Academic appeals

These webpages are intended to explain the Academic Appeals process as detailed in Senate Regulation 10. Please read these pages before submitting an Academic Appeal.

Before making an appeal, you are encouraged to talk to your personal tutor, supervisor or another appropriate member of staff in your School, but do not delay the submission of your appeal. You may also want to seek support with your appeal submission from the Students’ Union Advice Service. Their contact details are below:

Please note: academic appeals can only be made after the relevant Board of Examiners has reached its decision. If you submit your appeal before you receive your Board decision, we’ll ask you to submit it again later. 

Industrial action

The University is working hard to avoid disruption to your studies which may occur as a result of industrial action. The University will take all reasonable action to ensure that student’s academic outcomes are not affected and any impact will be taken into account through the assessment process. If you believe the industrial action has had a greater impact on your academic outcome which has not been sufficiently mitigated by the actions taken by the University and you have received a Board of Examiners’ decision, you can submit an academic appeal as detailed below.

If you feel you have been significantly disadvantaged by the industrial action in any other way, you may be eligible to submit a complaint on any of the following grounds:

  • That there is evidence of significant disadvantage caused by the industrial action
  • That the University failed to take reasonable measures to mitigate the impact of the industrial action
  • That planned formal teaching events were cancelled as a result of the industrial action and not replaced

Please note that a complaint process cannot alter your academic outcome and, as above, if you wish to challenge your academic outcome you can do so through the academic appeal process detailed below.

What is an academic appeal?

An academic appeal allows you to ask, in certain circumstances, for a review of a decision relating to your academic progress or award. Decisions about progress and award are usually made by a Board of Examiners. For research students, a thesis committee may make a recommendation about their progress, and internal and external examiners will make decisions about the student’s thesis.

Further explanation of progression and award decisions.

Circumstances in which you may submit an appeal include:

  • a decision has been taken to terminate your registration
  • a decision has been taken that means you cannot progress to your next year of study - for example, you have been granted an opportunity to be re-assessed in a resit without residence year;
  • you have been transferred to a lower award - for example, if you are a research student and following your probation review you have been transferred to an MPhil;
  • a decision has been taken to award you a lower qualification than the one you originally registered for, for example if you are registered for a master’s degree and are recommended for a postgraduate diploma or certificate.

If you have a complaint about teaching, supervision or circumstances that relate to the delivery of your programme before you are examined these should be raised as a complaint with your department at the earliest opportunity and, if necessary, a formal complaint submitted using the Complaints Procedures (see Senate Regulation 12).

A student may only appeal on one or more of the following reasons, known as ‘grounds for appeal’:

  • New evidence of significant mitigating circumstances, which were not known to the School at the time a progression or award decision was made, AND where it was not reasonably practical to inform the School at the time.
  • That there was a procedural irregularity in the conduct of examination or assessment procedures which created a reasonable possibility that the result may have been different had it not occurred
  • That there is evidence of prejudice or bias or lack of proper assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners.

Further information regarding grounds for appeal.

Appeal submission deadlines

The deadline by which you will need to submit your appeal depends on when you are officially notified of the Board of Examiners’ or other examining body’s decision. Depending on the level and type of your study, the notification may be by formal email, letter, via the University's online student results portal, or a combination of one or more of these. 

  • All campus based undergraduate students: Refer to results email from studentrecords@le.ac.uk and MyStudentRecord notification - usually 7 calendar days from the date of notification of results.
  • Postgraduate campus-based students and all distance learning students: Refer to results email from studentrecords@le.ac.uk and MyStudentRecord notification - usually 28 days from the date of notification of results.

Appeals submitted after the deadline

Appeals submitted after the relevant deadline will be deemed to be out of time and will not be considered unless we accept that you have provided clear documentary evidence to demonstrate that you were prevented from submitting the appeal earlier.

You may not appeal if your results are not as good as you had hoped or worse than you believe you deserve. Appeals which simply challenge the academic judgement of internal or external examiners or Boards of Examiners are not permitted.

Information for students due to graduate

If you are appealing against a degree classification and may be due to graduate in an upcoming ceremony, you are encouraged to attend graduation to celebrate your achievements with your cohort. It is therefore important that you register for your graduation as normal.

Please note that degree certificates are usually issued at the end of the ceremony in an envelope, however, if your appeal is ongoing at the time of your ceremony your envelope may only contain a letter advising of the outstanding appeal. You will not receive your degree certificate until your appeal has been concluded.

Information for international students on Student visas

Please note that if you have already undertaken reassessments previously, and your appeal is successful, it is normal practice for students to be registered as ‘without residence’ to undertake any further reassessments.  

‘Without residence’ means that your studies are suspended and you will not attend scheduled teaching sessions. This may have an impact on your Student visa. Please contact visas@le.ac.uk for further guidance.

Further guidance and support

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to common questions.

If you require further information about how the appeals process works, contact Education Quality, Enhancement and Development (EQED) (appeals@le.ac.uk) if you require further information about how the appeals process works. EQED can explain the procedure but cannot help you in writing an appeal. 

You may find it helpful to speak to your personal tutor or supervisor/postgraduate tutor if you are considering submitting an appeal. Alternatively, contact the Students’ Union Advice Service, who can offer free, confidential advice to students about various aspects of their studies - including mitigating circumstances, concerns about final grades, and putting together an academic appeal.

We are keen to ensure that if you are experiencing stress during the appeals process that you are aware of all the support options available to you. Should you need support for your mental wellbeing it’s important that you reach out for help. Below are some of the free support options that you are able to access;

  • Online self-help resources (log-in required) are available to everyone 24/7.
  • Health Assured provide a 24/7 helpline for students residing in the UK offering a range of support including counselling. To access their service you can call them for free on 0800 028 3766.
  • The Central Access Point are a 24/7 NHS team that support people within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland for urgent mental health issues. To access their service please contact them on 0808 800 3302. 

If you are residing outside of the UK please seek medical advice from the appropriate services available in the country you are residing in. You can also register with our Wellbeing Service for practical wellbeing advice. To register with our Wellbeing Service please complete the referral form (log-in required).

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