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Academic Appeals

When you get your assessment results, you will also find out what the exam board has decided about your degree classification or progression. If you are unhappy with the decision that's been made, you may be able to appeal. Appealable decisions include things like your degree classification, progression to the next year of study, capped resits and being required to withdraw. 

Please read through all the information on this page. If you then decide that you want to start preparing an appeal, please use our Appeal Wizard to create a draft form. This will be sent to us, and we will then be able to advise you in more detail on your situation. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 3 working days. Please note that all information you provide to us is maintained in accordance with our Confidentiality Policy and Bristol SU’s Privacy Policy.

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How to tell if you've received a faculty exam board decision

Faculty decisions arrive either via eVision or by way of a letter attached to an email. If you’re not sure whether you have received a faculty decision or not, ask at your school office. Faculty exam board decisions should also include information about your right to appeal. You cannot appeal against provisional marks. More details of how faculty exam board decision arrive and how to understand them can be found on the University's Exam Board outcomes webpage.

When are faculty exam board decisions made?

Most faculty exam board decisions are issued in July/August and then in late September after the second summer assessment period. However, it is also possible for faculty decisions to be issued at other times of the year.

If you're not happy with the faculty decision

You have 15 working days to appeal against your faculty decision. Weekends and University closed days don’t count, so effectively it is 3 weeks from the date you receive the decision until your deadline for submitting an appeal form. If you miss your appeal deadline it is possible to request a late appeal, but you must have a good reason why you weren’t able to appeal within the deadline. Please get in touch with Just Ask for more advice about this if this applies to you.

Do you have a ground for appeal?

Your appeal will only succeed if it fits into one or more of the three possible grounds for appeal:

  1. There has been a material irregularity in the decision-making process. This could apply if the University hasn’t followed its own procedures properly which has resulted in an unfair outcome for you. An example of this could be if you notified the University of extenuating circumstances but they haven’t been classified correctly or adjusted for appropriately.
  2. Your performance in assessment has been affected by extenuating circumstances (ECs) that you were unable for good reason to disclose before the meeting of the board of examiners.
  3. A penalty for plagiarism or exam cheating has been applied which is wrong or disproportionate. Note that this ground doesn’t apply to late submission penalties, it’s only where an issue regarding academic integrity has arisen, been investigated, and a penalty applied.

What outcome are you looking for?

Faculty exam boards are bound by University regulations. They cannot increase marks, but they can disregard marks. For example, if you have a mark that was affected by extenuating circumstances they can leave it out of the calculation of your overall degree classification. They can allow further attempts at assessments, but only where the unit has been failed. They can also allow repeat or supplementary years.

Filling in your appeal form

To appeal, you need to fill in an appeal form. You can use our Appeal Wizard above to help you to do this. On the form you will need to explain what has happened and how your situation fits into one or more of the grounds for appeal. If you prefer, you can fill in a blank appeal form. Please email your draft form through to us on if you’d like some feedback on it before you submit it. Just Ask have a wealth of experience about academic appeals and we find that if students come to us for advice early on in the appeals process their appeal has a much greater chance of success. It can mean that the appeal is resolved quickly rather than having to go to the second stage of the appeals process.

Submitting your appeal form

When you are happy with your appeal form, you will need to submit it to your Faculty Education Manager before the deadline, which will be 15 working days from the date you received the decision. The relevant email addresses are:

Faculty of Arts:

Faculty of Engineering:

Faculty of Health Sciences:

Faculty of Life Sciences:

Faculty of Science:

Faculty of Social Science and Law:

Be sure to attach all evidence that you have in support of your appeal.

What happens next?

Your appeal will be considered by your Faculty Education Director and you will receive a Local Stage decision letter in due course. There is no specific timescale for this, but the general guide is that you should hear something within 25 working days. The faculty exam board decision stands until your appeal is successful. This means that if you’re required to withdraw you will be considered to have left the University until such time as an appeal overturns that decision. If you have a degree classification that you’re appealing, the original decision stands until the appeal succeeds. You can graduate even if you are appealing – if your appeal succeeds you will be issued with a new degree certificate at a later date.

The Local Stage decision

When you receive your Local Stage decision, please get in touch with Just Ask straight away. We’d like to hear if your appeal succeeds, and we can advise further if the appeal isn’t successful.

The Local Stage decision comes in the form of a letter from your Faculty Education Director explaining the reasoning behind the decision. If you are not happy with the outcome at Local Stage, you may be able to progress your appeal to the next stage of the appeals procedure, the University Stage.