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Policy on Student Academic Appeals

Introduction

Students who wish to request a formal review of an academic decision (such as a grade given for a piece of assessed work, or an academic decision relating to a student’s progression or completion of a programme of study) should use the procedures outlined on this page. It is important to note that the appeal process cannot be used to challenge matters of academic judgment. That is, a student cannot submit an academic appeal simply because they believe that they deserve a better mark. There are specific and fairly narrow grounds under which an academic appeal may be submitted and these are set out in the Policy below. Students should fully read this document before preparing their submission:

Policy on Student Academic Appeals (PDF, 478 KB)

This Policy excludes complaints about the standard or quality of service (both academic and non-academic) provided by the University, and also complaints related to the Students’ Association or Athletic Union, for which separate procedures exist. Appeals against Fitness to Practise Medicine and student disciplinary procedures are also dealt with under separate policies. The relevant links to these other University policies can be found at the end of this web page.

Stage 1: School / Faculty level Appeals

Students should initially on an informal basis raise any concerns they may have with relevant members of staff within their School. An appeal can thereafter be formalised by making a subsequent submission, in writing, normally to the Head of School (or, in certain circumstances, to the Dean of the relevant Faculty) within 5 working days of the decision subject to appeal. Students must complete the Stage 1 Appeal form (Word, 39 KB) to serve as the basis of their submission. The permissible grounds for making an academic appeal are clearly outlined therein, as are instructions on to whom the form should be submitted.

The University will normally seek to resolve matters of concern as close as possible to the level at which they arise. Only when such channels are fully exhausted can students escalate academic appeals to a higher level. Students must therefore complete the first stage of appeal (to the Head of School or Dean) before beginning a second stage of appeal, as below, to the University Senate.

Stage 2: Appeals to the University Senate

Where a student remains dissatisfied after receiving the outcome of their Stage 1 academic appeal, and can clearly demonstrate that permissible grounds exist to have the matter considered further, then the student may make a further and final submission to the University Senate. This is the last stage of consideration under the University’s internal procedures. Before making a submission to the University Senate, students must fully exhaust the first stage of appeal (to either the School or Dean) as above. The Senate Office will not consider cases which have not completed this compulsory earlier stage; students who make a premature submission to the University Senate will be referred back to School or Faculty level.

Students wishing to submit an academic appeal to the University Senate must fully complete the Stage 2 Appeal form (Word, 43 KB). This form should be completed only by students wishing to submit a Senate appeal and should not be used for making a Stage 1 appeal to the School or Dean (Stage 1 forms are available above). Fully complete forms should be sent by email to the Senate Office (senate@st-andrews.ac.uk) within 10 working days of the decision with which the student is dissatisfied. Once submitted, the student has from that date a period of a further 10 working days to submit the full appeal together with all supporting documentary evidence they wish to rely on. These timescales are designed to provide sufficient time for the thorough preparation of a case. Late submissions may not be considered further by the University.

Timescales

Please consult the appropriate section of the Policy above for further details on the relevant timescales covering submissions. In general, it is important that students act promptly in submitting an academic appeal. Submissions are normally time-limited and late submissions may be automatically rejected without further consideration or right of future appeal.

Sources of advice

Students seeking impartial and independent advice on properly formulating an academic appeal submission should contact the Student Education Advocate at the Students’ Association. The Students' Association provide a detailed guide on their website for students who are considering submitting an academic appeal. Further information for students may also be found on the Advice & Support Centre’s advice page on appeals.

Links to other policies and procedures