Academic appeals allow students to appeal an academic decision made by the University. You can appeal a ratified result, the outcome of an Extenuating Circumstances Panel, the outcome of a misconduct allegation or the required withdrawal from your course.
If you want to find out more about the process keep reading!
When can i appeal a decision?
*IMPORTANT: Before you can appeal a decision, you will need to have a ratified result from the Assessment Board.
What is an Assessment Board?
An Assessment Board is a meeting comprising of academics from your course, your course administrators, and external examiners.
What will the Assessment Board do?
They will discuss your grades and ensure they are all fairly marked. They will also moderate and accurately confirm the grades before releasing to students.
How to check if your results have been ratified?
Log in to My Suffolk, then open up OASIS. Here you will be able to view your ratified marks
If the result you wish to appeal is ratified then you may begin the process, if not, we recommend getting in touch with your course administrator and asking for an estimate date that this will be available.
If you are not sure who your course administrator is, head to the University of Suffolk’s website and search for ‘Course Administrators’. If you are still unsure you can ask your lecturer or course leader.
What can I appeal?
Please note that any appeal should relate to one or more of the following categories listed below:
A ratified examination mark or a ratified coursework mark
This includes all assessments such as exams, essays, portfolios, dissertations, projects as well as physical performances.
You cannot appeal a ratified examination or coursework mark if it relates to the academic judgment or criteria that is applied to mark your work. For example, you cannot challenge a marker’s judgements where you think you deserve a higher grade based on the quality of your work.
Required withdrawal from a course
This can be for any reason that you have been required to withdraw from your course.
In the circumstances that you are appealing the decision of required withdrawal from your course, you need to make sure you appeal within 15 working days of the withdrawal letter being sent out to you.
A verdict of, or penalty applied in respect of academic misconduct
This includes any type of academic misconduct.
A refusal to permit extension or deferral in accordance with the Extenuating Circumstances Policy
Someday you may need to apply for extenuating circumstances, this allows you to apply for more time to submit your coursework or sit an examination. If you do make an application and it is declined, you then appeal this decision.
*IMPORTANT: If you would like to issue an appeal you will need to do this within 15 working days of being notified of the decision you wish to appeal.
What should I do if I want to appeal?
- Speak to your course leader, personal tutor or module leader and ask them to go through your feedback with you. If your grade hasn’t been ratified yet, let them know if you think there’s a reason why things have gone wrong. The Assessment Board may take any extenuating circumstances and/or your level of engagement with your course into account whilst deciding whether or not to give you another opportunity to pass the assessment. You can’t submit an academic appeal against a grade which hasn’t yet been ratified.
- Does your appeal meet one of the grounds mentioned in the Appeals procedure? The policy is very clear that you must meet at least one of five grounds for your appeal to be considered. We are happy to answer any questions if there’s something written in the procedure that you don’t understand, but it is important that you fully understand the process and what’s required of you. Have a read of the procedure here.
- Gather your evidence. It’s really important that you have evidence that is relevant to the assessment period in question.
- Contact us to make an appointment or drop in and see us. We’ll talk you through the process and make sure you understand how to complete the form. We’ll even read a draft of the appeal for you and give you some advice on how to improve it.
- Submit the formal stage academic appeal form to the Office of Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct (OSACC). They will acknowledge receipt of your appeal within 5 working days. The Formal Stage Academic Appeal form can be found here.
How to submit an appeal?
If you need to submit an appeal with regards to any of the categories mentioned above, you will need to complete an academic appeals form.
This form can be found by searching for ‘Academic appeals form’, on the University of Suffolk’s website. (Link can be found at the bottom of this page)
If you need any help or support when completing this form, please contact us, your students union. You can do this by either booking an appointment online here or emailing us at Su.email@example.com.
the academic appeal process
After you have filed your appeal with OSACC, they will conduct an investigation into your appeal and the circumstances around it. All the information that is gathered in this process can be viewed by the members of the Academic Appeal Panel.
Who is on an Academic Appeals Panel?
This panel is made up of academics who are not directly related to you or your course. This is for fairness and impartiality purposes.
What do the Academic Appeals Panel do?
This panel will very carefully consider all the evidence that has been gathered in relation to your appeal, this includes what you have noted as the reason for your appeal.
The Academic Appeals Panel will then reach one of the following possible outcomes; uphold the appeal, partially uphold the appeal or decline the appeal.
*IMPORTANT: OSACC will let you know the outcome of the panel within 5 working days of the meeting!
Appeals submitted on the following grounds are likely to be rejected by the Appeals Panel:
- You don’t agree with the academic judgement of the internal or external marker, or with the criteria that has been applied during the marking of your work;
- Retrospective reporting of extenuating circumstances which you could have reasonably have been expected to submit in advance;
- An attempt to obtain a higher award classification due to marginally missing the required mark;
- Appeals based upon the informal assessment of your work by academic staff.
possible appeal outcomes
Upholding the appeal
If the Academic Appeals Panel decide that your appeal is to be upheld this means your appeal has been successful and accepted.
