Did something go wrong during your assessments, or were there external circumstances which affected your performance? An Academic Appeal is a formal request that a decision made by an Assessment Board or Programme Progression Board is reconsidered because of special circumstances.
The MDXSU Advice service can explain the appeals process and discuss your grounds of appeal with you. We can advise you how to fill out an appeals form, advise which evidence will likely be required, and also provide ongoing support throughout the process.
Before making an appeal
Consider whether making a formal Academic Appeal is the most appropriate avenue for addressing your issues. Other options include the following:
- Discuss the problem with the appropriate member of staff. This can result in the matter being resolved informally, and usually more quickly.
- If you are still within five working days of the assessment deadline, applying for Extenuating Circumstances may be a more suitable option.
- If you feel that there were issues regarding someone’s behaviour or your student experience, consider submitting a complaint.
If you did not do well in your assessment, but had no specific circumstances which affected your performance, consider seeking feedback to help you understand what went wrong and how you can improve in future. You cannot appeal on the basis that you disagree with the mark or feel that you should have received a higher mark.
Making an appeal
You have a maximum of 28 days from the date of your results being published to submit your appeal - appeals are normally not accepted beyond this deadline. Your appeal can be based on the following:
- Extenuating circumstances that the Assessment Board was not aware of at the time when it made its decision.
- A material error either in the conduct of the Assessment itself, or in the proceedings of the Assessment Board itself, which significantly affected the Assessment Board’s decision. For example, if you were told that you could take a statute book into the exam, but upon arrival were informed that statutes books are not allowed.
- A penalty for academic misconduct.
Stage 1: Submitting your formal appeal
1. Fill out the appeal form
2. Write your appeal statement. Your statement should cover the following:
- "Dear Sir or Madam/To Whom It May Concern/ Dear Appeals Team/Dear…,"
- Introduce yourself, explain the purpose of this statement and why you are making an appeal
- Explain the issues you were experiencing
- Mention any extenuating circumstances that the University should be aware of
- Refer to the supporting evidence in your statement
- State what outcome you are looking for
- "Respectfully/Yours sincerely.."
3. Attach evidence to support your case naming it clearly. This could include relevant emails, screenshots, documentation (such as medical letters)
4. Send your appeal form, statement and supporting evidence to email@example.com.
Visit UniHub for more information on appeals. If you need any advice on your appeal, contact the MDXSU Advice service on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 8411 6450.
Stage 2: Receiving a decision
Once submitted, you should normally receive a decision on your appeal within 90 calendar days. This will be sent to you in writing, usually by email together with an explanation. If it is beyond 90 calendar days and you still have not received your decision, email the Appeals Team on email@example.com to ask about updates on your case.
If an informal decision cannot be reached, an Appeals Panel will be held. This is called to clarify the evidence submitted in order to enable the panel to reach a decision. If an Appeals Panel is called, you will be invited to attend and will be sent all the relevant information. The Panel consists of three senior member of staff from as many schools as practical, along with your Students' Union Representative. You can be accompanied by a companion, bring and question witnesses, and comment on the evidence.
Stage 3: Review Stage
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you can request a review within 10 working days on the following grounds:
- You have new and relevant evidence which you were unable to, for exceptional reasons, present during the appeal process.
- The appeal regulations and procedures were not complied with which materially affected the decision and you have evidence to prove that. Review is not re-opening your original appeal.
Being dissatisfied with the outcome is not alone a valid reason for requesting a review.
Stage 4: Review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you can take your case further by requesting the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) to look into it. You will be given a Completion of Procedures Letter indicating this is the University’s final decision.