all relevant evidence to support the appeal to the Student Casework Unit within 10 working days of your results being published.

Do you accept appeals from third parties?

Whilst the University expects students to submit appeals themselves it is appreciated that there may be valid reasons where an appeal may need to be made by a third party. If this is the case the reason for the third party submitting the appeal should be provided, along with any evidence and written authorisation that the student has agreed for the third party to act on their behalf.

I am a student at a partner institution; can I use the University’s appeals regulations?

Yes, the appeals regulations apply to all students enrolled at the University on taught courses whether they are taught on campus or through an arrangement at a partner institution.

The information I am providing is confidential, who will it be seen by?

The information will only be provided to the appropriate members of staff. The University won’t disclose any information to third parties regarding investigations and outcomes from student appeal cases unless legal exceptions under the Data Protection Act apply or you have given the University written authority to do so.

If you have any concerns regarding disclosure of information detailed within your appeal you should contact the Student Casework Unit.

End of year outcomes

I am due to graduate. Can I still attend my graduation ceremony if I submit an appeal?

You should speak to the Advice Zone(Advice Zone)”:http://unilife.southwales.ac.uk/pages/3024-advice-zones” if you wish to attend your upcoming graduation ceremony. However, if your appeal is still in progress at the time of your graduation ceremony you will not be able to attend that particular ceremony as attendance would indicate agreement with the award you have been given. Once your appeal has been completed, if eligible, you will be able to attend the next available graduation ceremony.

I have been discontinued from my course and am appealing. Can I continue with my studies whilst my appeal is being considered?

No, as you have been discontinued you will not be able to continue with your studies whilst your appeal is being considered. There are exceptions to this for specific courses, if you are in doubt you should contact the Advice Zone.

If your appeal is successful and the decision to discontinue you is withdrawn you will be able to restart your studies at the next available opportunity.

I have been given a repeat year and am appealing, can I take resits whilst my appeal is being considered?

No, you cannot take resits.

If your appeal is successful you will be given the opportunity to re-take the assessments at the next available opportunity.

I have been given resits; do I need to complete them whilst my appeal is ongoing?

Yes, you do need to complete your resits.

If your appeal is successful you will be given the full range of marks for your resit work. If your appeal is not successful your mark(s) for your resit(s) will be capped at 40.

After submitting the appeal

What happens after I submit my appeal?

Once you have submitted your appeal the Student Casework Unit will review the information you have provided to check that you have submitted your appeal on the correct form and provided relevant evidence. Your appeal will then be sent to the appropriate person for consideration.

Exceptionally, you may be invited to a meeting to clarify details of the appeal. If additional information is required in order to reach a decision on the outcome of an appeal you will be given 5 working days in which to provide the additional information or to advise the timeframe in which the information will be submitted.

Who will be considering my appeal?

If your appeal is in relation to ground a), procedural error, your appeal will be considered by a senior member of the faculty.

If your appeal is in relation to ground b), extenuating circumstances your appeal will be considered by the relevant Campus Extenuating Circumstances Panel.

If you have submitted an appeal on both grounds your appeal will be considered by both the faculty and the extenuating circumstances panel.

How long will it take to consider my appeal?

You should receive an outcome to your appeal within 3 weeks of submitting your appeal.

If there are any delays in considering your appeal the Student Casework Unit will let you know and provide you with a date by which you can expect an update.

Possible outcomes

What outcomes are possible?

There are many potential outcomes to an appeal depending on individual circumstances. Any amendments to your original results will be clearly detailed in a letter advising you of the outcome of the appeal. The letter will also signpost you to the correct department you should contact to request further clarification e.g. Advice Zone/ Student Administration.

Appeals cannot raise or amend marks for assessments, modules or degree classifications, unless there has been an administrative error.

In some cases, as a condition of a successful appeal, you may be asked to provide medical evidence to confirm that you will be fit to study and/or practice when you return. The consequences of failing to comply with the condition will be clearly stated in your outcome letter.

Following a stage 1 appeal

What happens if I am unhappy with the outcome of my appeal?

You can request a review of the formal investigation into your appeal if you are unhappy with the outcome providing you meet the grounds set out in the “regulations2(regulations)“http://uso.southwales.ac.uk/StudentCasework/AP/.*

a) The student has evidence that the procedures at stage 1 were not conducted in line with the regulations and this has materially disadvantaged them.
b) The student has new and relevant evidence which for good reason was not available at the time their stage 1 appeal was submitted. (NB Sensitive personal, family or cultural reasons may not be accepted as good reason).
This information should not have been accessible or known to the student when the stage 1 appeal was submitted. Information which was available and not provided with the stage 1 appeal will not be considered valid grounds for a request for review.
c) The student has evidence that the outcome at stage 1 was not reasonable in the circumstances.

Once you have submitted your request for review it will be considered by the University Secretary (or nominee) and a decision will be made if you meet the grounds.

What happens if I am unhappy with the outcome but don’t meet the grounds for request for review?

You may request a Completion of Procedures letter, which will enable to you make a complaint to the Officer of the Independent Adjudicator if you are eligible under its Rules.

Request for review

What happens if I meet the grounds for request for review?

If you meet one or more of the grounds for request for review the Student Casework Unit will set up a Review Panel. A chair of the Review Panel will be appointed along with another panel member from a different faculty to your own and the President of the Students’ Union (or their nominee).

If appropriate, it may be decided, in conjunction with you and the University Secretary (or nominee) that your case can be referred solely to the Chair of the Review Panel. After considering your appeal, they may either refer your case back to the chair of the relevant award and progression board for further consideration or refer your case to the full Review Panel for a decision.

If your case is referred to the Review Panel the meeting will be held in private, however, you can request attendance at the meeting. The Review Panel can also, in exceptional circumstances, invite you to attend the meeting.

A decision will then be taken and either your appeal will be rejected and the case closed or it will be referred back to the chair of the relevant award and progression board for reconsideration.

What happens if I submit a request for review and I do not meet the grounds for request for review?

If you submit a request for review and do not meet the grounds for review the Student Casework Unit will automatically issue you with a Completion of Procedures letter. This will enable to you make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.