Academic appeals

An academic appeal is a formal request by a student or students for the review of a decision affecting them that has been made by a University of Surrey academic body, or a body at an Associated or Accredited Institution, with authority for making decisions or advising on student progression, assessment and academic awards.

Regulations for academic appeals (PDF)

What you can appeal

  • Academic progress decisions, such as, a decision to terminate your course
  • Decisions on your credits or marks, or if a doctoral degree, your degree classification or outcome
  • A penalty for failing to make progress including programme termination
  • An outcome of an Academic Misconduct Panel hearing
  • An outcome of an extenuating circumstances application

What you can't appeal

1. You cannot appeal an academic judgement.

The University will not consider an academic appeal if you are challenging an academic judgement. An academic judgement is where only the opinion of an academic expert will suffice i.e. a marker.

Situations where the University will therefore not consider an academic appeal on the basis of academic judgement include:

  • Where you are appealing an academic judgement on the content or learning outcomes associated with programmes, modules and courses that have been approved by the University
  • Where you are appealing an academic judgement on captured content and live teaching events
  • Where you are appealing an academic judgement on the merits of your work submitted for assessment
  • Where you are appealing an academic judgement on the research methodology that you have followed

2. You cannot appeal an academic decision that has not yet been confirmed.

The University will not consider your appeal if the decision that the appeal is based on has not yet been made or been confirmed i.e. you must have received ratified marks if appealing marks.

3. You cannot appeal an academic decision that you have already appealed.

The University will not consider an appeal where the substance of the appeal relates to a matter that you have already appealed.

4. You cannot appeal an academic decision using evidence that is dishonest or has been acquired dishonestly.

5. You cannot appeal an academic decision if the evidence put forward to support the appeal can be shown to be malicious or represent a way of harassing the University by consuming the time and resources of its staff or a way of harassing members of staff and other students.

Grounds to make an appeal

Any student who believes they have grounds for appeal against a decision by the University should follow the procedure as outlined in the regulations for academic appeals (PDF). The regulations outline the time limits for submitting appeals.

The University considers that an academic appeal may be made when there is independent evidence to show:

  • That staff or bodies have not followed approved regulations and procedures, or have not followed them with due care.
  • That staff or bodies have not acted fairly towards the student by showing, or appearing to show, bias in the way they have made the relevant academic decision.
  • That the student's performance was affected by extenuating circumstances that they could not report at the time for valid reasons.
  • That the student’s performance was affected by extenuating circumstances that were reported at the time and relevant new evidence has since become available which has not been taken into account in making the relevant academic decision.

How to make an appeal

You can make an appeal if you are a current student registered to study for a University of Surrey qualification or the award of its academic credits whether at the University, studying at a distance or at an Associated or Accredited Institution.

Former students can also appeal if they do so within the specified time frame, that is, within 10 working days of being notified of the decision.

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