Frequently Asked Questions: Appeals

Here are some useful answers to common queries concerning the appeals and review process.

  1. What is an appeal?
  2. How do I submit my appeal?
  3. What evidence do I need to provide?
  4. What if I have a disability?
  5. What happens after I submit my appeal?
  6. How long does the review process take?
  7. I'm not satisfied with the Stage 1 Decision.
  8. How do I submit a Stage 2 Appeal?
  9. What happens next?
  10. What happens at the University Appeals Committee?
  11. What are the possible outcomes of my Appeal?
  12. I'm not happy with the Stage 2 Decision. Is there anything else I can do?

 

1. What is an appeal?

You may be able to submit an appeal if you have genuine concerns about the way your assessment was conducted, or if you have extenuating circumstances which you were not able to tell us about at the time of your assessment. There are very specific grounds on which you can appeal and appeals will only be considered if they meet the University's criteria.

What is a Material Irregularity?

Material Irregularity means that the University made an administrative or other error, which had a significant impact on your assessment and on the grade you received. This includes any instances where disabled students have not received the agreed level of support that they need. Simple examples would be that your grade was calculated wrongly or that the college lost some of your work. Material Irregularity does not include disagreement with an academic judgement about the quality of the work submitted for assessment.

What are Extenuating Circumstances?

Extenuating Circumstances are defined as exceptional circumstances in your life that affect your performance in an assessment. This includes things like serious illness, death of a loved one, significant trauma or compulsory attendance in court. Where appropriate, these circumstances may be taken into account by the Exam Board when making their decision, if they consider that the circumstances had a significant impact upon your performance.

As a student, it is your responsibility to make known any special circumstances which might have affected the production or assessment of your work, at the time of the assessment. Students are expected to submit an Extenuating Circumstances Claim Form before the Exam Board meets. Appeals will only be considered if you have a valid reason for not submitting your claim for ECs at the time of the assessment.

To find out more about Extenuating Circumstances you should read the extenuating circumstances form and guidance notes

Are there any other grounds for submitting an appeal?

The University Appeals Unit will also consider any other matter which it feels is reasonable and fair. However appeals may not be based on disagreement with the examiner on the grounds of academic judgement. This includes any disagreements on the merit of individual assessments or other measures of performance.

2. How do I Submit my appeal?

I think I have good grounds to appeal. What should I do now?

If you feel that you have valid grounds to submit an appeal you should complete the Stage 1 Appeal Form available on the Appeals page

What is the deadline for submitting my request?

You will need to act quickly - your request form should be received within 15 working days of the publication of your results (you can find this date at the top of the results letter sent to you by your college).

Who do I send my request to?

You should email your form and any supporting evidence to the University Appeals Unit as soon as possible. The University Appeals Unit will accept scanned evidence in the first instance - they will contact you as soon as possible if they need to see the originals, or if they need further pieces of evidence.

Alternatively you can post your form and evidence to:

University Appeals Unit, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EY.

Who can help me put my request together?

You are strongly advised to contact the Students' Union who have experience in helping students in similar situations to yours, as soon as possible. They can advise you on the likelihood of your request for review or appeal being successful, help you complete your form and ensure you have all the right supporting evidence.

Students' Union
Telephone: 020 7514 6270
Email: advice@su.arts.ac.uk
Website: www.suarts.org/help/advice

3. What evidence do I need to provide?

Requests for review must be supported by written evidence wherever possible.

Appeals Evidence

The University Appeals Unit will accept scanned evidence in the first instance - they will contact you as soon as possible if they need to see the originals, or if they need further pieces of evidence.

For all appeals you should keep a copy of any correspondence that relates to the matter, and a record of any telephone calls or meetings which have taken place.

My country does not issue death certificates or official documents. What can I provide as evidence?

Check with the Students' Union or University Appeals Unit about what would be most suitable for your claim. The University will consider, for example, a Statutory Declaration, an affidavit, a letter from your local Regional Minister or a letter from a General Practitioner (doctor).

4. What if I have a disability? 

I have a disability and I don't feel that I received the support that I needed. Can I request submit an appeal?

