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Academic Appeals

 

Undergraduate & Postgraduate

If you are unhappy with a decision about your progression or assignment hand-in, then you may be able to appeal against it. We will explain about the appeal process in more detail below, but here are some key points:

Appeals Checklist:
  • Is it an appealable decision?
  • Do you have one of the permissible grounds for appeal?
  • Has it been less than 15 working days since the decision?
  • Have you filled in an appeal form?
  • Do you have supporting evidence?

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.

Resource List:

What are academic appeals?

An academic appeal is a request to review a decision made by a University academic body. During your time at the University, you may receive decisions regarding the progress of your studies, assessments, and awards. If you disagree with these outcomes or believe that the academic body responsible did not have sufficient information when making the decision, you can use academic appeals to challenge them.

To appeal, you will need to present a case explaining why you believe the decision should be reconsidered, based on the information and evidence you provide. It's important to note that not all decisions can be appealed, and you will need to use one of the three permissible grounds to do so. Please note that academic appeals are not possible for specific marks or academic judgment but for decisions made about your studies.

If you’re unsure about how this works in practice or you have any questions, please contact us.

Why are the grounds of appeal so important?

For your appeal to be successful, it must fall under at least one of the three possible grounds for appeal. Appeals that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider whether your situation fits any of these grounds before submitting an appeal.

The grounds are:

  • a. that a student’s performance was adversely affected by illness or other factors which they were unable or, with valid reason, unwilling to divulge, prior to the meeting of the academic assessment body. The appeal must be accompanied by documentary evidence acceptable to the senior manager who considers the appeal in the first instance (see Section 18.13 of the UHI Assessment Appeals Procedure).
  • b. evidence of material administrative error or that an assessment was not conducted in accordance with the university’s procedures and regulations.
  • c. evidence of prejudice or bias or improper/inadequate assessment on the part of any of the examiners (PGR students only).

Time Limits on Appeals

There are two stages to appeal:

 

Stage one - Informal

"A student who believes that they have grounds for appealing against the decision of an academic assessment body should, in the first instance, discuss the matter with the appropriate staff in their HAP. This is likely to be the lecturer, Personal Academic Tutor, programme leader, or Director of Studies (for PGR students). This should normally be done within ten working days of the assessment decision being notified to the student."

 

Stage two - Formal

"If the matter is not resolved through the informal procedure, a student who wishes to appeal should do so in writing, setting out the reasons for the appeal and including documentary evidence, using the appeals proforma. This should be sent to the appropriate senior manager in the student’s HAP (students will be provided with this person’s name and contact details at induction), normally within 15 working days of the assessment decision being notified to the student."

This means that you should check your results and University email account regularly to make sure you have as much time as possible to complete either stage.

How can the Advice Service support me?

The Advice Service can advise and assist you in deciding whether you have grounds for appeal by discussing your circumstances and can offer practical help and support in completing the Appeals form and gathering the relevant evidence required to support your case. The Adviser will provide ongoing support throughout the whole process and will stay in touch with you afterwards to ensure that you receive any further help or advice you might need.

 

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