SUBU Advice offers advice and guidance on a range of academic issues that may affect your experience. We can help you to understand university policies and procedures and support you in university meetings.
If you’re not sure what to do in relation to something in your academic life, or if you want to use a particular procedure but are not sure how to go about it, we’re here to help.
The academic appeal procedure allows you, in certain circumstances, to ask for a review of the decision of the Assessment Board. If you feel you have grounds to appeal, the Advice Centre can support you with the process. We can explain how it works, what steps are involved and make sure you have all the information you need.
Just remember that an appeal needs to be submitted within 10 working days from the official publication of your mark. So, if you want the Advice Centre to support you, you need to act fast!
If you wish to query a grade before you get your transcript, we advise you to first seek feedback from the marker or relevant faculty staff. If you remain unhappy with the mark, you can then book to see a SUBU Advice Worker to discuss your case and consider what options are available to you.
Students should be aware that even when an Appeal is successful, your grade will not be increased. All students still need to complete and pass all elements of their work before progressing to the next stage of their programme.
Grounds on which you can appeal:
An academic appeal can only be considered on the grounds of one of the following:
- there has been a material irregularity or significant administrative error in the assessment process;
- the assessment was not conducted in accordance with the regulations for the programme;
- a student’s performance in assessment has been affected by illness or other factors which, for valid reason(s), they were unable to divulge before the meeting of the Assessment Board (see 6J - Exceptional Circumstances including Extensions: Policy and Procedure)
- bias or the perception of bias in the assessment process / consideration of the Appeal
Important to note:
Disagreeing with the mark provided by the examiner doesn’t warrant grounds for appeal. You can’t question Academic Judgement.
If you are appealing under ground 3, please ensure you cover the second part of the ground ‘which, for valid reason(s), they were unable to divulge before the meeting of the Assessment Board’.
This is referring to Board Consideration requests - if you did not submit one previously in the year, you must explain why.
If your circumstances do not fall into one of the grounds above, then it is unlikely an appeal would be successful. If you’re unsure whether or not you have a valid appeal, come talk to us.
More information can be found on the BU website Making an appeal.
Appealing a resit
It can take several months before an appeal comes to its final resolution. This can make appealing after a resit particularly time sensitive as re-enrolment occurs shortly after the results are published. If you have an outstanding appeal you should continue to re-enrol. If the appeal is upheld and you are required to resubmit coursework, or resit an exam, then this could impact your course progression.
It’s important you seek advice from your Programme Leader.
‘80 Credit Rule for Level 6 students’
If you are less than 3% away from the next grade boundary (e.g. you have 47+, 57+, or 67+) and have the higher boundary in 80 credits in your final year, the academic board will recommend you are awarded the higher classification.
The Standard Assessment Regulations (6a) states:
“11.5 Mark profile: where a student achieves an aggregate mark which is not more than 3 marks below a classification boundary (50, 60 or 70) and has at least 80 credits at Level 6 in a higher classification than the aggregate mark, the Programme Board will recommend that the higher classification be awarded.”
BU takes plagiarism, collusion, cheating and other breaches of assessment regulations very seriously.
Where the university believes one of the above may have happened, it will be investigated.
If you receive an email from your faculty regarding an Academic Offence allegation, we urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We are here to support you through the process, offer guidance on the policy and procedure and accompany you to a meeting if required.
Please click on the link if you want to know more about Academic Offences.
BU has a useful guide on ‘How to avoid academic offences’.
Academic Offences process:
What documents should I have to help me prepare for the panel?
You should normally have 10 working days’ notice of the panel and be provided with a set of documents normally at least 5 working days before the panel. The documentation may include:
- Notes of a Preliminary Consideration meeting
- Complete annotated assessment, excluding any mark and any feedback to the student
- Electronic copy of the assessment under consideration (if required)
- Evidence (e.g. website copies of source material)
- Unit Guide / Assessment Brief
- Witness Statements
- A copy of 6H - Academic Offences: Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards
- If you have been found guilty of an academic offence before, the report from that panel will also be included
Contact SUBU Advice if you have not been provided with any of these documents.
Can I take someone with me?
You can take one person in with you to the panel. SUBU Advice would suggest that this is one of us – a trained Advice Worker who is used to attending such panels, and who understands the rules and regulations of the University. If, however, you would prefer to take a family member or friend instead you are able to do so.
What do I do if I’m unable to attend the panel?
Where possible we strongly advise that you attend the panel. If this isn’t possible (health issues, bereavement, out of the country etc…) then you can request it is conducted via MS Teams, or that it is postponed until a time you can attend. Ultimately, a SUBU Advice Worker can represent you in your absence. If this is the case, you would need to inform the Faculty that you are unable to attend and that we will be representing you.
In order to represent you, the SUBU Advice Worker will need a copy of all the documents provided to you and a written statement from you that addresses the evidence. We can support you in writing this statement and discuss your case in detail to ensure we understand everything and can put your views across. We will contact you to inform you of the outcome as soon as practically possible after the panel has sat.
What do I write in my statement?
Students have the opportunity to present their side of the issue by submitting a statement regarding the case. We have a few guidelines to help you and would request that when you have finished the statement you let us check it over, prior to submitting it. Submitting it early means the panel can read your statement in advance. This may save time and help you feel more prepared on the day.
- Try to keep this to one page of A4
- Be open and honest – did you intend to do what they are accusing you of?
- Explain how you prepared for the assignment/exam/group work
- Explain what you would do next time to avoid this situation again
- If the offence is related to plagiarism, state what information you have been given about plagiarism and your understanding of plagiarism
If you have had any personal issues you have not made the University aware of, now is the time to tell them. If you have already applied for Exceptional Circumstances and this had an impact on the work in question, ensure you mention this in your statement.
Submit any supporting evidence to back up your claims, e.g. witness statements, previous assignment drafts, screenshots of document properties.
What are the potential outcomes?
The potential outcomes are explained in Appendix 3 of the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards. Refer to Appendix 1 to help you identify what potential penalties there are for the offence you have been accused of.
If after reading the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure you find out that you are being accused of a major offence, it is still possible to receive a minor penalty and vice versa. Please ensure to refer to 6H Academic Offences Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards.
Fitness to Practise
BU provides a number of programmes of study where students’ professional suitability to register for and undertake the programmes require assessment and monitoring by the University. BU needs to be satisfied that students admitted to, registering for, and undertaking such programmes are professionally suitable to do so. If concerns are raised they will be dealt with under the 11H Fitness to Practise: Procedure.
The Advice team can offer advice and assistance on Fitness to Practise issues. We can guide you through the procedure, help you work out how best to put forward your point of view, help draft any written responses or submissions which may be required, and accompany you to meetings or hearings.
Support to Study
BU may call a Support to Study meeting or panel if they think that your health may be having an impact on your studies, meaning that you are not reaching your full potential on your course. When BU have concerns that your health (either your physical or mental health) is not allowing you to meet your full potential, they may call a meeting to discuss how you can be better supported and in some cases, if you are ready to be at University at the current point in time. These cases will be managed through BU’s 11J Support to Study: Policy and Procedure.
The Advice team can explain the process, support you at any meetings as well as help you to prepare and get paperwork organised.
If there is something happening in your life that is affecting your academic work, it is important to tell your Faculty about it as soon as possible so that the circumstances can be taken into account.
Please click on the link if you want to know more about Exceptional Circumstances.
Also take a look at the BU guidance for EC.
The Advice team can explain the policy, give feedback on your form and provide ongoing support throughout the process.