Academic Appeals - Exeter

This guide aims to provide you with a clear understanding of the appeals process and how the SU Advice Team can support you throughout the journey.
Students at Welcome 2022.
The information set out in our Appeals Page is general guidance for University of Exeter students. It should not be seen as a definitive statement of the University's appeals policy and procedure. An overview of the University's academic appeals procedure, can be found here.

How can the SU Advice Team help you with your University of Exeter appeal?

  • Discuss grounds for appeal with you and help you make sense of the appeals process.
  • Provide knowledge and guidance regarding academic regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • We can read appeal drafts and make suggestions to ensure your appeal is as clear as possible and contains all the relevant information (as long as they are submitted to us in time).
  • Students should endeavour to write their own appeals from their own unique perspective, but we are here to provide support and guidance all the way through the process.

What is an Academic Appeal?

An appeal is a request made by a student for the university to review a decision they have made about you. This decision will have been reached through the application of one of the university’s policies, procedures, or regulations.
For example, you may appeal against:
Academic decisions and recommendations made by the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) and Faculty Boards (or Deans acting on their behalf) that affect your academic progress:


  • A formal assessment result.
  • A degree classification.
  • A decision reached because of academic failure, for example, termination of your studies.
  • Mitigation decision.
  • A decision reached because of unsatisfactory academic progress.
  • Postgraduate research students may also appeal against a decision relating to their registration status, such as transfer to continuation status, change of mode of study, early submission of thesis etc.

- PGR students only: Covid-19 Funded Extensions or Fees Scholarship Application Decisions.

How does the appeals process work?
Formal Appeal
A formal appeal must be submitted using the Formal Appeal Form located here in section 6.1 and should be sent to - This must be submitted within 10 working days of being notified of an academic outcome.
For help with writing a formal appeal, please see our Guide to Writing an Effective Appeal here.


Appeal review

If your appeal is not upheld, or you aren’t happy with the outcome and you have further evidence/sufficient grounds, then you can submit an appeal review.

You can't request a review of the Step 2 decision simply because you disagree with it, an appeal review will only be accepted if:

  • If you have further circumstances that you weren’t reasonably able to provide evidence for during the formal appeals process. You will need explain and evidence not only the new circumstances, but also why you weren’t able to provide this evidence during the formal appeals process.
  • If you have evidence of an error or irregularity during the Formal Appeal process, for example, if the formal appeal wasn’t conducted in line with the Formal Appeal procedure.
  • There is evidence of bias during the Formal Appeal process; this might mean that the person(s) making the decisions on the appeal at the Formal stage had been involved in the matters about which the student was appealing.
  • If the decision reached during the Formal Appeal process is one that no reasonable body (properly directing itself and taking into account all relevant factors) could have arrived at.

You should submit an Appeal Review Form located here in section 7.2 to the University Cases Office ( by sending an Appeal Review Form together with a written statement explaining your grounds for appeal within 10 working days of being notified of a Formal Appeal decision.

University of Exeter’s appeals resources
The 2022/2023 Exeter Appeals Procedure outlines the appeals procedure. Exeter also offer an overview of the appeals process on their website.


Third Party Consent

You can give consent for the University to share your details with a named third party. You can also give permission for a third party to act on your behalf if required, where there is a valid reason. This means you could have a friend, family member or someone from the SU Advice team to act on your behalf if needed.

Reached the end of the Appeals process and still not happy with the result?




Once you have exhausted the Universities appeals process, you should be issued with what’s called a ‘Completion of Procedures’ letter. The University will no longer be able to consider your appeal. But if you are unhappy with the result, you may wish to take your complaint to the OIA:

OIA – The Office of Independent Adjudicators for Higher Education.

Falmouth University subscribes to an independent scheme for the review of student complaints provided by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). You will need to raise any complaint with the OIA within 12 months of receipt of your Completion of Procedures letter. The OIA will normally only consider cases which have been through the University’s own procedures first.

Visit the OIA website to visit to find out if you are eligible and how to make a complaint.

Appeals Checklist

To be able to make an appeal you must:

Have received a formal outcome or result.

This needs to be in form of an official letter or document, not provisional marks or word of mouth. Your official results should be released to you in an official APAC letter.

Be appealing within the correct time frame.

This is 10 working days from the date you were notified of your official outcome, or the date official your assessment results were released to you (working days don’t include weekends or bank holidays). Late appeals will not normally be considered unless you can provide an exceptional reason why. Early appeals will also be declined – for example, if you have had provisional marks for an assessment but these marks have not yet been confirmed by the official Assessment Board, you will need to wait until after your official results have been released to make an appeal.

Have grounds on which to make an appeal.

Grounds for making an appeal are:


(a) Circumstances affecting your performance which the Board of Examiners had not been aware of before reaching its decision. You must be able to show reasonable grounds why these circumstances had not been presented to the Board before it met, usually in the form of a mitigation application.

For example: Where there is evidence that the student was ill, was in hospital, or had confirmed severe mental health difficulties which meant that they were unable to prepare a mitigation application at the appropriate time. It is not sufficient to say that the student was unaware of the procedure for submitting a mitigation request, or that they chose not to do so at the time.


(b) Where an error or irregularity in an assessment procedure, or another procedure has taken place. This error needs to be shown to have significantly affected the decision or recommendation made and disadvantaged the student. Making the decision unsound.

(c) If you can prove prejudice or bias from one or more Examiners and/or, or there are reasonable grounds to support the perception of prejudice or bias.

Challenging ‘academic judgement’ does not constitute a ground of appeal.

Universities employ academic staff who are experts in their field. Academic staff are employed to use their academic judgement when marking students’ work. If a student who is awarded a mark of 45% thinks their work deserves a mark of 55%, this does not constitute a ground of appeal. But you can appeal if you believe that this judgment was not made fairly or according to the correct University process.

Academic judgement may relate to, but is not limited to:

  • Assessment marks;
  • Assessment feedback;
  • Degree classifications;
  • Academic misconduct;
  • Research methodology;
  • Course content and/or learning outcomes

Have evidence to support your grounds

Appeals without evidence are likely to be rejected. If you can’t get your evidence in time, submit the appeal within the 10 working days timeframe and let the appeals team ( know you will provide the evidence as soon as it’s available. You will need to satisfy the University that you have a valid reason for any delay in submitting evidence or they may reject your appeal. Evidence examples including but not limited to:

  • Medical evidence (e.g. medical report, doctor’s letter)
  • Death certificates o Correspondence (e.g. email, letters)
  • Police reports
  • Court documents
  • Official summary of support needs
  • Extracts from relevant regulation, policy and/or procedure documents;
  • Emails or other written correspondence;
  • Assessment briefs;
  • Module guides;
  • Assessment feedback;
  • Screenshots;
  • Doctors' notes;
  • Copies of extenuating circumstances information and evidence submitted.

For help writing the appeal itself, please see our Guide to writing an effective appeal and if you still need support please book an SU Advice appointment with us.

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