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An Academic Appeal is a request for reconsideration of a decision made by the University Assessment Board.

An appeal enables you (where there are valid grounds) to request that a decision about an assessment outcome is reconsidered.

All appeals will be dealt with confidentially, unless disclosure is necessary to progress the appeal.

In accordance with the GDPR 2018 the information you provide for an academic appeal will be treated as confidential and will only be disclosed:

i) in order to progress an appeal or to comply with university procedures. For further information, please see the Academic Procedures and Processes within the Academic Regulations.

ii) if information you have provided gives reasonable belief that there is a concern regarding the safety of the individual or others

Further information about the GDPR 2018  is available here. On this page you will also find details of University of Cumbria and UCSU data sharing agreement.

An appeal can be made using the Academic Appeal Form 2018  by any student who is enrolled at a course of study at the University of Cumbria or by recent graduates if within the stipulated timescale.

  • When can I appeal?

    An appeal may be made in circumstances where a student’s performance in examinations or assessment has been adversely affected by serious matters beyond his or her control. The circumstances or grounds of an appeal are strictly limited to:

      • Material, administrative error or procedural irregularity, which has affected your results.
      • The production of significant new evidence concerning which for good reason had not been made available to the Boards of Examiners at a University Assessment Board.
      • Unfair treatment or discrimination alleged as part of the assessment process which for good reason had not been considered previously under the University Complaints Procedure.

    Appeals must be submitted within TEN working days of the publication of your results.

    Disagreement with any mark or grade will not constitute grounds for an appeal. Complaints outside this definition should be made through ICON.

  • How do I submit an appeal?

    You must make an appeal in writing  on the Academic Appeal Form 2018, identifying the grounds for appeal and you must provide relevant dated documentary independent evidence to the Secretary to the Appeals Panel via the Assessment Office within ten working days of the publication of your results.

    Forms submitted outside of this timeline will be deemed to be invalid and will not be progressed.

  • What do I need to consider when submitting an appeal on grounds of Extenuating circumstances?

    An appeal submitted on the grounds of extenuating circumstances (ECs) will be reviewed by the EC panel at stage 1 of the appeal process.

    The EC panel will be looking for an explanation as to why you did not submit an EC claim at the appropriate time of submission under the EC procedures.

    The EC panel will also be looking for independent evidence to verify these circumstances.  A good reason would be if, for example, you had been incapacitated at the time you should have submitted an EC claim.  Ignorance of the EC procedure will not be classed as an acceptable reason.

  • Can I attend my course if I am appealing?

    If you have submitted an appeal and it is being progressed, you have the right to continue with your programme, provided that: you have sufficient credit to progress, you are not in debt to the University and you have satisfied fitness to practice procedures until such time as a decision has been reached.

    Students on professional courses such as midwifery and nursing are not able to undertake any placement activity whilst an appeal is ongoing, placements can resume if an appeal is upheld. This right is designed solely to ensure that a student whose appeal is upheld is not academically disadvantaged and it should not be interpreted as acceptance of a failed student on a subsequent stage of the programme.

  • How is an appeal different to a complaint?

    An Academic Appeal enables you (where there are grounds) to request that a decision about an assessment outcome is reconsidered. This differs to the Complaints Procedure which is concerned with the quality of delivery of programmes and services.

    If you feel you have been treated unfairly or discriminated against, or that the quality of delivery of your programme has affected the outcome of an assessment, you need to use the Student Complaints Procedure as soon as possible.

    If you submit an Academic Appeal and you reference quality of delivery as a reason, your appeal will be deferred until the complaint has been investigated. The outcome of the complaint may impact on the outcome of the Academic Appeal.

  • Where can I get support with submitting an appeal?

    The Students’ Union are able to provide advice and assistance on the content of your appeal.

    The Assessment Office are responsible for the administration of the appeal and can help with queries relating to submission of the form or progress of the appeal.

  • What constitutes 'documentary evidence'?

    The following are examples of documents that may be considered as evidence:

    • Medical certificate
    • Hospital/doctor’s letter
    • Solicitor’s letter
    • Death Certificate

    Documentary evidence must be independently verifiable and therefore letters from family members or friends will not be accepted.  Students must keep their Personal Tutor informed of any adverse personal circumstances. Where circumstances are of a nature that verifiable evidence is not available and your course tutor or personal tutor is aware of your situation they may provide a letter of support as evidence on your behalf. Newspaper articles, copies of internet pages or photographs (of any nature) will not be considered as verified evidence unless such documents directly link you to the circumstances/news stories being discussed.

    Where medical evidence is supplied it must include dates, time frame and a medical opinion about the likely effect of illness on your ability to study for and/or submit for assessment.

    Any information submitted as part of an academic appeal and/or extenuating circumstances claim which subsequently is identified as fraudulent will be disregarded from the purpose of the EC/appeal. If you submit fraudulent information you may be referred for consideration under the Adjudication Procedure and/or Disciplinary Procedure or Fitness for Professional Practise Procedure.

  • What happens if I don't fill in the form in full or don't provide documentary evidence?

    Your claim may be deemed invalid if you fail to provide enough information or evidence for the panel to consider your case. It is essential that you include module codes, titles and submission dates on your form and submit supporting documentary, independent evidence with your claim. You must also give a clear and concise explanation about how your circumstances have impacted on your study which has led to your claim for extenuating circumstances.

    In exceptional cases, if you are incapacitated (either due to a physical or mental illness) and therefore not able to complete the EC form yourself, the form may be completed on your behalf by a member of staff (eg Personal Tutor, Programme Leader). However, it is your responsibility to contact the member of staff and ask them to do this for you.

  • Where can I find out further information on appeals?

    See Appendix 5 of the Academic Regulations which relates to the Academic Appeals process.

    Please note: There are two versions of Appendix 5 - one each for the old and new Academic Regulations. Please refer to the correct version or contact the Assessment Office for clarification.

  • Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

    The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) runs an independent scheme to review student complaints. The University of Cumbria is a member of this scheme. If you are unhappy with the outcome you may be able to ask the OIA to review your appeal.

    You can find more information about making a complaint to the OIA, what it can and can’t look at and what it can do to put things right here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/students.

    You normally need to have completed the complaints procedure before you complain to the OIA. We will send you a letter called a “Completion of Procedures Letter” when you have reached the end of our processes and there are no further steps you can take internally. If your appeal is not upheld at the end of the process, we will issue you with a Completion of Procedures Letter automatically. If your appeal is upheld or partly upheld you can ask for a Completion of Procedures Letter if you want one.

    You can find more information about Completion of Procedures Letters and when you should expect to receive one here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/providers/completion-of-procedures-letters.

  • Queries

    If you have any queries about your assessment position after reading this information, please consult your Course Tutor or the Assessment Team.