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Academic Appeals

Student Support

FAQs for Students

  1. What is an Academic Appeal?

    An academic appeal is a request for review of an academic decision where grounds for review exist.

    The academic decision may have been made by an Assessment Board, a Student Engagement and Attendance Monitoring (SEAM) Board or an Unfair Means Panel, or at any assessment point on the PGR student journey.

    You cannot use the Academic Appeals Procedure to challenge academic judgement or appeal simply because you disagree with the marks you have been given. There are robust mechanisms in the University to ensure that marking standards are fair and appropriate including moderation, verification and oversight by external examiners.

    If you are uncertain why you had received a particular mark, you should contact your Module Tutor, Academic Advisor or Course Leader for advice in the first instance.

  2. What are the grounds for making an appeal?

    A request for review will only be valid if it is based on one or more of the following grounds:

    1. G1. that insufficient weight has been given to extenuating circumstances
    2. G2. that the student’s academic performance has been adversely affected by extenuating circumstances which the student has for good reason been unable to make known at the time
    3. G3. that there has been a material administrative error at a stage of the process, or that some other material irregularities have occurred
    4. G4. that the assessment procedure and/or examination(s) have not been conducted in accordance with the approved regulations.
  3. What is an appeal on the grounds of extenuating circumstances (grounds 1 or 2)?

    Extenuating circumstances are unforeseeable and/or unpreventable circumstances that may have had a significant adverse effect on your academic performance or prevented you from completing an assessment. If you are appealing on ground 2, you must be able to fulfil both step (a) and step (b) below:

    1. You must show that the circumstances were:

      • Significant – that they had a serious impact on your performance
      • Unexpected and unpreventable
      • Relevant – the circumstances must have occurred at the time of the assessment or during the period immediately leading up to the assessment.

      Your statement must be supported by appropriate and robust evidence. The types of evidence that the University might expect to see are set out at on the Student Support Extenuating Circumstances page

    2. You must also provide a credible and compelling reason why the circumstances were not raised at the appropriate time (i.e. within 3 days of the examination or submission date). This may be a medical reason (e.g., that you were incapacitated due to a health issue), or a practical reason (e.g., that you were given incorrect information about the process). You should provide any evidence to support your reason(s).

  4. What is an appeal on the grounds of a material irregularity (grounds 3 or 4)?

    A material irregularity is an error or omission made by the University in the way an assessment and/or an unfair means hearing has been carried out, which has materially affected the outcome. When you receive your results you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns with your Academic Advisor or Course Leader in the first instance. If you believe that a material irregularity has occurred, you can submit an appeal. You must clearly explain what material irregularity has occurred and how it affected your assessment and provide copies of any relevant evidence to corroborate your statement.

  5. What should I do if I think I have grounds to appeal?

    In the first instance you are strongly advised to speak with your Academic Advisor or Course Leader who can answer any questions about how your work was assessed. The Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre can provide professional, independent advice and support in terms of your grounds for appeal, how to present your case, what to include and what to expect in terms of the process. You can contact them by telephone (01772 894880) or email (suadvice@uclan.ac.uk)

  6. Tips on completing the form

    • Ensure that you tick the box to state your grounds for appeal because that is what your appeal will be judged against
    • Ensure that you list the assessments which were affected including the module name, code, submission date and the mark given, where appropriate
    • State what reasonable outcome you are seeking (e.g., a further uncapped assessment attempt)
    • List all the evidence that you are submitting – note that the evidence should show that the matter has had a serious material impact on your assessment performance and should relate to the time of the assessment in question
    • Where relevant, please state the reasons why you did not submit this evidence at the appropriate time
    • Write a clear and detailed statement to explain what has happened including times and dates.
  7. How do I submit an appeal?

    If you are happy that you have included all the relevant information, please submit your completed form and supporting evidence to your CAS Hub or the Research Student Registry in the case of an appeal by a PGR student. You can do this via email or in person at the Hub reception.

