Academic appeals

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 (and cannot be made before the result is published). 

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

Important advice for Semester 2 (2023/24) academic appeals

If you are making an academic appeal about Semester 2 assessments, you should still sit any resit assessments you have been given, if possible. 

Please note, due to the University calendar and marking turnaround, it may not be possible to give you an uncapped resit as an outcome of an academic appeal. However, if you do have a justified outcome, a Disregard (taking the whole module again) is possible. More information about resits and disregards can be found here: Resits and Retakes

Before you make an academic appeal, we recommend you speak to a Student Support Co-ordinator or Brookes Union Advice Service.

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 (please note that if you eventually retake the module, you may have to pay for this). You can find more information on the resits and retakes page.
  • 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 be aware, if an academic appeal results in another opportunity to take an assessment again, you may achieve a lower grade in the resit. 

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.

While you are waiting for an outcome

Please continue as your grade/situation currently stands, i.e. do not assume your academic appeal will be successful. Therefore, if you are eligible for resits, we advise that you take them if you can. If you have been withdrawn from the University, we advise that you explore other options. If your appeal is later unsuccessful it means you will have not wasted opportunities. 

If your appeal is unsuccessful

If we do not find your academic appeal successful, your mark or student status will remain the same. 

Appealing if you have already passed the assessment/module

We understand that you may have been impacted by circumstances that meant your mark was not as high as you expect, but you still pass. If you have already passed the assessment or module, you will not be eligible for a resit. 

Due to the length of time it takes to resolve an academic appeal, it is likely that the only outcome we could offer (if your appeal is found Justified) in these situations is an opportunity to take the module again (a Disregard). This may mean you have to pay to take the module again in future, and it might impact your progression. 

Therefore, we advise you seek advice before making an academic appeal if you have already passed the assessment or module.  

Other policies that might be more appropriate

Ground C - Is my reason for an academic appeal valid?

Ground C of the academic appeals procedure is "the student’s performance in the assessment was affected by relevant exceptional circumstances (EC), which for valid reasons were not made known to the examination committee prior to their meeting."  This means you have to demonstrate that you could not have applied (or reapplied) for exceptional circumstances earlier. 

Here are some common reasons given and our typical responses. 

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.