academic advice

Submitting an academic appeal

The appeals process allows students to request the University to review academic decisions. There must be evidence which shows that something has affected your academic performance.

Students cannot appeal just because they disagree with their grade.

When can I appeal?

You can only appeal within 10 working days of your assessment results being released on UEL Direct. If you appeal any other time, your appeal will be considered late. This means that the Appeals team will only consider it if you can provide strong evidence showing why you could not appeal during the relevant appeals window.

What are the grounds of appeal?

To appeal, you must demonstrate that you meet one or more of the following grounds.

1: There is evidence that the extenuating circumstances were so severe as to have prevented the student from making an informed decision at the time as to whether to attempt an assessment or to apply for extenuation.

This ground applies when a student had extenuating circumstances in the period of their assessments but were unable to apply for extenuation by the stipulated deadline. If you are appealing under these grounds, you will need to provide:

- New information which has not already been considered by the Assessment Board.
- Reasons and evidence which explain why you feel your circumstances affected your performance in the relevant assessment(s).
- An evidenced explanation of why you could not submit this information prior to the decision being communicated to you.

Example: A student was experiencing severe mental health issues during their assessment period and, as a result, was unable to submit any of their work. They could not submit an extenuation claim because of the impacts of their mental health on their motivation and concentration. This student will be able to submit an appeal explaining and evidencing this situation under these grounds.

2: There is clear evidence of a significant administrative error on the part of the University or in the conduct of the assessment/examination and that this accounted for your performance.

This ground would apply in instances where an administrative error on the part of the University has had a negative impact on the student or their performance in their assessment.

Example: The deadline date for one of the assessments on a student’s module was listed as 11 March in the student’s Module Guide but had a deadline date of 10 March listed on the Turnitin link. The student submitted their work based on the deadline listed in Moodle however their lecturer confirmed that the Turnitin link date was accurate, and the student was deducted 5% due to their submission being late. The student submits an appeal on the basis that this deduction was a direct result of an administrative error on the part of their lecturer.

3: The assessments had not been conducted in accordance with the approved regulations for the course of study.

This ground applies when the University has not followed its own procedures when administering the assessment. Any number of UEL’s regulations, policies and procedures could be listed in an appeal under this ground, so long as the student can demonstrate that the University has not followed their own rules. This ground can also apply when the guidelines for administering placements (social work, teaching, nursing etc.) are not adequately followed, either by the placement provider or the University.

Example: A social work student receives a fail mark for their final year placement due to inadequate progress being made towards their learning objectives. The student submits an appeal demonstrating that several actions listed in their placement handbook, such as the midway review meeting, timely feedback on their work and regular supervision meetings, did not take place. As a result, the student’s appeal argued that their placement had not been conducted in accordance with the regulations set out by the University for the student’s placement.

4: If some other material irregularity had occurred in the procedures of the Extenuating Circumstances Officer, the Assessment Board and/or the Board of Examiners.

This ground can apply when there is an irregularity in how the assessment was carried out or marked, particularly as it may have deviated from how the University stated it would be done. Essentially, anything irregular in the way the assessment was administered.

Example: Students on a module are informed that they will be given 60 minutes to complete their exam, however on the day they are only allocated 45 minutes before being told to stop writing. A student submits an appeal on the basis that the reduction in time from what was agreed had impacted unfavourably on the quality of work they were able to produce.

How do I appeal?

How do I appeal? You will need to submit an appeal form via the Student Appeals page. The deadline will be 10 working days (days that are not weekends or bank holidays) from the date the formal decision was released.

How do I complete the appeals form?

How you fill in the appeals form will depend on the type of appeal you are submitting. For example, if you are submitting a late extenuation appeal, you should follow the instructions on our Late Extenuation Appeals page. If you are appealing against a progression decision, you can have a look at our Progression Decisions page.

If you would like one of our advisors to provide feedback on your draft responses, please email them to studentadvice@uel.ac.uk and complete our Contact Form. We cannot provide specific advice without the contact form, as you will need to accept our user agreement.

Do not miss the deadline to submit your appeal because you are waiting on a response from us. University of East London will not accept that as a reason for submitting late and the Students’ Union expects all students to take responsibility for ensuring that their appeal is submitted on time.

What happens next?

The appeal will initially be referred to the Complaints and Appeals team, who will assess whether the appeal meets the grounds stated. After this:

- You may be referred to a different procedure, such as a complaint.

- Your appeal may be rejected because it is not made under permissible grounds or it is out of time without reasonable justification.

- Your appeal may be moved to formal consideration.

If your appeal is moved to formal consideration, it will then be sent to the relevant school. You will receive your outcome once the school has considered all of the relevant details. After this:

- You may have the chance to resit the relevant component uncapped.

- Your grade or progression decision may be amended, or extenuation may be granted.

- You may be allowed to continue on the course, retaking the failed module in the next academic year if permissible.

- Your appeal may be dismissed.

Can I ask for a review of the decision?

There is one final review stage if you believe that the Appeal outcome is incorrect or unreasonable. This is called a Panel Review. You can request this if you believe that the outcome was unreasonable, or if there is new evidence that you were reasonably unable to provide earlier. If you go through this process, the Appeals team will again undertake an initial assessment, and then your appeal will be considered by an independent panel of University staff. You may be requested to attend a hearing at this stage. Once this stage is complete, you will be sent a final decision and a Completion of Procedures letter.

Other things to consider:

Is my case an appeal or a complaint?

A complaint is usually about a lack of service, either concerning the conduct of a member of staff, the delivery of a programme upon a service provided by our University.

An appeal is where you feel that an assessment was not conducted in accordance with the current regulations or there has been some material error or problem with the way the assessment has occurred.

Late extenuating circumstances

If you did not submit an extenuation by the deadline date for extenuation, you can submit a late extenuation appeal.

This can only happen if you can prove that you had extenuation circumstances but could not apply for extenuation by the deadline date due to an illness or another good reason that related to your extenuating circumstances (for example, the situation which meant you could not submit/pass your work also meant you could not submit an extenuation claim by the deadline). Simply not knowing the procedure or not being aware of the extenuation deadline is not generally accepted by the University as a valid reason for not submitting on time.

Supporting evidence will need to be provided to support your extenuation claim, as well as demonstrate why you was unable to claim extenuation within the specified timeframe.

Find out more about applying for late extenuation appeals here.

Appealing a progression decision

If you have received a progression decision that you are not happy with, you can submit an appeal to try and change it. Please see here for more information on appealing a progression decision.