The University works hard to anticipate and meet disabled students' needs and aims to ensure that all you are fully supported throughout your studies. However there may be occasions where you have not received the support that was agreed for you, or the University has been unable to provide support for your studies (for example, due to a late diagnosis).

If you feel that you have not received the appropriate level of support to enable you to achieve the learning outcomes of the course, you can submit an appeal on the grounds of Material Irregularity. The University Appeals Unit will assess your request against the criteria.

What is the difference between a Disability and Extenuating Circumstances?

The University aims to make all reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled students are treated fairly and equally. When a student has received an agreed level of support for their disability, the disability does not in itself constitute an extenuating circumstance. The Exam Board will be made aware of the support that you have received for your disability, including where accommodated assessment has been agreed. The Exam Board can then make an informed decision as to whether you have been properly supported in your assessment. There may however be circumstances where a student with a disability or long term medical condition experiences an acute episode which is serious, unexpected and beyond their control. In such an event, the Extenuating Circumstances criteria apply to disabled students as to all other students. You will be asked to provide evidence of the EC, and evidence of why you were not able to submit your claim at the time of the assessment.

Is there anyone who can help me put my appeal together?

The appeal form ask you to tell the University Appeals Unit about any help and support that you need throughout the  appeals process. You do not need to disclose the nature of your disability, but it will help us to make adjustments to the process if you tell us about the type of support you usually need. Some examples might be that you need help completing forms or information in alternative formats, or that you have access requirements which will need to be taken into account. If you are making an appeal, you may want to be accompanied at the University Appeals Committee Hearing by someone who can represent your case for you.

If you do complete this section of the form the University Appeals Unit will contact you to discuss your requirements. In addition to the University Appeals Unit, you can contact the Central or College Disability and Dyslexia Teams or the Arts SU, who can help you fill in your form and make sure that you have all the evidence that you need.

I have a medical condition but I'm not sure if it is a 'disability'. Should I tell the University about it?

By 'disability' we mean: sensory or physical difficulties, long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders (including asperger syndrome) or specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD). We ask you to tell us if you have a disability so that we can put in place any support or adjustments that you need to help you access the appeal process. If you have any questions about your disability, you can contact the Central Disability Team or Students' Union for advice and support.

Do I have to disclose my disability?

Any information you provide will be treated as confidential and handled sensitively. We will always ask for your consent before passing on any disability-related information to third parties. If you have concerns about disclosing disability information on the form, please contact the Central Disability Team for advice. If you choose not to disclose this information on your form, you can contact the University Appeals Unit at any point in the process to talk about any specific needs that you have.

5. What happens after I submit my appeal?

All appeals are initially sorted by the University Appeals Unit (UAU). If the UAU feels that you have valid grounds, it will ask the Exam Board Chair to conduct a review of the decision. The Chair will consult with appropriate members of staff and the rest of the Exam Board, and let you know the new decision within 10 working days of your original request.

If the UAU feels that your appeal does not meet the University's criteria, the UAU will write to you within 10 working days of your original request.

If you are unhappy with any decision made by the University Appeals Unit, you have the right to appeal the decision, by writing to the University Secretary and Registrar. If you would like to do so, please contact the University Appeals Unit, who can guide you through the process.

6. How long does the appeal process take?

You should receive a response from the Exam Board Chair or the University Appeals Unit (UAU) within 10 working days of submission of your appeal.

7. I'm not satisfied with the Stage 1 Exam Board Chair's Decision. What can I do now?

If you are unhappy with the decision made by the Exam Board Chair at Stage 1 of the appeals process, you have the right to appeal the decision. Appeals against Stage 1 decisions must be based on one of the following grounds: 

  • The original examination board decision did not change; or
  • The new decision did not take into account all my circumstances (for example, you may feel that key pieces of evidence were not considered by the Exam Board when making their new decision).

8. How do I submit a Stage 2 Appeal? 

I'm not satisfied with the Stage 1 Exam Board Chair's Decision. What can I do now?

