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  • Academic appeals

    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:

    1. there was an administrative error or procedural irregularity in the assessment process, which significantly impacted the assessment decision; 
    2. the process of assessment was affected by bias;   
    3. 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. Brookes Union Advice Service   

    To be eligible for consideration, academic appeals must be made within two months of the publication of the result or other Examination Committee decision that is being appealed about. You are advised to read the Academic Appeals Procedure, which explains the full process.

    Help and advice

    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.

    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.

    Possible outcome of an appeal

    Your appeal can be Justified, Partly Justified, or 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. 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.

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

    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.

    Appealing on the grounds that there was an administrative error in the assessment process

    If you are appealing on the ground that there was an administrative error in the assessment process, you should explain what the error was, how this would have impacted the assessment decision, and what evidence there is to demonstrate this. If you are appealing that there was a procedural irregularity in the assessment process, you should specify which regulation or procedure was not properly followed, and explain how it has been breached.

    Appealing on the grounds that the process of assessment 

    If you are appealing on the ground that the process of assessment was affected by bias, you should explain who you feel has acted in a biased way and provide any evidence that you have of this. If you are appealing about the result of an anonymously marked assessment, it would also be important to explain how it would have been possible for bias to have affected your result.

    Appealing on the grounds of relevant exceptional circumstances

    If you are appealing on the grounds of relevant exceptional circumstances, which for valid reasons were not made known to the examination committee before their meeting, you will need to provide evidence both to:

    1. demonstrate your circumstances and when they affected you, and
    2. demonstrate that there are valid reasons why you have been unable to raise these previously, for example that you were too ill to engage with the exceptional circumstances process.

    Your circumstances will only be considered if the investigator decides that there is good reason that you did not raise them earlier.

    If you think your performance was affected by exceptional circumstances, you can request that the University take this into account through the Exceptional Circumstances Policy.

    The Exceptional Circumstances Procedure and guidance on how to make an exceptional circumstances application can be found on the Exceptional Circumstances website.

    If you accept that your work was inadequate but believe that this was due to poor teaching or guidance by a member of University staff, you can submit a formal complaint.

    The Student Complaints Procedure, the Complaints and Appeals Form and guidance on how to make a complaint can be found in the Student Complaints section of this website.

  • 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.

    Examples of suitable submissions »