Applying for an Academic Appeal is the process to follow if you receive your result and feel that it was negatively impacted by personal or administrative grounds. You can only apply for an appeal once you receive your official result, and have 10 calendar days to appeal from this date. If you have not had your official result, have only just submitted the essay or haven't submitted at all, we would encourage you to look into Extensions, Deferrals and Mitigating Circumstances first by clicking here.
To appeal you will need to complete an academic appeals form. The Appeals form and the Guidance notes for completing the form are available on portal at: https://portal.chester.ac.uk/aqss/Pages/aqss-academic-appeals.aspx
When filling in the form, you are prompted on which sections to complete relating to the nature of your appeal. If you are struggling to work out which sections to complete, contact our advice team who can provide guidance on this. Our advisors are also happy to read through a draft copy of your form and provide feedback prior to submitting it.
Once you are happy with the contents of your form, and have the evidence required (see below if your evidence is delayed), you can submit your appeal. This should be done within 10 calendar days so don't delay!
There are only certain grounds of appeal which include:
- That there were procedural or administrative irregularities in the conduct of the assessment process;
- That there were factors which materially affected the student’s performance, provided that these circumstances were not known by the Examiners and there are compelling reasons why the student failed to follow the procedures for requesting an extension or deferral or for submitting an application to the Mitigating Circumstances Board
- That the student had been assessed as having a specific learning difference during the current academic session, provided that certain provisions of the appeals procedure have been adhered to.
If your appeal is complicated, or you are unsure which grounds to apply under, get in touch and we will advise on which grounds may be most suitable.
You have 10 calendar days from the day of your official result (following an assessment board) to appeal. This includes weekends, so for example if a result is released on the 1st August, the appeal would need to be submitted by 11th August. Late appeals may be considered, but you would also need to give a valid reason for why the appeal was not submitted within the 10 day window.
If you are having difficulty we can give you some guidance on completing the form. However, generally you should remember:
- Be as clear as possible on the form. Bullet points and headings may help you to organise information. Also, try to put events in chronological order.
- Explain what you think has gone wrong, why you think the problem has arisen and how you think the problem can be rectified.
- Try not to ramble! Listing all your frustrations and irrelevant issues will not help your appeal.
- Be clear on what aspect of the outcome you have an issue with e.g. if your studies have been terminated following assessment decisions.
- Provide as much evidence as necessary. Successful appeals contain evidence which show your circumstances and supports what impact those circumstances had on you. This may include for example medical evidence. Please note the Appeals department cannot accept evidence which is not your own, i.e. hospital forms for a relative.
Before submitting an academic appeal, you should be aware of the following:
- Students cannot appeal against academic judgement. This means that you cannot appeal simply because you are unhappy with a mark that has been awarded. You must be able to demonstrate that there were exceptional factors which led to you receiving a lower mark than you otherwise might have.
- The normal outcome of a successful appeal will be an opportunity to re-do the work in question. The Academic Appeals Board can never simply add marks. In the majority of cases when an appeal is upheld the outcome will be to put the student back to the point they were at before the exceptional circumstances occurred, and offer another opportunity to submit the work. The only exception is where there has been a clear administrative error and the mark agreed by the Examiners was different to the one that was published.
- The original decision stands whilst the appeal is in progress. This means that you must abide by and comply with the requirements of the original decision unless and until the Academic Appeals Board decides to overturn it. If you need to undertake reassessments, you should do these by the deadlines published (or request an extension, or apply for mitigating circumstances if applicable). If your studies have been terminated, you must not attend any scheduled sessions.
Evidence can vary on a case-by-case basis. It is important to include evidence which corroborates your appeal. If you are appealling based on personal circumstances, a doctor's letter demonstrating impact at the time of assessment may be suitable as evidence. If you are appealling based on procedural error, documentary evidence such as email trails may demonstrate the point you are trying to present in your appeals form.
Please note the Academic Appeals team cannot accept third party evidence, i.e. a relative's medical notes.
If you are unsure on what evidence to include, please get in touch with our advice team for guidance on what may be suitable for your appeal.
If you do not think you will have the correct evidence within the 10 calendar days (i.e. if you cannot get a doctor's letter in time), we would advise to send the appeals form within the deadline, and note that the evidence is to follow. There is space allocated on the form to explain that evidence is to follow.
The easiest method to submit an academic appeal is to email the appeals form and any evidence directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also submit an appeal in person or via postal service. The departments authorised to receive academic appeals in person are The Graduate School (for postgraduate research degree students only), Chester Students’ Union and Student Welfare / Disability Support. If you post your appeal, this should be posted to:
Academic Quality Support Services (Appeals)
University of Chester
If you choose to post your appeal, we strongly advise you to use a suitable tracking service.
If your appeal is accepted, your result for this submission attempt will no longer count. You will be given a fresh attempt at the submission you have appealed, and the new mark will be the one recorded regardless of if the first mark is higher than the new one.
Some examples are below:
1) A first submission at level 4 receives a mark of 35. An appeal is made, and it is accepted. The original mark is removed from the record. The student submits the assignment again in the resit period. This submission counts as a first submission and is therefore uncapped (receiving the full marks of 52, instead of being capped at 40).
2) A first submission at level 4 receives a mark of 74. An appeal is made, and it is accepted. The original mark is removed from the record. The student submits the assignment again in the resit period. This submission counts as a first submission. It receives the full marks of 48.
3) A second submission at level 5 receives a mark of 22. An appeal is made, and it is accepted. The student submits the assignment again in the resit period. This submission still counts as a second submission, and will therefore still be capped at 40.
If your appeal is rejected, you can request a review of the decision made by the appeals board.
A request to review can only be made on the grounds that there was a procedural irregularity in the operation of the Academic Appeals Procedure, and/or that new evidence has become available which could not have been disclosed in time to be considered by the Academic Appeals board.
If you have relevant grounds, you must request a review in writing within 10 calendar days of receiving the letter outlining the appeals board's decision. You can do this by emailing email@example.com
It is useful to include the following:
- Student Name
- Student Number
- Date of decision letter received and why the appeal was rejected
- Your grounds for requesting a review of the decision and what evidence you are forwarding in support
The outcome of requesting a review will either be that the case is reconsidered by the Academic Appeals Board, or that the decision still stands, and a Completion of Procedures statement should be issued.
Once you receive a completion of procedures letter, you have exhausted the internal appeals process. If you still feel you have grounds for an appeal and want to take this further, your next step is to send a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. The OIA is an independent group which monitors all institutions and can examine your complaint independently from the University. If you wish to follow this route, contact our advice team who will be able to provide guidance on this process.