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Student Guidance on Academic Appeals


What is the Academic Appeals Procedure?

The Appeals Procedure provides an opportunity for a review of your results if you meet either, or both of the grounds set out below. The detailed Appeals Procedure can be found at the link below:

http://www.mmu.ac.uk/academic/casqe/regulations/assessment/docs/academic-appeals.pdf

However, we recommend that you read the practical guidance on this page and if necessary talk to the professional staff in Your Advice Centre, the Union MMU:

Tel: 0161 247 6533

Email: s.u.advice.mmu.ac.uk

Web: www.theunionmmu.org/your-advice-centre/

What Grounds can I appeal on?

You cannot submit an appeal if you are simply unhappy with your results or think you deserved a higher mark.

You can submit an appeal if you believe you meet either, or both, of the following grounds:

  • That your performance in exams or other forms of assessment was affected by Exceptional Factors, which you did not submit before the meeting of the Assessment Board.

    Exceptional factors are sudden, unexpected and unpreventable events such as the death of a close relative or a sudden illness. An appeal on the grounds of Exceptional Factors must be supported by appropriate evidence.

  • That a material irregularity occurred in the conduct of your assessment(s), or that the proceedings of the Assessment Board or other relevant body such as an Exceptional Factors Panel or Assessment Disciplinary Committee were not conducted in accordance with University regulations. The irregularity or error must have been of such a nature as to cause reasonable doubt as whether the result of the assessment or process might have been different had it not occurred. You must clearly explain what material irregularity occurred and how it affected your assessment.

In all cases, consideration will also be given to whether there is evidence of bias or perception of bias.

Possible Appeal Remedies

Before deciding to submit an appeal, you should be aware that Panels are not able to amend marks and it is very rare for work to be re-marked following a Panel decision. If your appeal is upheld, you will usually still have to take a reassessment. The most common outcomes of successful appeals are:

  • Your reassessment status will change. For example, you might be given an uncapped assessment as if for the first time instead of a capped reassessment.
  • If you have exhausted all of your assessment opportunities, you might be granted one final further reassessment opportunity.

How do I submit an Appeal?

When you receive your results, you will have the opportunity to informally ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have about your results with a member of staff. Your Results will have contact details for a relevant member of University staff to contact in this instance.

If you decide you meet one or both of the grounds for appeal, and wish to submit an appeal, you can download the Academic Appeals Form. University Regulations state you should submit an appeal within 14 days of you receiving the relevant result. Please submit your completed appeal form and any evidence to your Student Hub. You can do this either in person or by email, and you will be provided with a receipt.

What is the deadline for submitting an academic appeal?

Your form should be submitted no later than 14 days after the publication date of the relevant result. If you miss the deadline, you will have to provide a good explanation as to why you are late and if relevant, provide documentary evidence. The Appeals Panel will then decide whether they will excuse your lateness.

What Evidence do I need?

You will need to include evidence to support your appeal statement.

If you are appealing on the basis of Exceptional Factors, you will need to submit evidence of the circumstances you describe. Evidence should be contemporaneous with the event; back-dated evidence is not usually accepted. The evidence should also be from an appropriate third party, such as a GP, Police Officer or University Counsellor, who is able to provide objective and impartial evidence. For further guidance on types of Exceptional Factors and the evidence required to support them see the Exceptional Factors guidance page.

If you are appealing on the grounds of Material Irregularity, you should include any documentary evidence that you believe supports your appeal and helps explain how the error or irregularity caused you to be adversely affected.

You should also include a copy of your most recent results.

How will my Appeal be dealt with? - The Stages of the Procedure:

1. Faculty Exceptional Factors and Assessment Review Panel:

  • The Faculty Exceptional Factors and Assessment Review Panel will undertake an initial review of your appeal. They make decisions on Exceptional Factors claims and on any other claims that they consider can be upheld on the basis of the information and evidence available to them.

  • Outcomes from Faculty Exceptional Factors and Assessment Review Panels will normally be communicated to you within 14 days of the Panel meeting.

  • If the Faculty Exceptional Factors and Assessment Review Panel is unable to uphold or part-uphold your appeal, it will automatically be referred to the Student Case Management Team. They will decide whether your case should be referred to a University Appeals Panel, or dealt with in some other way, for example as a complaint rather than an appeal. You will be informed when this happens.

  • If the Faculty Exceptional Factors and Assessment Review Panel do uphold or part-uphold your appeal, but you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can still refer your appeal for investigation by a University Appeals Panel. This will not happen automatically, you will need to email the Student Case Management Team (complaintsappeals@mmu.ac.uk) within 14 days of receiving the outcome.

2. University Appeals Panel

  • The University Appeals Panel will consist of the Panel Chair, two senior members of academic staff with no prior involvement in your case, and an elected officer from the Students' Union.

  • You will have the opportunity to submit further evidence at this stage.

  • In exceptional cases, where the facts and evidence of a case are complex or contentious, the Panel Chair may invite students to attend a hearing in person.

  • Students normally receive a brief summary decision by email within 7 days of the University Appeal Panel meeting, followed by a full written report within 28 days.

3. Review Stage

  • If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the University Appeals Panel, you may request an internal review. This can only be requested on the following grounds;

    • that the correct procedures were not followed in the consideration of your case through the earlier stages of the Procedure;

    • that the outcome of the Formal Stage of the Procedure was not reasonable;

    • that there is new material evidence that for good reason was not available at the earlier stages of the Procedure.

    The Reviewer will be an academic Head of Department with extensive experience of University Appeals Panels.

  • If you wish to request a review, you must do so within 14 days of receiving the full written report from the University Appeals Panel. You will not be able to request a review before receiving this report.

  • Students normally receive the outcome of the review within 28 days of the Student Case Management Team receiving their request for review.

What if I am still dissatisfied?

You will be issued with a Completion of Procedures notification alongside your University Appeals Panel report. This will provide you with details of how to apply to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) for an external review.

For guidance on making an application to the OIA, please visit their website: www.oiahe.org.uk

What if I need further information, or help in submitting my appeal?

Your Advice Centre, the Union - MMU can provide impartial advice on submitting an Academic Appeal.

Tel: 0161 247 6533

Mail: s.u.advice@mmu.ac.uk

Web: www.theunionmmu.org/your-advice-centre/

If you would like further information or clarification on the Academic Appeals Procedure, you can contact the Student Case Management Team:

Tel: 0161 247 1095

Mail: complaintsappeals@mmu.ac.uk