Academic Appeals & Complaints


Academic Appeals

This is the university procedure that allows students to challenge a Progression and Award Board decision (Undergraduates and Postgraduate Taught Awards) or a Faculty Research Degrees Committees (Postgraduate/ MPHIL students).

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

https://docs.gre.ac.uk/rep/sas/academic-appeals

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

gre.ac.uk/current-students/regs

For information on submitting  Extenuating Circumstances, please go to

docs.gre.ac.uk/rep/sas/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-procedure

What are the grounds for an academic appeal?

There are only two grounds that you can appeal on:

1 That there exist circumstances materially affecting the student’s performance which were not known to the Progression and Award Board when its decision was taken, and which it was not reasonably practicable for the student to make known to the Board beforehand.

You must show a compelling reason why this information was not made available to the Progression and Award Board before it reached its decision, and provide documentary evidence in support.

2 That there has been demonstrable material procedural irregularity in the conduct of the examinations and/or assessment procedures of such a nature as to create a reasonable possibility that the result might have been different had they not occurred. ‘Assessment procedures’ covers all forms of assessment available within a module structure including placement on programmes that entitle successful graduates to become registered members of regulated professions.

When can I submit an appeal?

1. You can only submit an Academic Appeal once the Progression & Awards Board (PAB) has met to ratify your results and your results letters are published in your Moodle Shell. This letter is not posted or emailed to you. You have 15 working days (working days are Monday-Friday) from the date on your results letter, to submit your academic appeal. You can always ask one of our Advisers if you can still appeal.

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.

Can I get help on my appeal?

Yes. We strongly advise that you contact the Greenwich Students’ Union (GSU) Advice Team and speak to an Adviser who can advise on the merits of any appeal and what you need to do.

Complaints

See the Complaints procedure, guidance and the form at: 

docs.gre.ac.uk/rep/sas/student-complaints-procedure

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 (www.oiahe.org.uk) – 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.