  8. When can I submit an appeal?

    You must submit your appeal within 10 working days of the official notification of your assessment result or the outcome of your Unfair Means hearing or SEAM board. If you submit your appeal outside the deadline it may be ruled ineligible, unless you can provide a good reason why it could not be submitted at the correct time with supporting evidence. Please note that appeals will only be considered after the official notification of the outcome. If you attempt to appeal against a result which has not been confirmed by an Assessment Board, the appeal application may be returned to you, and you can re-submit it at the relevant time if you wish.

  9. What will happen when my appeal is submitted?

    Your appeal will be acknowledged and reviewed to determine whether it is eligible to proceed to the first stage of the process. You may be asked to provide evidence and/or to clarify your grounds for appeal at this point, in which case your appeal may be put on hold until the evidence and/or clarification is received.

    If there is clear evidence of a procedural irregularity or extenuating circumstances which could not be made known earlier and this had a material impact on the assessment outcome, the Faculty Director of Academic Development or First Stage Appeal Chair may consult with the Chair of the Assessment Board to resolve the appeal without the need for a first stage meeting. If a change to your assessment status is approved, you will receive an outcome letter via your UCLan email account and the first stage will be completed. If your appeal includes a complaint about a service (e.g., teaching or resources) that needs to be addressed before an appeal can be considered, it may be referred for consideration under the Student Complaints Procedure in the first instance. You will be informed if this is the case.

    If your appeal is eligible to proceed, you will receive a letter from the CAS Hub or RSR inviting you to attend a meeting with the First Stage Appeal Chair. You will also have the opportunity to provide any further evidence at this stage.

  10. What will happen at the first stage appeal meeting?

    This meeting is an opportunity for you to amplify your written case and ask any questions. The Chair will listen to your case and ask you any questions. You may be accompanied by a friend for support who may be from the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre (01772 894880 or suadvice@uclan.ac.uk).

    Please let us know in advance if you have any requirements in terms of your mobility or communication to enable you to participate in the meeting.

  11. What are the possible outcomes of an appeal?

    You should be aware that marks or classifications cannot be adjusted as the result of an appeal. It is also very rare for work to be re-marked. These things could only ever happen in very exceptional circumstances (e.g., if a calculation error had been made). If your appeal is upheld, you will normally have to take a reassessment. The most likely outcomes of a successful appeal are that:

    • Your reassessment status will change (e.g., you might be given an ‘uncapped’ assessment as if for the first time instead of a ‘capped’ assessment)
    • If you have exhausted all of your assessment opportunities, you might be granted one final reassessment opportunity.

    You will receive an outcome letter via your UCLan email account which will set out the decision and how and when the outcome will be implemented. If your appeal is not upheld, you will be informed of the reasons for the decision and your right to request a review under the second stage of the Procedure.

  12. How to request a review

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the first stage, you may request a review of the outcome of a first stage appeal on the following grounds:

    1. G1. that the first stage appeal process was not conducted fairly and/or in accordance with the published procedure
    2. G2. that the decision of the first stage appeal was not reasonable in all the circumstances
    3. G3. that there is material new evidence that for good reason could not be made known at the first stage appeal.

    Please note that a second stage is a review of the first stage appeal. It will not normally consider the issues afresh or involve further investigation. The second stage Appeal Panel will convene in private session in the first instance to review your appeal. It is, therefore, important that you include all the documentary evidence at this stage. If you are submitting new evidence at such a late stage in the process, you must provide a credible and compelling reason why you were unable to submit it an earlier stage in the process.

    The outcome of the review will be communicated to you in writing via your UCLan email account, normally within 20 working days.

  13. External Review

    If you remain dissatisfied having completed the University’s internal Academic Appeal Procedure, you may be able to request a review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). The details of how to do this will be set out in a Completion of Procedures letter.

  14. Student Support

    You can seek professional independent advice and support with regard to the process from the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre (01772 894880 or suadvice@uclan.ac.uk). There are also a range of support services available to students - please visit the UCLan Student Support site for further information.

Application Forms: