If your appeal was dismissed by the Faculty Student Appeals Committee (FSAC) and, having considered the reasons given for dismissing your appeal, you remain dissatisfied with the FSAC decision, you may appeal on grounds to the Central Student Appeals Committee (CSAC). You cannot appeal to the CSAC, without first appealing to FSAC.
Students attending China Queen's College (CQC) or INTO Queen's who are seeking to appeal should read the China Queen's College (CQC) and INTO Queen's CSAC Student Guide.
Below are answers to your Frequently Asked Questions. However, the full Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes) can be found here. Students are also referred to the General Provisions Relating to Academic Appeals, Conduct, Academic Offences and Student Complaints which should be read alongside these specific regulations.
Who can help with my CSAC appeal?
Prior to submitting your appeal, you are advised to speak to:
- Your Advisor of Studies; and/or
- Your Personal Tutor; and/or
- SU Advice
Support is also available from the Student Wellbeing Service.
- Is there a deadline to submit a CSAC appeal?
Yes - Your fully completed CSAC Appeal Form, along with all supporting evidence, must be sent to Academic Affairs (email@example.com) within 5 working days of the of the date of the FSAC decision letter.
- What if I miss the CSAC appeal deadline?
If you miss the appeal deadline, the Committee will not normally consider your appeal.
A late appeal may only be considered if you can demonstrate that you were unable to submit an appeal before the deadline due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g. hospitalisation).
You cannot submit a late appeal after you have graduated.
What is normally considered circumstances beyond my control?
Examples of reasons that would normally be accepted as sufficient cause for a late appeal include:
- Hospitalisation for an unexpected illness or accident at the time of the appeal deadline. Medical evidence is required to support this reason for a late appeal and must detail the dates of admission to and discharge from hospital.
- Severe mental health illness, which meant that, at the time of the appeal deadline, you were unfit to engage with the appeal process. Medical evidence is required to support this reason for a late appeal. This medical evidence must provide a clear medical diagnosis or opinion and must indicate how this impacted on your ability to engage with the appeal process at the time of the appeal deadline. If the condition was ongoing for some time (eg depression/anxiety), the medical evidence must set out when you first sought medical assistance and explain why you were unable to engage with the appeal process at the time of the appeal deadline, particularly if you continued to engage with your programme of study.
- Serious illness or bereavement of a family member, partner or close friend, which meant that you were unfit to engage with the appeal process at the time of the appeal deadline. Medical evidence is required to support this reason for a late appeal. This medical evidence must provide a clear medical opinion on how this impacted on your ability to engage with the process at the time of the appeal deadline.
- Being a victim of crime. A crime reference number would normally be required as evidence of this.
What should I do if I think I have sufficient cause and wish to submit a late appeal?
If you wish to submit a late appeal, you must also submit a written statement detailing the reasons for your late appeal together with your completed FSAC Appeal Form and supporting evidence.
Your written statement should be supported by evidence such as a GP letter, hospital admission report or psychiatric report. Any medical evidence must provide a medical opinion (e.g. diagnosis) and not simply record what you have reported to your health care professional. Any medical evidence must also provide a medical opinion on how your illness impacted on your ability to engage with the appeal process and to submit your appeal on time.
It is strongly recommended that you seek advice on preparing your appeal from SU Advice.
Late appeals, if accepted for consideration, will normally be heard during the next round of appeal hearings.
Further information about late appeals can be found in section 1.7 of the Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes).
- What are the CSAC grounds for appeal?
The CSAC grounds for appeal are:
i. New evidence has become available which could not have been provided to the FSAC (evidence withheld from the FSAC will not normally constitute new evidence).
ii. There has been a procedural irregularity in the FSAC procedure which has had a demonstrable impact on the outcome.
- Where can I find the Central Student Appeals Committee (CSAC) Appeal Form?
The CSAC Appeal Form can be downloaded from these webpages.
