Frequently asked questions
Answers to the most popular queries about submitting an academic appeal.
How will my appeal be considered?
It is anticipated that all relevant information/evidence will be provided by the student at the time of the Stage One submission, therefore, the Complaints and Appeals Team will not automatically contact the student for further documentation and a case could be rejected on the grounds that insufficient evidence/information has been provided.
If the appeal is escalated to Stage Two, the case will be presented to the University’s Academic Appeal Panel by a member of the Complaints and Appeals Team. The Panel is Chaired by an Assistant Vice-Chancellor, with membership including one senior representative from each Faculty, the associate Faculty and Student Partnership Services. The Panel will make a decision based upon the information provided by both the student and the Complaints and Appeals Team. If further information is required, the case will be put on hold until it has been obtained.
Students are not invited to attend the Appeal Panel; therefore, it is important to ensure that everything you would like to be considered is provided within the Stage Two appeal form.
Can I discuss my circumstances with someone in person?
If you would like support and guidance during the process (including the writing and submission of the appeal itself), please contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
How long will the academic appeal process take?
There is no guarantee that individual cases will be resolved prior to any resit coursework deadline, resit examinations or award ceremonies. The original decision of the examining board will remain valid, unless it is subsequently revised following the outcome from a successful appeal. Therefore, until you are informed of the outcome of your appeal, you should prepare for any assessments and/or resit assessments as usual.
Is it possible for someone to act on my behalf?
Yes, but it is preferable for you to handle your application for an appeal yourself. If you are not able to do so, you may appoint a third party to act as your agent or representative. To submit an appeal application with someone acting on your behalf you must:
- Complete a Third Party Consent form, ensuring required information is included. The original copy of this form will need to be posted to the Complaints and Appeals Team at the address below along with the Nominee Application form. Both forms must be received within 10 working days from the official publication date of your results.
- The Nominee Application Form can be completed electronically but must be printed and signed and forwarded to:
Bristol, BS16 1QY
You will need to brief your representative and it is their responsibility to keep you fully informed. The Complaints and Appeals Team must have the written authorisation to communicate with someone on your behalf and will liaise solely with your designated representative. The team will not correspond with both the representative and the student.
Once the application has been processed, the nominee will be sent an acknowledgement e-mail with a copy of the appeal form. They must check the copy of the application and save a copy for their records.
Is my appeal likely to be accepted?
- Disagreement with a mark or degree classification will not normally be considered as valid grounds for appeal as it is considered to be a matter of 'academic judgement'.
- A lack of awareness by a student of the relevant procedure or regulations.
You may also find it helpful to see the Case Studies and Evidence page.
What will happen if the appeal is accepted?
If it is determined that a student has valid grounds for an academic appeal, the Complaints and Appeals Team will consider the most appropriate outcome in line with the Academic Regulations.
A member of the Complaints and Appeals Team will e-mail the student to advise of the decision to accept the appeal and to explain any impact it will have upon the student’s studies. However, it is important for students to be aware of the following:
- If the student has completed their degree, the acceptance of an appeal will not automatically mean that the degree classification is raised. It is possible that the student’s academic profile may be referred back to the Award Board for reconsideration; however, this does not mean that the degree classification will necessarily change.
- If the outcome of an appeal results in a piece of work being re-considered, this does not mean that the mark will definitely change.
What if my appeal is rejected?
If your appeal is unsuccessful, a member of the Complaints and Appeals Team will write to you and explain why the decision was made (this will be via e-mail at Stage One and via a written letter at Stage Two). Both the e-mail and the letter will explain the ‘next steps’ that are available to you if you wish to take the matter further.
When an appeal is unsuccessful it means that the decision of the examining board remains the same and that your academic results will not be changed.
If you wish to take the matter further (either to Stage Two of the appeal process or, following an outcome at Stage Two, to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator), you may choose to ask the Students’ Union Advice Centre for support and guidance with your next submission.