Partially upholding an appeal
This outcome means that the Academic Appeals Panel have accepted some of your appeal but not all of it.
This is a rather unusual outcome.
Declining an appeal
If the Academic Appeals Panel decline your appeal this means they felt, there was no reasonable ground for your appeal.
If this was the outcome of your appeal this would mean that the outcome or assessed mark you were appealing would remain in place.
What can I do if my appeal was declined and I believe this decision is wrong?
If your appeal has been declined and you are not satisfied with this outcome you may then file a further appeal, which is called a Review Stage Appeal.
*IMPORTANT: This will review stage will need to be filed within 10 working days of the receipt of your appeal outcome letter!
If you need any help or support at any time of a Review Stage Appeal, please contact us, your students union. You can do this by either booking an appointment online here or emailing us at Su.firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after my appeal outcome reaches me?
If your appeal has been upheld or partially upheld the Assessment Board will then meet and discuss the outcome.
The Assessment Board will contact you within 15 days of the panel outcome reaching you, they will communicate any further steps you will need to take.
I’m not happy with the outcome of my appeal, what can I do now?
If you have received a letter from the Assessment Board, and you are not satisfied with the outcome they have decided upon, you can then file a review stage appeal.
If you wish to file a review stage appeal you will need to do this within 10 working days of the receipt of your appeal outcome letter.
If you want to find out more about the process keep reading!
When can I file a review stage appeal?
If you receive the outcome of your formal stage appeal and you are not happy with this then you may file a review stage appeal, providing you can satisfy one or more of the grounds. You will also need to include any evidence that may not have already been presented at your formal stage appeal.
Please note that any review stage appeal should relate to one or more of the following grounds listed below:
If you rely on the ground of new information, you need to be able to put forward evidence that, for good reason, could not have been provided during a formal stage appeal.
This means that there was a procedural irregularity in the conduct of the formal stage appeal.
Prejudice and/or bias
There does not have to have been actual prejudice and/or bias if there was an appearance of prejudice and/or bias in the formal stage appeal.
Evidence not fully and properly considered
You may use this ground if you believe the evidence you provided within a formal stage appeal was not fully and properly considered, as this would mean that the outcome was not reasonable in all the circumstances.
If you need any help or support with the grounds for a review stage appeal, please contact us, your students union. You can do this by either booking an appointment online here or emailing us at Su.email@example.com.
Further information: Review stage
How will a review stage appeal be processed?
The information below will give you more information about the process of a review stage appeal. Although, a review stage appeal is different to a formal stage appeal there are a few similarities in the process.
Step 1 - What happened after I have filed my review stage appeal?
Once you have sent your appeal to OSACC, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.
OSACC will then send your appeal to the academic register (or a representative).
The academic register (or their representative) will then check the appeal including the grounds, the evidence as well as make sure the appeal has been filed in time.
Only when the academic register is satisfied with your appeal, it shall move onto the next step.
Step 2 - Referral to a new appeal panel
For fairness and impartiality, your appeal will then be sent to a new academic appeals panel. This means that the academic panel will not include anyone who sat on the panel during your formal stage appeal.
The panel aim to meet within 20 working days of the receipt of your review stage appeal.
The panel must consider all the evidence provided to them; this includes the evidence provided at the formal stage appeal as well.
Step 3 - The outcome
Review stage appeal is justified and accepted
If you are successful in your review stage appeal, then OSACC will get in touch with you within 5 working days of the panel’s meeting.
The appeal will then be passed on to the Assessment Board of your course. They will discuss the outcome and contact you with further information.
You should be contacted within 15 days of the appeal reaching you.
If you have not heard back from your course, we would suggest you contact your course administrator.
Decision of the formal stage review to be upheld
If your appeal is unsuccessful, and therefore the panel choose to uphold the decision of the formal stage appeal then the decision will go back to the academic registrar so that they may review the outcome.
The academic registrar along with the Deputy Vice Chancellor will discuss the outcome. If they then both agree with the decision made by the academic appeals panel on your review stage appeal you will be sent a completion of procedures letter.
This letter will be provided to you within 25 working days of the outcome.
Step 4 - Completion
Once you have received the completion of procedures letter this then indicates the end of the review stage process and the end of the processes that the university can offer to you.
If you are still not happy with the outcome you can then take your appeal to the Office of the Independent for Higher Education (OIA), as OIA are an independent body they can conduct a further investigation.
You have the right to submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) within a year of receiving the outcome letter. They will independently review all the evidence you have submitted and will request your case file from the University before making their recommendation to the University.
If you wish to find out more about the OIA, follow the link to their website: www.oiahe.org.uk.
As your students union we can offer support throughout the formal stage appeal, review stage appeal and if you decide to pursue your appeal with the OIA.
If you need any help or support, please contact us, your students union. You can do this by either booking an appointment online here or emailing us at Su.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need support with your academic appeal? Book an appointment today here.
Academic Appeals Procedure
Academic Appeals Form (Formal Stage)
Academic Appeals Form (Review Stage)