Academic Appeals

Thinking about an appeal but unsure what appeals you can qualify for?

Download the University Appeals page to download the appeal form

On what grounds can I appeal?

You can’t appeal because you are unhappy with a mark or think that you should have been given a higher mark, unless you have evidence that there has been a procedural irregularity.

The only grounds for appeal are:

  • Procedural Irregularity in the conduct of the assessment
  • Exceptional Circumstances, if these were not known by the Board of Examiners at the time it made its decision, evidence for the circumstances can be provided and there is a valid reason as to why you did not notify the Board of Examiners of these circumstances before.

Some examples of procedural irregularity are:

  • Incorrect marks being returned.
  • The mark required for written work submitted by the due date not being incorporated in the final module mark.
  • Exceptional circumstances were submitted on time using the EC form but the Examination Board did not take them into consideration.

The University has some common appeal scenarios and their likely outcomes, which is useful to consider.

One of the most common reasons that appeals are rejected is that the appeals committee feel that the student does not have a valid reason for not informing their school of exceptional circumstances at the time of the assessment.  The Exceptional Circumstances Guide for Students states:

Normally, if you didn’t want to reveal what your circumstances were, or, if you were wanting to find out the outcomes of assessment, shyness, or cultural issues, are not accepted as valid reasons for not submitting ECs at the appropriate time.

If you do not have grounds to appeal under procedural irregularity or exceptional circumstances, your appeal will be refused. If you are not sure if you have a case or not, contact ASK and we can talk you through your options.  

You may wish to speak to services available on campus that may be able to help: Careers Service, Counselling, the Chaplains, Student Life & Learning in Student Support & Development Services and ASK.

Writing your appeal

If you decide to appeal ASK can help you with the form and check anything you've written. Here is some general guidance to help you get started:

Section A - General details about you.

Section B - Select which grounds for appeal you are using, the date your results came out, and the date you’re submitting the form.  If you have missed the 10 day deadline you will also need to give a good reason for being late in the provided box.

Section C - What you are appealing against – write your module details in the table then for each one explain what you’re appealing against. For example, you could write ‘appealing against the module mark’ or ‘appealing against the decision to withdraw me’. Some more examples are listed in the notes at the end of the form if you aren't sure what to say.

Section D - Exceptional circumstances grounds

In the first set of boxes you need to give a good explanation for not revealing your ECs to the School - this is very important as good appeals can be rejected at this stage if a valid reason isn't given.  If you did tell the School about your ECs you can explain what happened and why you think they haven’t been considered.

In the next table select which category/categories your ECs fit into, the dates you were affected, and what you are submitting as evidence (including any that will be sent after the form).

There is then a large box for you to write your main statement. This is the most important part as it’s where you persuade them to accept the appeal.  This should include details of your ECs and how they affected your work, and you could also elaborate on the reasons for not mentioning anything sooner. Please see the 'More help' heading for more information about what you could include. 

Section E – Procedural irregularity grounds

There is a large box for you to write the main statement. It is the most important part of the form if the appeal is based on these grounds.  You should include details of what has happened and how this affected your ability to work or how it affected your mark through no fault of your own. Please see the 'More help' heading for more information about what you could include.

Underneath the statement you can list the evidence you’re including to show procedural irregularity.

Section F – Select what outcome you’re asking for - you can tick more than one box.

Remember to sign and date the form at the end!

More help with the appeals main statement in Section D or E

It is important that your appeal statement gives full details but clearly and concisely.  Make sure you include:

  • What the problem was:

Here you will need to outline the problem you were encountering at the time your studies were affected. Examples might include: physical or mental health issues, a death in the family, relationship break up or something else. Give a timeline if possible to make things as clear as possible to the Appeals Panel.

  • How it affected your studies:

You will need to explain what impact this had on your academic performance. Try and be specific and link your circumstances to how it affected your studies, e.g. revision time, exam, preparation time.

Why you did not inform the School you were having problems:

  • If you did inform your School then this is fine, but you will need to explain why you believe that your circumstances have not been considered.
  • If you did not inform your School you will have to explain why. The nature of the problem may determine whether you had good cause or not to inform the School. If you did not have what the Appeal’s Panel consider to be a ‘valid’ reason, it is unlikely that your appeal will be successful. Again, if you aren’t sure, you can speak to an ASK team member.  

Evidence

You need to provide evidence to support each aspect of your case.  

Some examples of evidence:

  • Medical evidence is needed if your ECs are medical.  
  • Letters from professionals and other impartial third parties, for example, if you’ve spoken to a counsellor or a tutor about your problems.
  • You can include evidence from friends and family if there’s nothing else but this evidence carries less weight as it could be biased.
  • Messages sent and/or received at the time, for example, emails, texts, social media screenshots.

If it will take time to get evidence it’s more important to submit the form as soon as possible - the evidence can follow on.  You can write about this in the evidence section on the form, explaining it’s to follow and (if possible) giving an expected date.

Submitting the form

Once you have written your appeal, we recommend that you ask one of the advisors in ASK to check it for you before you submit it, but please, give us enough time to look at it for you.
You can do this by either: emailing it to su.ask@keele.ac.uk, by making an appointment by emailing or calling 01782 734800, or coming to one of our drop in sessions.
When you are happy with the form, you can submit it along with any evidence to appeals@keele.ac.uk or hand it into the Tawney Building.