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Academic Appeals

Academic Appeals

An Academic Appeal is a request for a review of a decision of a Board of Examiners charged with making decisions on student progress, assessment and awards or, for a postgraduate research student, the outcome of a formal progress review under Senate Regulation 5.16.

Senate Regulation 12 outlines the process for academic appeals for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

You can submit an appeal on or more of the following grounds:

a)    That there is evidence that the assessment(s) may have been adversely affected by extenuating circumstances which the student was, for valid reasons, unable to make known to the Examiners or progress review beforehand;

b)    That there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the assessment(s) and/or assessment procedures, which adversely affected the result achieved;

c)    that there is evidence of prejudice or bias on the part of one or more Examiners or members of staff conducting a progress review; and/or

d)    that there is evidence of inadequate assessment on the part of one or more of the Examiners or members of staff conducting a progress review.

Students are reminded that if their performance in assessment has been significantly affected by unforeseen circumstances, the University would normally expect them to submit a claim for Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) to their Department in a timely manner (i.e. as soon as they become aware of them).

Submitting ECs in a timely manner will usually avoid the need to submit an academic appeal at a later date. Failure to submit ECs at the appropriate time may result in an Academic Appeal being dismissed.

The Academic Appeals process has four main stages:

If students have concerns about their academic results they should first raise the concerns with an appropriate member of staff (e.g. your Personal Tutor, Supervisor, or Course Director) at the point the concern arises, normally within 5 working days after notification of their results. A brief record of the discussion should be made by the staff member involved, normally in the form of a Record of Early Resolution form and you should receive a copy of that record. You will need a copy of this in order to progress your concerns if you are not happy with these discussions with your Department as without this you cannot submit a formal academic appeal

If the concerns have not been resolved through the Early Resolution stage, students are entitled to submit an academic appeal. To do so, they must submit a Stage 1 Appeal Form with supporting evidence as soon as possible after the Early Resolution discussion and within a maximum of 10 working days of the notification of their results.
Students must specify the ground(s) upon which they are appealing (as shown in paragraph 27 of the regulation) and normally support these grounds with evidence. Further information can be found in Academic Appeals: A Guide for Students.

In the first instance, an eligibility check will be undertaken of the academic appeal submission.  If it is agreed that the academic appeal submission falls under the scope of the grounds for appeal (as identified above) then the academic appeal will be referred to the College.  If an academic appeal is dismissed, the student will have the right to contest the decision on one occasion

If the academic appeal is accepted it will be investigated further by an Academic Investigation Team in the relevant College.  On completion of their investigation, the Investigation Team will make a decision which will be ratified by the Chair or Vice-Chair of Academic Appeals Committee. These decisions may be that: 

  • Your appeal may be upheld in full, or in part, with recommendations about how to resolve it;
  • Your appeal may be dismissed;
  • Your appeal may be referred to an Academic Appeals Panel, if they determine it requires further consideration;
  • The VCR may make a recommendation for an alternative outcome in consultation with the Investigation Team.

If, following investigation an academic appeal is referred to a Panel, the student will be able to attend this Panel to present their case. At this stage they will be provided with all the evidence gathered during the Investigation stage to be considered by the Panel. The Panel will comprise three academic members of staff. A representative of the Investigation Team will also be present and both parties are entitled to call witnesses. Each party is responsible for ensuring their witness attends the Panel. The Panel will make a decision following the end of the meeting and the decision will be communicated to all parties in writing.

A student who considers that his or her academic appeal has not been given full and proper consideration at Stage 2 of the procedure can request a review of the decision by submitting a Stage 2 Form within 10 days of the notification of their outcome.  In the first instance, the submission will be considered by the Head of Student Affairs and Casework (or nominee) who will decide whether the grounds have been met. Where they have, a Review Panel will be convened. The Review Panel will comprise two senior officers of the University who have not previously been involved with the academic appeal. If the Panel agrees that the Stage 2 Appeal has merit, it will make a decision about what should happen next. If there is not merit to the request, the academic appeal will be dismissed and the Stage 1 decision will stand. Stage 2 Appeal Form

Help and Advice with Submitting your Academic Appeal

Students are advised to consult with the Brunel Union Advice Service (UAS) before submitting any information regarding: Extenuating Circumstances or Academic Appeals. The UAS offers independent, free advice and guidance to all students. Submit an Enquiry or Contact: or 01895 269169.

Advice is also available in your College Handbook
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences
College of Engineering, Deisgn and Physical Sciences
College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Postgraduate Researchers

Contact and External Information

University contact for Academic Appeals:

Academic Appeals Resources
Academic Appeals: A Guide for Students
Senate Regulation 12 
Early Resolution Form
Stage 1 Appeal Form
Stage 2 Appeal Form

Sources of Advice / Internal Resources:
Union Advice Service
Student Support and Wellbeing
Taught Programme Offices
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
Report and Support

External Resources:
Office of the Independent Adjudicator
Quality Assurance Agency