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Appeals

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

Visit the University Appeals page to download the appeal form. The deadline for appealing is 10 calendar days after your results email.

 

 

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.

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. 

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

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, and Student Support & Development Services.

 

What is a Procedural Irregularity?

You might be able to use the procedural irregularity ground 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.  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'. 

 

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.

 

What are the potential outcomes from appealing?

  • 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. If you have passed the module you will normally not be able to resit even if your appeal is accepted, unless there has been a procedural irregularity - instead, you could have ECs recorded on the system to be considered at the end of your course if you have a borderline degree.

**This year, all graduating students on the borderline will be raised to the next degree class regardless of ECs. Visit our Degree Classifications page for more information about safety nets. Students who are not graduating this year may also benefit from safety nets - please visit our Progression page for more information.**

 

What is the deadline for appealing?

Appeals must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the official results (not including bank holidays). If you're submitting an appeal after this deadline you need to include a very good reason for being late, along with evidence.

Some tutors will tell you your mark early, but you can't submit an appeal until you have the formal Student Records email stating your finalised module results.

Final year students must also email exams@keele.ac.uk by 6pm on Wednesday 14th July to tell them you intend to appeal. This will take your name off the list of graduating students before it goes to Senate.

 

How do I appeal?

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.

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 - Exceptional Circumstances grounds

In the first set of boxes you need to give a good explanation for not telling the School about your ECs - 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. If you submitted ECs but had still struggled and then didn't submit a further claim, explain why you didn't do so.

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:

  • What the problem was:

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 it affected your studies:

You will need to explain what impact this problem had on your academic performance. Try and 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?

  • 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.

  • What would be different if your appeal is successful?

Are you getting any support now? What would you do differently if you're still having problems in the furure?

 

Section E – 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.

Remember to sign and date the form at the end!

 

 

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.

 

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.

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. 

 

You might be able to submit a grievance if you can meet one of the grounds; these are:

  • Procedural irregularity in the conduct of the consideration of the appeal case;
  • New evidence that can be substantiated, including exceptional circumstances, which was not known at the time and may have affected the outcome had it been known to the Committee and that there is a valid reason for not making it known at the time. 

You must submit a grievance on the official form within 14 calendar days of the appeal outcome.

Information about grievances is on the University website and ASK can help you with the process.

If you don't have grounds for a grievance or you are not satisfied with the grievance outcome, you can request a Completion of Procedures letter and take your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). You can visit the OIA website for information.