Academic Appeals & Complaints

Academic Appeals

First things first – academic appeals don’t change your marks!

If you think your work has not been assessed correctly, ask for feedback first. If you’re still not satisfied with your mark, contact your Head of Department and explain why.  There isn’t a formal process to get your work re-assessed, but you could ask for this.    In general, any decision on ‘academic judgment’ cannot be appealed (or complained about). But get advice before giving up.

Click here for the University’s current policy on Assessment and Feedback. 

The appeals procedure is more concerned with what the University’s Progression and Awards Boards (PABs) do in response to your marks:  what grade you’re given, and if you fail, whether or not you will be given a further assessment opportunity. 

The Appeals Regulations (and the appeals form) are set out at:

You may also want to see the University Academic Regulations generally on PAB decisions, Extenuation and other issues:

For information on submitting  Extenuating Circumstances, please go to


Key Issues

1. Are you within time to appeal (or do you have a very good reason for not appealing at the right time)?  You only have 15 working days (weekends don’t count) from the date of the letter notifying you of the PAB decision.

2. Does your situation fit within the limited grounds for appeal, as set out in the Academic Regulations?

3. What evidence can you submit to support your case?

4. What do you want the University to do instead?  The University can only do what it’s allowed to under the Appeal Regulations.  In general, students are limited to 3 opportunities for assessment.  If you’re trying to ask for more, then unless the University was at fault for previous incorrect assessments, you’re unlikely to succeed.

If you want advice on whether or not you’ve got grounds for appeal, or you want guidance on completing the academic appeal form, contact your Students’ Union Advice Service.


See the Complaints procedure, guidance and the form at:

The University’s procedure expects students to have attempted to resolve complaints informally first.  We would usually recommend, for academic issues, involving your Personal Tutor, the Head of Department for your programme, or your programme rep.  But there can be reasons why you do not think they will be effective (or you might be complaining about them).  And there is nothing stopping you raising the complaint yourself, or with the help of the Students’ Union Advice Service.

With all University procedures, it can take a long time to see a problem through from the start until it’s resolved.  If you’ve made an informal complaint and it’s not close to resolution within a month, we’d advise you to think about making a formal complaint.  And if you’re not satisfied with how the University deals with your complaint, you do have the right to complain further to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education ( – but you have to make a formal complaint to the University first.

Key Issues for Making Complaints (whether formal or informal)

1. Who can help you resolve the problem?

2. Do it quickly!  The longer you leave it, the harder it is for anyone to take action to change your situation.

3. Put it in writing.

4. Explain why you are not happy with the decision, how you’ve been affected by the decision or actions, and what you want to be done to resolve the problem (check that what you want to be done is possible!)

5. State when you need a response (and make sure your contact information  - email, phone etc) is correct).

Contact your Students’ Union Adviser for information, advice and guidance on preparing your complaint, and for further action if you’re not satisfied with the response.