Make an academic appeal

You can ask for a review of a decision made by Boards of Examiners, which make decisions about your progress, assessment and awards. This is part of the University Examination Regulations (PDF, 115kB)

When you can appeal

You can only appeal on the following grounds:

  • that there has been a material irregularity in the decision-making process. Examples of this are if the University has not applied its regulations correctly or if the Board of Examiners failed to consider extenuating circumstances that you had submitted before the board meeting;
  • that you had extenuating circumstances which you were unable to disclose before the meeting of the Board of Examiners. Your appeal will need to explain why you could not submit these beforehand;
  • that you believe a penalty your received for plagiarism was too harsh.

After the meeting of the Board of Examiners you will receive a letter explaining the decision and including information about your right to appeal.

When you can't appeal

You can't challenge matters of academic judgement. These are decisions that can only be made with the opinion of an academic expert.

What to do if you're thinking about making an appeal

Start preparing as soon as possible. Submitting your appeal in good time maximises your chance of receiving the outcome in good time to prepare for the next academic year.

  1. Read the University Examination Regulations, Section 11, to find out what are permissible grounds of appeal.
  2. Talk to your Unit Directors, Personal Tutor, Programme Director or Senior Tutor if there is anything you do not understand in your marks.
  3. Contact JustAsk, the free and confidential Bristol SU Advice service, for:
    • independent advice
    • help understanding whether you can appeal
    • help preparing an appeal

How to make an appeal

You have 15 working days from when you receive a decision to submit an appeal.

  1. Download an Appeal Form (Office document, 23kB).
  2. Organise any evidence you believe supports the reason for your appeal.
  3. Submit the completed form and evidence to your faculty office by the deadline. The email address will be on the letter explaining the decision.

What happens after you submit an appeal

Faculties review appeals at the local stage. You will receive the appeal outcome by email to the address provided on your appeal form.

The outcome of the local stage will include information on next steps, including how to progress your appeal if you are not satisfied with the outcome, as specified in University the Examination Regulations, Section 11.

When you will know the outcome of your appeal

You will receive the appeal outcome as soon as possible, normally within 25 working days.

It is not possible to finalise all appeal outcomes before the start of the next academic year due to:

  1. the timing of examination boards, and
  2. the results of re-assessments being released.

In some cases this may mean you are not able to continue studying immediately even if your appeal is successful. We will work with you to manage the outcome in this case.

Until you are told the outcome of an appeal, the original decision still applies. 

If you are concerned or worried

If you’d like to talk to someone here about how you’re feeling or how you might raise this news with your family, contact the Student Wellbeing Service.
Tel +44 (0)117 456 9860 or find out what other support is available.

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