Academic appeals

Updated Information Following the Marking Boycott and University Mitigations

The mitigations that the University has put in place to reduce the impact of the boycott are described on our FAQs page, and have been designed to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the boycott.

If your work has been impacted by the boycott, you will either have:

  • a derived mark - an overall mark and grade for the module(s) in question has been calculated from other work that you submitted on the affected module(s)
  • an ungraded pass - You have been awarded the credits for this module, but the module will not be included when calculating your final degree average or classification.
  • an Incomplete (IC) - The University has not been able to mark your work or derive a mark so there is no credit / marks for the module.

Can I make an academic appeal?

Appealing a derived mark or ungraded pass

We understand that you have worked hard on assignments and might feel you deserve your work to be fully marked by the original marker. Therefore, you may wish to make an appeal against your derived mark or ungraded pass. Information about how to do this can be found in the sections below.

Please read this information carefully before doing so.

If your appeal is successful

The University cannot guarantee that a piece of work will be marked by the original intended marker, (by a certain date, or ever) so you can choose to return your derived mark and request either:

  • a ‘Disregard’ (meaning you take the module again at a later date, without paying) and have access to the full range of marks available. Unfortunately we cannot offer a resit because if your first submission was not marked by the original marker, it is unlikely that the resit will be instead.
  • to have an IC (incomplete) - meaning there are no marks and you wait for the work to be marked.

What is the impact of a successful academic appeal?

Please note with either option, there may be consequences that impact you significantly, so on balance, you might feel that an academic appeal is not beneficial.

If you make an appeal and the Student Investigation and Resolution Team find it justified, your grade (whether it's an ungraded pass, or derived mark) will be removed from your programme and replaced with a DR (Disregard) or IC, as described below.

Therefore, you will not have a complete set of marks. This may mean:

  • You will not have a complete degree, so will not have a degree certificate
  • It may affect your progression if you are a continuing student
  • There may be an impact on your student visa or graduate visa

If you opt to wait until the work is marked, or have a Disregard, you can change your mind at a later date. However, you may only change your mind about a disregard before retaking the module.

Either of these options may mean the above impact has still occurred.

Appealing an IC mark

Please note, while you could make an academic appeal against an IC, there is nothing further the University can do in terms of potential outcomes following an appeal, so there would be no benefit to you. 

The University are going to continue to apply mitigations, so it may be that your work is marked without needing to make an appeal. Further communications will be sent to you over the next few weeks.

If your appeal is unsuccessful

If we do not find your academic appeal successful, your derived mark or ungraded pass will remain on your programme.

Where can I get advice?

We suggest you speak with your student support co-ordinator, Brookes Union Advice Service, or the International Student Advice Team (ISAT)

What is an Academic Appeal?

The Academic Appeals Procedure allows a student to appeal against a decision about a final grade or another outcome which has been formally agreed by an Examination Committee, if they can demonstrate one or more of the following grounds:

  • there was an administrative error or procedural irregularity in the assessment process, which significantly impacted the assessment decision;
  • the process of assessment was affected by bias;
  • the student’s performance in the assessment was affected by relevant exceptional circumstances, which for valid reasons were not made known to the examination committee prior to their meeting.

To be eligible for consideration, academic appeals must be made within 2 months of the publication of the result or other Examination Committee decision that is being appealed about. 

You cannot make an academic appeal for an assignment if the deadline is in the future. For this, you should use the Exceptional Circumstances process. 

You are advised to read the Academic Appeals Procedure which explains the full process.

Students writing in class

Help and advice

If you cannot access the complaints and appeals form, please email

You are strongly advised to consult the Brookes Union Advice Service if you are thinking of submitting an appeal. They can help you to decide if you have valid grounds for an appeal and discuss what your options are. They can also help you put forward your case.

It is often better to make an academic appeal as early as possible, this is because some of the potential resolutions, e.g. uncapped resit opportunities might not be available later in the academic year. 

If your concern relates to a specific grade or grades, you may also find it helpful to speak to the marker or the module leader to ask for feedback about why you achieved that mark, or to let them know if you think there has been an administrative mistake in calculating the mark so that they have the opportunity to put it right quickly. You cannot formally appeal an informal result which has not been confirmed by the Exam Committee yet, but you can still discuss the situation with the marker or module leader.

Sometimes you may not agree with the mark given and think you deserve more. However, this is not the same as there being a mistake with the decision of the Examination Committee and you cannot appeal against academic judgment. It is worth noting that before a grade can be published:

  • Assessed work is marked. It is then moderated under a Faculty Marking and Moderation Policy, to check that the marking criteria and procedures have been applied properly and that the marks are fair. These policies can be obtained from a Faculty.
  • All decisions (including marks awarded) are considered by the Examination Committees. Each Examination Committee is responsible for assessment of specific modules and for considering student progress on specific subjects. The external examiners are in attendance. These are independent academics who do not work at Brookes. Their role is to check that the University’s marking and moderation processes have been applied fairly.

How to submit an appeal

To submit an appeal, you should complete a Complaints and Appeals Form.

If you are an external, e.g. no longer a student, please use this External Complaints and Appeals form to submit your academic appeal. 

You should raise all of the issues and provide all the relevant documentation and information which you want to be considered. Information which is submitted at a later date will not normally be considered, and the Student Information and Resolution Team are not normally responsible for obtaining information on behalf of a student. If you want the investigator to consider evidence which is not available to you, such as records of the Examination Committee, then you should explain why you think it is important, and the investigator will consider whether to seek the information before reaching a decision.

If your appeal is submitted more than two months after the date that the Examination Committee decision was published, then you will need to explain why you were unable to appeal at an earlier stage, and provide evidence to demonstrate your reasons.

Possible outcomes

Your appeal can be:

  • Justified
  • Partly Justified
  • Not Justified. 

The investigator will explain the reasons for their decision in the outcome letter.

If your appeal is Justified or Partly Justified, this means that the investigator identified that the University has made an error or omission, or that exceptional circumstances impacted your original submission. If appropriate, the outcome letter will explain what will be done to put this right. We normally try to put the student back in the position that they would have been in if the problem had not occurred. 

Possible solutions include:

  • correcting an administrative mistake which has been made,
  • providing an uncapped further opportunity to take the assessment,
  • arranging for an alternative marker, e.g. if bias was demonstrated,
  • issuing an apology.

However, please note that the University has a responsibility to maintain academic quality standards. Marks and pass grades cannot be awarded unless it has been demonstrated that you have met the required academic standard. Therefore, you would not be given extra marks on the basis of speculation that you would have done better if circumstances had been different.

The only way that extra marks would be awarded is if there was evidence that you had actually achieved them. For example, if it was discovered that the mark for one of your pieces if coursework had accidentally not been included when your overall result was calculated.

Please note that for Semester 2 assignments, it might not be possible to award an uncapped resit for a justified appeal. Therefore you are likely to be limited to a Disregard. This may have an impact on your progression, so please consider carefully if you wish to make an academic appeal.

Other policies that might be more appropriate

Suitable submissions

Oxford Brookes does not allow vexatious or frivolous complaints or appeals. This means submissions will not be accepted if they are deemed to be:

  • obsessive, harassing, or repetitive
  • abusive in tone or language
  • insistent on pursuing unrealistic or unreasonable outcomes
  • designed to cause disruption or annoyance
  • demanding disproportionate redress, which lacks any serious purpose or value

For advice about writing your complaint or appeal, please speak to Brookes Union Advice Service.