You can use the Academic Appeals Procedure if you want to challenge the outcomes of the University’s assessment process.
What is an appeal?
An appeal is something that you can do to challenge the outcome of an assessment process, or a decision to withdraw you from study. Appeals are not for situations when you are simply unhappy about something, for example, that a module you wanted to take is full, or that you have some clashing deadlines - some things are part and parcel of University life.
An appeal must be based on valid grounds. Accepted grounds for appeal are outlined in the formal procedure document.
- Before starting an appeal, you should discuss your situation with your School, so that they can help you to understand the decision that you wish to challenge. It is important that you understand why a decision has been made before appealing it. The Director of Student Education is normally the most appropriate person to contact, in the first instance.
- Leeds University Union Advice are able to support students with the appeals process, and you are encouraged to consult them for independent advice and guidance.
If you are thinking about making an appeal, you should firstly read the full procedure document here.
What can I appeal?
The Procedure outlines four key decisions that might form the basis of an appeal These are:
A decision to withdraw you from your programme;
The outcome of an assessment;
A decision not to award you a degree;
The final award or classification that you receive at the end of your programme.
You must also have appropriate grounds upon which you could contest one of the above decisions. For example, if you think that your mitigating circumstances were not given due consideration, if you think there has been a procedural error or irregularity, or your supervision was unsatisfactory, then you may have grounds for appeal.
Please consult the Procedure to understand all of the bases and grounds for appeal.
- You cannot appeal a provisional decision (e.g., provisional marks,) or an anticipated outcome (e.g., if you’ve used the degree calculator to predict your final award, before the award has formally been made.)
- All decisions are only considered as final and ratified after final exam boards have taken place at the end of the academic year.
Appeals against decisions relating to academic integrity breaches should be made using the procedure on Cheating, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated coursework and malpractice in university examinations and assessments.
When should I make an appeal?
In all cases, you have 20 working days from the publication of the decision you are appealing. If you are appealing your final award, for example, then you would need to submit your appeal within 20 working days of Results Day.
- This ‘20 working day’ period does not include the date that the decision was published, but it does include the final date for submission of the appeal. So, if your result was published on 1st July, your appeal must be submitted by the end of the working day (5pm) on 21st July.
- As with all deadlines, it is advisable not to leave it until the last minute to submit your appeal, just in case of any issues or errors in submitting on the day.
You must wait for the decision you are appealing to become final before appealing it - you cannot appeal a provisional decision. All decisions are only considered as final and ratified after final exam boards have taken place at the end of the academic year.
How long does an appeal take?
This can vary depending on the complexity of the case and any follow-up that may be required, but it is worth being aware that, if your appeal is taken forward, the whole process can take up to three months or longer.
There are multiple stages to an appeal, as outlined in the Procedure. Indicative timelines are also provided here for each stage, so please familiarise yourself with this document before starting an appeal.
- Remember: You cannot appeal a decision if you have accepted your award. However, you can still attend graduation if you have an appeal in progress. If, therefore, you would prefer to take the opportunity to celebrate the end of university together with your friends, you do still have this option, even if your appeal is not resolved.
- When making a decision about attending graduation, you may want to think about whether it is more important for you to celebrate the end of your time at University with your peers, or whether you would prefer to wait and celebrate once your award is final. You will not be allowed to attend multiple graduation events.
Who can support me through an appeal?
- LUU Advice are available to offer impartial advice and support about your appeal.
- Before making your appeal, you are advised to speak to a relevant academic lead in your School – normally, the Director of Student Education. You should talk to them about the decision that you intend to appeal, and they will be able to help provide clarity as to why a particular outcome was reached. This may help you to frame your appeal, or to decide whether an appeal is the appropriate course of action.
- An appeal is a challenge of a School decision, so you must remember that your School will not be able to comment or advise on the content of your appal.
- The Student Cases Team will be able to offer procedural advice, but cannot comment on the content or offer advice about your appeal.
For detailed information on the Academic Appeals Procedure, please see the Academic Appeals wepbage