If you are unhappy with the decision made by the Exam Board Chair at Stage 1 of the appeals process, you have the right to appeal the decision. Appeals against Stage 1 decisions must be based on one of the following grounds:

  • The original examination board decision did not change; or
  • The new decision did not take into account all my circumstances (for example, you may feel that key pieces of evidence were not considered by the Exam Board when making their new decision).

How do I submit a Stage 2 Appeal? Is there a deadline?

Appeals should be submitted using the Stage 2 Appeal Form. You can find the form on the Appeals page

The University Appeals Unit must receive your appeal form within 10 working days of the Stage 1 Decision Letter sent to you by the Exam Board Chair.

You should email your form and supporting evidence to the University Appeals Unit as soon as possible. The University Appeals Unit will accept scanned evidence in the first instance - they will contact you as soon as possible if they need to see the originals, or if they need further pieces of evidence.

Alternatively you can post your form and evidence to:

University Appeals Unit, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EY

Who can help me put my appeal together?

You are strongly advised to contact the Students' Union who have experience in helping students in similar situations to yours, as soon as possible. They can advise you on the likelihood of your request for review or appeal being successful, help you complete your form and ensure you have all the right supporting evidence.

Students' Union
Tel: 020 7514 6270
Email: advice@su.arts.ac.uk
Web: www.suarts.org/advice

9. What happens next?

All appeals are initially sorted by the University Appeals Unit (UAU). If the UAU feels that you have valid grounds for appeal, it will convene a University Appeals Committee meeting. The University Appeals Unit will write to you within 10 working days of receiving your appeal form. The UAU will arrange a day for the University Appeals Committee (UAC) hearing that is convenient to you.

If the UAU feels that your request does not meet the University's criteria, the UAU will write to you within 10 working days of receiving your appeal. If you are unhappy with any decision made by the University Appeals Unit, you have the right to appeal the decision, by writing to the University Secretary and Registrar. If you would like to do this, you should contact the University Appeals Unit who can advise you on the process.

10. What happens at the University Appeals Committee? 

The UAC is made up of roughly 3-5 members. The chair will be a senior member of University staff who has a lot of experience in reviewing Exam Board decisions. The panel will also include a member of the Students' Union, a University regulations expert and the UAC Clerk.

The UAC will ask you some questions about your appeal, so that they can be clear about the circumstances and make an informed decision. The UAC will then meet privately to agree the outcome of your appeal.

Is anyone allowed to come to my appeal hearing with me?

You will be invited to attend the hearing, and are allowed to bring a friend with you who can give you advice and support. This friend is often a Students' Union Caseworker, or it may be a close friend or relative. If you are disabled, you may want to be accompanied by someone who can represent your case for you.

Will my tutors be present at the meeting?

No. The University Appeals Committee consists of a panel of experienced senior University staff who specialise in hearing appeals from students. The only other people who may be present at the hearing are yourself and a friend to support you.

I won't be available for the meeting - will this disadvantage me? Will my appeal still be heard?

Whilst you should try your best to attend the hearing, we realise that this is not always possible, particularly if you live overseas. The hearing will still take place. The University Appeals Committee will not penalise you for not being able to attend, but you will not have the opportunity to present your case to them or answer their questions. You will not be able to send a representative in your place.

11. What are the possible outcomes of my Appeal?

If the UAC upholds (accepts) your appeal, it will write to the Exam Board Chair, requesting that a new decision is made. The Exam Board will meet within 6 weeks of the UAC meeting and will respond to you within 5 working days of that meeting.

If the UAC dismisses (rejects) your appeal, you will be sent a Completion of Procedures letter by the University Appeals Unit.

The UAC might also decide to refer the case for further scrutiny by the University Secretary and Registrar who will come to a final decision. You will be sent a Completion of Procedures letter by the University Appeals Unit.

12. I'm not happy with the Stage 2 decision.  Is there anything else I can do?

If you are still unhappy with the decision you can appeal in writing to the University Secretary and Registrar who will come to a final decision. Contact the University Appeals Unit for more information on this stage of the procedures.

When the University Secretary and Registrar makes a decision, you will be sent a Completion of Procedures letter by the University Appeals Unit.

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the University's procedures, you have the right to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).