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Appeals

Sometimes things happen that impact on your studies and performance in assessments – illness, bereavement, jury service, and other unforeseen circumstances can all happen when we’re not expecting them and affect your time at Strathclyde. Equally, sometimes mistakes are made and lead to errors in your results. If the Board of Examiners have issued you with a decision that you disagree with, you may be able to appeal against this.

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What are appeals?

Appeals are a University process that take place following the release of your final results (your Exam Board decision) by the Board of Examiners. You cannot appeal until you have received these; they are usually released in early June or early September if you have had resits in August. The appeals procedure allows you to challenge a progress or award decision taken by the Board. This could be a decision to place you in academic suspension, for example, or for you to be withdrawn from a course or be awarded an Ordinary Degree rather than progressing to Honours. An appeal will present your circumstances and argument for why this decision should be changed, what you are asking for it to be changed to and provide any relevant supporting evidence.

What should I know about appeals?

There are a few key things to be aware of:

  1. You cannot appeal against an individual grade for a class or piece of work, or against a degree classification (e.g. receiving a second class degree instead of first class) because you feel your results should be higher than you received. This is called challenging academic judgement and will not be accepted as a valid appeal.
  2. Appealing may impact on when you can graduate. For example, if you receive results in June and are also due to graduate in June, it’s unlikely your appeal will be finished by graduation, so you will not be able to formally graduate until November.
  3. Appeals can take up to 30 working days following the deadline date to be considered and an outcome issues.
  4. You must meet the deadline to appeal. This will be provided on your Exam Board decision.
  5. There are two stages of appeal: Faculty and Senate. You must submit a Faculty Appeal and receive an outcome before you submit a Senate Appeal.

What is the process for Faculty Appeals?

Faculty Appeals are the first stage of the procedure and are considered by a Faculty Appeals Board relevant to your academic department, e.g. if you are in the Architecture department your appeal will be looked at by the Engineering Faculty Appeals Committee or if you are in the Physics department your appeal will be looked at by the Science Faculty Appeals Committee. Your academic department will also be asked for a review statement on your appeal to help the Committee make a decision.

There are three grounds that you can appeal under. You can pick one or appeal under multiple grounds if you have circumstances under more than one:

  1. There were procedural irregularities in the assessment process
  2. There was inadequate assessment, prejudice or bias on the part of one of more of the examiners
  3. There were medical, personal, or other circumstances that affected your performance

It is very important to note that if you wish to appeal on the third ground that the University will expect that you have submitted Personal Circumstances or that you have a strong reason for not having done so prior to the appeals process.

There is a form that you must complete – you can find this here - under the ‘Appeals and Discipline’ tab. In this, you should explain clearly and concisely your reasons for appealing.

What is the process for Senate Appeals?

Senate Appeals are the second stage of the procedure and are considered first by the Vice-Principal of the University (or nominee) to determine whether there are suitable grounds to appeal. If they determine that there is and the Faculty do not wish to object to the appeal, the Vice-Pricipal may make the decision to uphold the appeal. They can also refer the appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee for consideration.

You can only appeal to Senate if your Faculty appeal was not upheld or if it was only partially upheld.

Like Faculty Appeals, there are three grounds that you can appeal under:

  1. You have substantial new information which was not available, for good reason, at the Faculty Appeal stage
  2. You believe there was bias or prejudice on the part of those who dealt with the appeal at the Faculty stage
  3. There was a breach of the Academic Appeals Procedure

It’s important to closely consider the outcome you received from the Faculty and the reasons why it was not upheld. Is there more information you could give or more evidence you could gather that will add anything substantial to your appeal?

Appeal Evidence Requirements

You must also compile any relevant evidence that you wish to submit to support your appeal. For example, if you experienced illness, it is expected that you will endeavour to provide a letter from a doctor confirming the relevant dates and circumstances.

Evidence provided by a family member or friend will not usually be considered.

Evidence can be tricky to obtain, but often makes a big difference in the quality and strength of your appeal as it is considered independent confirmation of your circumstances. There are lists of what will and won’t usually be considered as appropriate evidence in the Academic Appeals and Personal Circumstances Procedure which is available here under the ‘Appeals and Discipline’ tab.

How can the Advice Hub help me with appeals?

Our advisers are experts in the appeals procedure and can help you with understanding the process, figuring out what evidence you could submit, and formatting what you write. We encourage you to give writing a first draft of your appeal a shot – this will help us spot any areas you might want to work on a bit more, things you can explain more clearly, and give you pointers on how you could make sure that your appeal is as strong as it can be. We can also make sure you understand all the options available to you, what decisions mean in reality, and any implications of academic decisions on your student funding.

Useful resources

Strathclyde Academic Policies and Procedures Strathclyde Appeals Information

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We’re open Monday to Friday all year round other than a Christmas closure and on public holidays. You can book an appointment by visiting the link to our booking form or you can email us.

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You can find us on Level 1 of the Union based in the Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell Wing of the Learning and Teaching Building. We are fully accessible.

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