In many cases the concern a student has over the decision made by the academic body can be resolved with an immediate explanation as to the assessment process or actions taken during an Exam Board meeting. Stage 1 of the academic appeal procedure is therefore in place in order to facilitate this.
The students must not raise queries directly with the examiners. However they can approach their departmental administrator, subject or college tutor, course director, director of studies or supervisor as appropriate. When a student contacts one of the aforementioned individuals factual information can be shared, including:
- Confirming that all marks/results were taken into consideration
- How the course conventions were applied when considering the student's results
- How their MCE was considered by the Board of Examiners
- Explanation as to what is a borderline candidate and whether they met the criteria
- Explanation as to why the student did not meet the criteria to be awarded a higher classification
Students are expected to raise an academic appeal as soon as possible after they have received the decision which they wish to appeal. This is to ensure that it can be investigated effectively and that any action can be implemented as quickly as possible to set things right. There isn’t a time limit set for stage 1; however, stage 2 of the academic appeal procedure is clear that an appeal should be made, at the latest, within 20 working days of the date of the decision. Therefore students should raise their concerns under stage 1 before the 20 working days' timeframe. If the stage 1 consideration will take it beyond 20 working days, the student should submit their academic appeal to the Proctors’ Office and explain why they have not completed the stage 1. At that time the Proctors’ Office will either accept the academic appeal or extend the timeframe to enable stage 1 to be completed.
A number of students choose to use information obtained under Subject Access Requests (SAR) or Freedom of Information (FOI) request to support their academic appeal. However waiting for this information is not in itself a reason the Proctors will accept why an academic appeal is not made within the 20 working days' deadline. For an appeal to be accepted outside this timeframe the student will need to demonstrate that the SAR or FOI was requested within a reasonable timeframe after the decision they are appealing was notified to them, that the appeal was submitted within a reasonable timeframe from receipt of the SAR/FOI information, and that the information received from the SAR/FOI clearly demonstrates that there was an error, procedural irregularity or bias or perception of bias.
If a student is dissatisfied by the outcome of stage 1, or they have not completed stage 1 within 20 working days, they have the right to bring this matter to the Proctors' consideration under stage 2 of the University Academic Appeals Procedure