What is an academic appeal?
An academic appeal is a university procedure (not department-based) that can be used to challenge an academic decision. This might include a decision made by the exceptional circumstances committee, failure of programme, a penalty for academic misconduct or fitness to practise. You should receive formal notification of an academic decision, which you have the right to appeal. If you receive this, contact us (link to ‘contact details’) to discuss your situation and arrange a confidential appointment.
On what grounds can you make an appeal?
There are only two acceptable grounds for appeal:
Procedural irregularity- where the department or university hasn’t followed its own policies and procedures
Exceptional circumstances- where exceptional circumstances affected your ability to study, or complete your assessments
Please note that it is not possible to appeal academic judgement.
If you are appealing on grounds of exceptional circumstances (link to exceptional circumstances), you will still need to demonstrate that you raised the issue at the time, or if not, provide a “good reason” as to why you didn’t, or weren’t able to.
A complaint may be a more suitable route if your situation doesn’t fall under these two grounds. More information on what you can and cannot appeal against is outlined in the Academic Appeals Guidance document.
How do you make an appeal?
To start the appeal process, you must fill out the Academic Appeal Formal Stage online form. More guidance is available on the University’s Appeals webpage. However, whilst it is possible to complete the form yourself, the University strongly advise that you seek support from either YUSU or GSA (for postgraduate students) to help guide you through the process. We can help ensure that you submit an appeal that is in the best shape possible, as it’s not always obvious to students what to include and what information to focus on whilst making your appeal.
Submitting a comprehensive Formal Stage Appeal online form is likely to minimise the time the process will take, so please contact us as soon as you know there is an issue, even if you haven’t decided whether or not to appeal yet. We also recommend you look through YUSU’s Appeals Briefing Sheet and Checklist, which will help you identify whether you have grounds for appeal, and guide you through the process
You have 28 days from the date of formal notification of an academic decision or outcome to make a formal stage (or first stage) appeal. For review stage appeals (the second stage to an appeal), this needs to be submitted within 10 calendar days of receiving the outcome of your formal stage appeal. All appeals must include evidence, especially in cases of exceptional circumstances.
How long does the appeal process take?
The appeals process, according to the academic appeals guidance, takes 90 days. During busy times of the year, usually post-assessment periods, it could take longer than this. If you submit your appeal by the deadline, but not all the evidence needed to consider your appeal, the 90 days would be calculated from the date your submitted the final piece of evidence.
Key documents & information
Advice & Support Centre (ASC), Students’ Union (YUSU)
Graduate Students’ Association (for postgraduate students)