Appeals

Thinking about appealing against your results? ASK can support you through the process

 

The deadline for appealing is 10 calendar days after your results email and you must use one of these appeal forms:

 

Do I have a case for an appeal? //

 

What are the appeal grounds?

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 for not submitting an Exceptional Circumstances claim (requesting another assessment opportunity) at the time of your assessment.

For Research students only, there is a third ground:

 

  • Inadequate supervision or facilities - but you must have raised these issues at the time and cannot use this ground if you've already submitted your thesis. 

If you do not have grounds to appeal under procedural irregularity or exceptional circumstances, your appeal will be refused. It is not possible to appeal against academic judgement.If you are not sure if you have a case or not, there the University has listed some common appeal scenarios and you contact ASK to 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, and Student Support & Development Services.

 

What is a Procedural Irregularity?

 

You might be able to use procedural irregularity grounds if the University has made a mistake or not followed its own processes. Some examples are:

 

  • The wrong mark has been recorded.
  • Work you submitted on time has not been included in the final module mark.
  • You submitted Exceptional Circumstances on time using the EC form but the Examination Board did not take them into consideration.
  • You weren't given important information about an assessment, or you were given wrong/misleading information.

 

When can I use Exceptional Circumstances grounds?

 

If your work was affected you can try to use ECs grounds but you would need to consider:

 

  • If you submitted ECs at the time, why were they rejected? Did you miss out any evidence or important information?
  • If you didn't submit ECs at the time then you will need a very good reason why you're only informing the university now.
  • Do you have any evidence you can include?

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 submitting ECs at the time of the assessment. In general, the University does not accept shyness, reluctance to talk about problems, or just waiting to see what your results were, as valid reasons for not submitting ECs at the appropriate time but this will depend on your full circumstances.

I'm not happy with my mark - can I appeal?

Unfortunately you can’t appeal to ask for a remark, or because you think that you should have been given a higher mark, as this is classed as academic judgement. If you have evidence that there has been a procedural irregularity then you could try appealing using those grounds.

My EC claim was rejected, can I appeal?

You can't appeal against the EC decision itself, but you can appeal against your module results when they are released. On the appeal form, you will be asked whether you submitted an EC and, if you did, why it wasn't accepted. Include as much detail as possible when explaining what happened with your claim - look at the reason for the rejection and think about whether the decision-maker misunderstood your case, made an unreasonable decision, or if you hadn't provided enough detail or evidence.

I don't understand my progression/degree decision so I'm not sure if I can appeal

We have a guide to progression and a guide to degree classifications on this website, to help you understand your results email. If you think there has been a mistake, get in touch with ASK and we can talk to you about appealing.

What are the possible outcomes from a successful appeal?

While you may have a case for appealing, there are some situations where students can't get the outcome they want. Some of the potential outcomes available are:

 

  • Further attempts and uncapped marks: If your appeal is accepted, you would normally be awarded another assessment attempt - if you're appealing against the result of your first attempt then this resit would be uncapped. If you are appealing against a module that was capped at the pass mark (for example because the work was submitted late), you may get the mark uncapped.
  • Reinstatement on the course if you were withdrawn.
  • A repeat year.
  • A different progression decision - further attempts can potentially change your progression decision and allow you to advance to the next year. Please see our Progression page for information about who can progress.
  • A higher degree classification - this would only happen in certain circumstances, for example you have a further attempt granted and the resit result raises your average module mark, or if you were on borderline for a higher degree and have ECs accepted.

Please note the University does not raise module marks, as they cannot predict what you would have achieved.

I'm in my final year, would an appeal affect graduation?

If you're appealing against your Semester 2 results or your Semester 1 reassessment results then you will not be able to graduate in the July graduation ceremonies, so we advise you to think carefully about whether you want to appeal. Your name will need to be removed from the awards list before it goes to Senate to be finalised, and once this happens it is not possible to receive your award until the next Senate has met.

 

If your appeal is unsuccessful, your award would go to Senate in October and if you have been awarded a degree you will be invited to the winter graduation ceremony. If your appeal is successful, then your graduation would depend on what you have been granted - if your award was changed or you had a resit in August you would also graduate in the winter ceremony, but if you repeat all or part of the year your graduation would be next summer.

 

 

how do I appeal? //

 

What is the deadline for appealing?

Appeals must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the official results (not including bank holidays). Some tutors will upload your mark early, but you can't submit an appeal until you have the formal Student Records email stating your finalised module results.

 

If you're submitting an appeal after this deadline you need to give a very good reason for not being able to appeal earlier, covering the whole time period from results day until the date of your appeal. Provide evidence if possible.

 

If you are a finalist student, make sure you also email your intention to appeal to exams@keele.ac.uk by 25 June 2024 to remove your name from the award list.

Where is the appeal form and how do I fill it in?

You must use the official appeal form, which you will find on the university website. Most appeals are under 'Academic Appeals - Taught' and a link to that form is here.

 

You can visit here to find other appeal categories and their forms.

