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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 exist circumstances materially affecting the student's performance which were not known to the Examiners or progress review when the decision was taken and which it was not reasonably practicable for the student to make known to the Examiners or progress review beforehand;

b)    that there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the examinations and/or other assessment procedures, including assessment of coursework, of such a nature as to create a reasonable possibility that the result might have been different had they not occurred;

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 three main stages:

Stage 1: Informal Discussion

If students have concerns about their academic results they should first raise the concerns informally 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 Informal Discussion’ form and you should receive a copy of that record. If you cannot demonstrate suitable prior efforts to discuss your concerns with an appropriate member of staff you will not normally be permitted to enter the formal appeal process.

Stage 2: Formal Appeal

If the concerns have not been resolved through the informal discussion, students are entitled to submit an academic appeal. To do so, they must submit an Academic Appeal Form with supporting evidence as soon as possible after the informal 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 21 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 investigated further by an Academic Investigator.  On completion of their investigation, the Academic Investigator will complete an Academic Investigation Form and will refer the academic appeal to a Panel for a decision.  In exceptional cases, an academic appeal may be considered by an Appeals Hearing for a decision to be made.

If an academic appeal submission is found to be either ineligible, to not fall within the scope of the grounds for appeal, or to be out of time, then the appeal shall be dismissed.

Stage 3: Review

A student who considers that his or her academic appeal has not been given full and proper consideration can request a review of their concerns. This is not an opportunity to submit new evidence but for an independent review of all the documentation. 

Help and Advice with Submitting your Academic Appeal

Students are advised to consult with the Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) of the Union of Brunel Students before submitting any information regarding: Mitigating Circumstances or Academic Appeals. The ARC offers independent, free advice and guidance to all students. Submit an Enquiry or Contact: advice@brunel.ac.uk or 01895 269169.

Advice is also available in your College Handbook.

Contact and External Information

University contact for Academic Appeals:

Academic Appeals Resources
Academic Appeals: A Guide for Students
Senate Regulation 12 
Academic Appeals Form
Record of Informal Discussion Form 

Sources of Advice / Internal Resources:
Advice and Representation Centre

External Resources:
Office of the Independent Adjudicator
Quality Assurance Agency