Senate Academic Appeal Committee

1. (R) A student may appeal against the following:

  1. The mark awarded for any module; and/or
  2. The overall outcome of a programme of study; and/or
  3. The decision of a Programme Examination Board in respect of the student's progression; and/or
  4. The decision of a Dean or University Committee to exclude a student from the University under Regulation 15 of the General Academic Regulations.

2. (R) Appeals against the academic judgement of examiners, whether internal or external, are not permitted.

3. (R) Appeals may be made only on one or both of the following grounds:

  1. procedural irregularity, prejudice or bias in the conduct of the assessment, the Module or Programme Examination Board, the Dean or University Committee;
  2. circumstances that have impaired the student's performance, providing that these circumstances were not known by the Programme Examination Board at the time it made its decision, that these circumstances can be substantiated, and that there is a valid reason for not notifying the Programme Examination Board in advance in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Impaired Performance Procedure.

4. (R) A student who wishes to appeal must submit the full details of the appeal on the approved Appeal Form, along with supporting evidence, to the Registrar, through the Quality and Validation Office, by the deadline specified in the University Academic Calendar (normally within 3 working days) after the official notification of the decision of the Examination Board, Dean or University Committee.

5. (R) Where the Registrar is of the view that the appeal meets either or both of the criteria set out in 25.3 in the GAR and that there is therefore a prima facie case for the appeal to be heard, the appeal shall be submitted to the Academic Appeals Committee.

6. (R) Where the Registrar is of the view that no prima facie case exists s/he will so advise the student, stating the reasons.

7.(R) The Academic Appeals Committee shall be constituted as follows:

  • A nominee of the Chair of Senate (in the Chair)
  • Two members of Senate, nominated by Senate.
  • (At least) one member of the validating institution

The Registrar shall provide servicing for the Committee.

Where an appeal is submitted by a student who is registered on a programme on which the member teaches, or where a member has a declared interest, that member shall take no part in consideration of the case and an alternate shall be appointed by the Chair.

8. (R) The functions of the Academic Appeals Committee shall be either to:

  1. dismiss the appeal; or
  2. uphold the appeal and refer the case back to the relevant Module or Programme Examination Board, Dean or University Committee for reconsideration in the light of the Committee's report on the case. In such circumstances, the case shall be considered ab initio. The Committee may offer advice as it sees fit, except it shall not make any recommendation that would worsen the student's position. The Committee shall consider the possible effects on other students (who may or may not have appealed) and be empowered to instruct the reconvened Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee, or the Dean to review decisions in respect of other students to ensure that equity of treatment is preserved;

9. (R) An appellant shall have the right to appear in person before the Committee and may be accompanied by a person of his/her own choosing.

10. (R) The Chair of the Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee, or the Dean whose decision is the subject of the appeal (or his/her nominee) shall normally have the right to present the case in person to the Committee. Where the substance of the appeal relates to a member of University staff, the latter shall normally participate in the proceedings of the Committee, and may be accompanied by another member of staff of their choosing.

11. (R) The Secretary to the Academic Appeals Committee shall seek academic reports from the relevant Programme Director which, together with the student's academic results, will be put forward to the Academic Appeals Committee for consideration.

12. (SP) The proceedings of the Committee meeting shall normally take the following form:

  • The student and/or the person accompanying the student shall present the case for appeal.
  • The Chair of the Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee, or the Dean, or his/her nominee shall report on the circumstances of the original decision, and on his/her view of the appeal.
  • The Committee shall ask questions of those present.
  • The student and/or accompanying person, and the Chair of the Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee, or the Dean, or his/her nominee may ask questions via the Chair, who shall decide whether questions are acceptable.
  • The student and/or accompanying person shall be given the opportunity to make his/her final statement.
  • The Committee (accompanied by its Secretary) shall reach its decision in private.

Within this framework, the Committee has discretion over the conduct of the proceedings.

13. (R) The Registrar shall notify the outcome of an appeal to the appellant and relevant Dean and Programme Director no more than five working days after the meeting of the Academic Appeals Committee.

14. (R)The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee shall be final.

15. (R) A Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee reconvened or appointed under paragraph 25.8 in the GAR should normally consider the case within a maximum of 20 working days, but further time may be required during vacation periods or if the attendance of an External Examiner is required. The student shall normally be informed in writing of the decision of the Board within three working days.

16. (R) After considering the recommendation and advice of the Academic Appeals Committee, the decision of the Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee, or the Dean shall normally be final and the decision reported to the Academic Appeals Committee. However, where the recommendations of the Appeals Committee have not been followed, the reasons for this decision should be provided in a report to the Appeals Committee and the Appeals Committee shall either accept the decision or recommend to Senate that a new Module or Programme Examination Board, or University Committee be appointed, or that the matter in question be considered by another Dean.

17. (R) Decisions made by the Registrar, the Deans of Faculty, and the Academic Appeals Committee under this Regulation will normally be final. Such decisions may only be reviewed under the Student Complaints Procedure where a grievance is submitted on the grounds that there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of an appeal made under this Regulation.