 

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 - it may look small, but the box will expand as you type so make sure you write in detail about why it wasn't possible to appeal earlier.

 

Section C

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’, ‘appealing against the decision to withdraw me’, or 'appealing for an uncapped reassessment'. Some more examples are listed in the notes at the end of the form if you aren't sure what to say.

 

Section D - only fill in this section if you're using Exceptional Circumstances grounds

In the first set of boxes you need to give a good explanation for not submitting ECs to ask for another assessment opportunity - this is very important as good appeals can be rejected at this stage if a valid reason isn't given. Try to give as much detail as possible about your mindset at the time - think about whether your judgement may have been affected by your circumstances.  

 

If you did submit ECs you can explain what happened and why you think they haven’t been considered. If you submitted ECs but had still struggled and then didn't submit a further claim, explain why you didn't do so. Please note, the University does not count the 7 day extensions as ECs (even though you make the request through the EC form!).

 

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. Make sure you include:

 

  • Details of what was happening when you were trying to study. Examples might include: physical or mental health issues, a death in the family, looking after family or a friend, a relationship break-up. Give a timeline if possible to make things as clear as possible so the Appeals Committee can see your ECs were affecting you at the time of the assessment(s).
  • How this affected you in your daily life. Write about how you were feeling, and whether you have any symptoms from a physical illness or as a result of mental health issues or stress.
  • What impact this had on your academic performance. Try to be specific and link your circumstances to how it affected your studies, e.g. did it take you away from your studies, were you unable to concentrate while trying to work on the assessment, were you affected in an exam?
  • What would be different if your appeal is successful. This is particularly important if you're appealing against a withdrawal. Are you getting any support now? What would you do differently if you're still having problems in the future?

 

Section E - only fill in this section if you're using Procedural Irregularity grounds

There is a large box for you to write your main statement. 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. 

 

If your case is based on being given wrong information, make it clear where the information was, what it said, and when you were told this. Was your tutor misleading, did they not follow the marking scheme? Were you criticised for writing something you were told to include, or for leaving out something you were told you didn't need to do?

 

Underneath the statement, 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, and there is a write-in section if you'd like to explain anything. Remember to tick the consent box(es), sign and date the form at the end - you can just type your name!

Do I need 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.
  • For procedural irregularity grounds, you might have emails with tutors, marking schemes or assessment instructions, feedback.

 

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.

I've been withdrawn for non-engagement, is there anything else I should include?

In addition to the guidance above, you will also need to show you will engage with the course if you're allowed to continue. You should write about this in Section D and also include evidence of current engagement, such as:

 

  • A letter or supporting emails from Personal Tutor
  • A plan of when to take assessments / study plan agreed with your School or a member of staff from support services. 
  • Evidence of engagement this semester, e.g. showing you've not missed any classes
  • Any emails with module tutors
  • Evidence of any engagement / planned engagement with support services.

How do I submit my appeal form?

Once you have written your appeal, we recommend that you send it to ASK for feedback before you submit it. Please give us enough time to look at it for you.

 

When you are happy with the form, you can submit it, along with any evidence, to appeals@keele.ac.uk

How long will I have to wait for an outcome?

There is no exact timeframe for the appeal process but it will normally take several weeks for you to get an outcome letter. Bear in mind that if you're appealing during the results period there will be a lot of students submitting their appeals at the same time, which can cause delays.

 

You can visit the University's appeals page to read more about what will happen to your appeal after you submit it.

I'm not happy with the appeal outcome, what can I do?

If you submitted an appeal against your results and you're not satisfied with the outcome you may be able to take your case further.

 

The university has one final process you can try, called a grievance. Information about grievances is on the University website and ASK can help you with the process.

 

You must submit a grievance on the official form within 14 calendar days of the appeal outcome and you must meet one of the grounds; these are:

 

  • Procedural irregularity in the appeal process;
  • New evidence/information, which was not known at the time of the appeal decision, which may have affected the outcome had it been known to the Committee, AND there is a valid reason for not making it known at the time. 

You will need to look at the reason your appeal was rejected and think about whether the university was wrong to reject it or if there is anything you can add to your case. Look over your appeal form again to see if there's anything that might have been misunderstood or ignored by the committee.

 

If you decide to submit a grievance, remember to focus on why your appeal was rejected - don't just repeat your appeal or say you don't like the outcome!

 

 

What can I do if I don't have grounds for a grievance or I'm not happy with a grievance decision?

 

If you don't have grounds for a grievance you can request a Completion of Procedures (CoP) letter - your appeal outcome letter will give you a deadline to request this so make sure you ask in time.

 

If you submit a grievance, the outcome letter should also be a Completion of Procedures letter.

 

Once you have the CoP letter you can take your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). You can visit the OIA website for information about what they do and how to complain to them. Outcomes include overruling a decision, asking the university to reconsider, recommending changes to processes and regulations, and granting compensation where appropriate. You can read more about potential outcomes here.

 

If you want to take your case to the OIA, you must do so within 12 months of the date on your CoP letter.