Academic Appeals – all taught course programmes (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Academic Appeals are initiated by students in accordance with Regulation B6  

The purpose of the taught course appeals process is to allow students to appeal against the decisions of Boards of Examiners.

What can I appeal about?

For all students on taught programmes a student may appeal against:

(a) the recommendations to Senate of a Board of Examiners:

e.g.  - the mark awarded for any unit of assessment;

         the overall outcome of a programme of study, e.g. degree classification;

         procession deicsions.

       

(b) any action taken under Regulation B8.1 (Non-engagement with studies or assessments).

What are the grounds for appeal?

For all students on taught programmes appeals may only be made on the following grounds:

(i) procedural irregularity in the conduct of the assessment or the academic warnings procedure;

(ii) exceptional circumstances, providing that:

  • the circumstances were not already considered by an Exceptional Circumstances Panel;
  • the circumstances can be verified by appropriate evidence (see University guidelines of admissable evidence);
  • there is a valid reason for not notifying the relevant Exceptional Circumstances Panel of these circumstances (and/or appropriate evidence) by the specified deadline in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation B.3. (see note about exceptional circumstances below)

Note about exceptional circumstances

The Academic Appeals Committee will reject your claim even if your ECs are valid, if there is not a genuine reason why the EC claim was not brought forward at the appropriate time. Reasons such as reluctance to reveal exceptional circumstances, wanting to find out the outcomes of assessment, shyness, or cultural issues are not normally accepted as valid reasons for not submitting ECs at the appropriate time.

Please click the link for a list of Common Student Appeal Scenarios.  These are some of the types of typical cases that the Appeals Committee receive on a regular basis. These types of appeals will be accepted/not accepted for the reasons given.

What is the deadline for submitting an appeal?

You must submit your appeal on the approved Appeal Form no later than 10 calendar days (not including University closed days or Bank Holidays, but including weekends) from the date of the email or letter sent to you informing you of the decision of the Board of Examiners.

If you wish to appeal against an award you must inform the University of your intention to appeal before Senate confirms the decision of the Board of Examiners.  Information of how to do this will be given in the email or letter informing you of your award.  Your name will be removed from the list of awards submitted to Senate for approval.  You should note that this could mean that you will be unable to graduate at the next available opportunity.

What happens once an appeal has been submitted?

Upon receipt of your appeal, the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team will email (to your Keele email account) to confirm its arrival.  If you do not receive an email within two working days of sending your appeal, you must contact the team to check that your form has arrived.   As the staff can be very busy processing appeals at certain times of the year (particularly June/July and September), it would be appreciated if contact is by email if possible.  Emails will normally be responded to, within the same working day.   During the processing of your appeal, the Team will communicate with you via your Keele email so please check your email on a daily basis.  

Appeal cases will be considered in the first instance (Sifting Stage) by the Head of Academic Quality and Student Conduct and a member of the University Academic Appeals Committee to decide if there is a case for the appeal to be considered.  This Sifting Stage of the appeals process consists of an initial assessment of readily available documentation which will include your appeal submission, information on the student database (SCIMs), previously submitted exceptional circumstances, and initial comments from the School or Service, as appropriate. Where such initial comments from the School or Service are going to be taken into consideration in the Sifting Stage, you will be given the opportunity to respond to these comments before a decision is made. 

In cases where the case is deemed to be straight forward and the evidence to be sufficiently compelling, your appeal may be referred back to the Board of Examiners for consideration with a recommendation to uphold the appeal. However the final decision regarding the outcome of the appeal rests with the University Academic Appeals Committee.

Where the case is deemed to be more complex or requires further exploration of the evidence, your appeal will be considered by the University Academic Appeals Committee.  Appeals will normally be considered based on documentary evidence. However if the Appeals Committee is of the opinion that a decision cannot be made solely on the documentary evidence available, you will be invited to a meeting of the Appeals Committee 

Where the Head of Academic Quality and Student Conduct and the member of the Academic Appeals Committee are of the view that based on the information available no case exists, you will be advised in writing, stating the reasons. 

If you are invited to a meeting of the Appeals Committee you will be given at least 7 days written notice of the date. You will be given a copy of all the paperwork that the Committee will have available when considering your case. You and/or your representative have the right, but are under no obligation, to be present at the meeting. Your representative should normally be a member of Advice and Support at Keele (ASK), a current student, an elected officer of the Keele University Students' Union or the Keele Postgraduate Association or a member of staff. It is advised that it would be in your best interests to seek the representation of Advice and Support at Keele (ASK) in the Students’ Union. A representative from your Academic School(s) will also be asked to attend. You may also ask any other person (from within or outside the University) to write to the Committee on your behalf, which must be received in “good time” for the meeting.  

Following the meeting you will be notified in writing of the outcome no more than seven working days after the date of the meeting.  Reasons for the decision will be given.

Which Form should I use to submit an appeal?

The form for all students (apart from research degree students) to submit an appeal can be downloaded here - Appeal Form‌‌.

With the form are detailed guidance notes on how to fill the form in.

If you require the form or any other materials in an alternative format, please let us know. On request we can provide you with an electronic copy, enlarged print on coloured paper, audio recordings or Braille. 

Who can I go to for advice?

Independent advice on making an appeal can be obtained from:

Advice & Support at Keele, Students' Union

Tel: 01782 734800 

Email: su.ask@keele.ac.uk

 

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team.

Where do I submit an appeal?

The form should be emailed, posted or hand delivered to the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team.  In order to assist the team in processing appeals as quickly as possible, it would be preferable if you sent your appeal by email to appeals@keele.ac.uk. Please note that appeals will only be accepted electronically if they have been emailed from your Keele email account. 

If it is not possible to email the appeals and/or supporting documents the appeal should be posted to:

 

Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team

Student and Academic Services

Tawney Building

Keele University

Keele

Staffs

ST5 5BG

 

If the appeal is sent by post it is recommended that you use a recorded delivery service. The University may require you to submit proof of postage (available free from the Post Office in the UK) to confirm your appeal was submitted by the deadline.