The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Resit results

This page gives advice on what your options are if you have failed an exam or assessment during the August/September resit period.

You will receive a decision letter from your faculty to explain what will happen next. This is likely to be one of the following possibilities:

  1. Conditional progression – this means that you can continue to your next year of study even though you haven’t passed all the credit points from your previous year. You will take the assessment for the unit that you’ve failed alongside your next year’s study. This is only possible for non-mandatory units, and only where it has been pre-agreed as a possibility by your school for that particular unit or programme.
  2. Supplementary year – this means that you will be able to re-attempt the unit or units that you’ve failed as part of an additional year of study. This may be ‘with teaching’ or ‘exams only’. You will not be able to progress to your next year of study until you have passed the supplementary year. 
  3. Required to withdraw – this means that you are no longer registered on your course. This is likely to happen if you’ve failed more than 20 credit points at the second attempt and there have been no extenuating circumstances.

If you think that the University has made a mistake in your decision letter, or if you would like further advice about your situation, get in touch with Just Ask! We can talk through your situation and see what options may be available.

Appealing the decision

It’s possible to appeal against the faculty decision, but you do need to think about what outcome is possible. The regulations do not allow students to progress until they have passed all the credit points from the previous year unless conditional progression has been pre-approved. There is no time between the resits and the start of the next academic year for another attempt at failed units, so it’s necessary to take a supplementary year in this situation.

If you have been required to withdraw, or if your supplementary year is being considered as a second attempt, you may be able to appeal if your situation comes under one of the 3 permissible grounds for appeal. These are:

  1. Material Irregularity. You’ll need to show that the University has made a mistake leading to 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. Extenuating circumstances that you haven’t previously disclosed. You will need to have a good reason why you weren’t able to submit an extenuating circumstances form before the deadline.
  3. Incorrect or disproportionate penalty for plagiarism or exam cheating. 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 has been applied.


The only outcomes that you could ask for from an appeal are to be allowed to conditionally progress (which is only possible in specific circumstances), to be allowed a supplementary year as if for a first or second attempt, or to be allowed a full repeat year if you can show that your whole year of study has been affected.

If you would like to appeal, do feel free to start drafting your appeal using Just Ask’s Appeals Wizard. Completing the survey below will create a draft form which will then be forwarded to the Just Ask team who will get back to you and advise further.



Please contact us for detailed advice on your specific situation or if you have any questions that aren't answered here.

Supplementary years

A supplementary year is an extra year of study where you take unit(s) that you haven’t passed in the previous year. Supplementary years can be 'exams only' or they can be 'with attendance' in which case you will be able to go all teaching associated with the unit(s) you are taking. 

If you unexpectedly discover that you have to take a supplementary year, don’t panic! If you have spare time, there are loads of things that you can do outside of your academic work that could be beneficial. For example you could:


If your supplementary year is with attendance, you will only have to pay tuition fees for the units that you are registered for, which means that the fees will be much less. For ‘exams only’ supplementary years there is normally no or very little charge. 

Student finance

If you receive student finance, your funding automatically covers one additional year should you need it. You will receive student finance as normal as long as you are registered to attend some teaching in each teaching block. If the assessments you need to repeat are only in one teaching block, it may be that your school can register you on extra units so that you can attend throughout the year. If you are doing an 'exams only' supplementary year you won’t be entitled to any student finance. 

The Student Funding Office can give more detailed advice about your funding, so do get in touch with them if you have any queries. 



Your student visa will be likely to continue as normal if you are registered to attend teaching throughout the academic year. If your visa time is running out, you may be able to change your supplementary year to be an ‘exams only’ year. Get specialist visa advice about this from Student Visa Services.