What happens once I have submitted my CSAC appeal?
Once you have submitted your appeal, you will receive a notification email (to your University email address) confirming receipt of your appeal and explaining the next stage of the appeals process.
It is important that you check your University email account regularly and read any emails sent to you carefully.
Shortly following your notification email, you will receive an invitation to present your appeal to the CSAC. This will be sent to your University email address.
- Do I have to confirm my attendance?
Yes, you must confirm whether or not you will attend your CSAC meeting.
If you fail to confirm whether or not you wish to attend your CSAC meeting by the stated deadline, your appeal will be withdrawn and the decision of FSAC will stand.
- Do I have to attend the CSAC meeting?
Whilst it is not a compulsory requirement, it is strongly recommended that you attend your CSAC meeting in order to present your appeal to the CSAC panel.
If you are invited to an 'in person' CSAC meeting but wish to attend virtually instead, it may be possible to arrange your attendance by Microsoft Teams, Skype or teleconference.
If you do not wish to attend the CSAC meeting and would like your appeal heard on the paperwork alone, you must inform the Appeals and Complaints Team by the deadline stated in your CSAC invitation.
If you confirm your attendance and then fail to attend your CSAC meeting without a good reason for your absence, the CSAC may consider your case in your absence on the basis of the paperwork alone. The CSAC will determine what it considers to be a good reason, but work commitments or holiday arrangements will not normally be considered a sufficient reason to postpone a meeting.
- Can I bring someone with me to the CSAC meeting?
You may be accompanied by a registered student of the University (which includes a Students' Union Sabbatical Officer), or a member of staff of the University, or University Chaplaincy. You might wish to contact SU Advice in the first instance.
If you consider that you have a disability or condition, you should advise Academic Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org) when submitting your appeal or as soon as possible so that the appropriate reasonable adjustments can be put in place to help you engage as fully as possible with the appeals process. This may entail a consultation with Disability Services.
If you attend your CSAC meeting accompanied, please note that you will still be expected to answer questions and make your own representations. The individual accompanying you is there to support you, not to represent you.
If your meeting is held virtually, you are still permitted to be accompanied to your CSAC meeting and you will be permitted time and privacy to discuss matters with this person during the meeting if required.
- Who are the CSAC panel members?
The CSAC is comprised of four members of academic staff who have been nominated to hear student appeals. Each member will have experience of advising students on progress, assessment and award issues.
The CSAC panel will not contain a member of staff from your School.
If you are a student of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, your CSAC panel will also include one member of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland and one member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland nominated by the Council of Legal Education.
Will anyone else attend the CSAC meeting?
In addition to the CSAC panel, the following persons may be invited to attend the CSAC meeting. These persons will not be involved in deciding the outcome of your appeal.
- FSAC Chair: The FSAC Chair may be invited to clarify the FSAC outcome or to respond to CSAC appeals citing procedural irregularity in the FSAC procedures.
- School Representative: A School Representative may be invited to answer questions about your appeal, the School's procedures and practices, the programme of study or your academic performance to date.
- Representative from other University department (e.g. Disability Services): A representative from another department may be invited to answer questions about other concerns raised in your appeal.
A members of Academic Affairs will be in attendance to take notes of the meeting and to ensure that the meeting is conducted in line with the Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes) and the General Provisions Relating to Academic Appeals, Conduct, Academic Offences and Student Complaints which should be read alongside these specific Regulations.
- Can I withdraw my appeal?
Yes, you can withdraw your appeal at any stage of the process.
If you wish to withdraw your appeal, please email email@example.com
- What information will the CSAC consider?
The CSAC will be provided with the following documentation:
- Your CSAC appeal and any supporting evidence
- Evidence provided to the FSAC (your appeal to FSAC and the School response)
- FSAC Record of Outcome detailing the FSAC decision
- Response from the FSAC Chair (or nominee) (if available).
- Response from other departments (e.g. Disability Services) if issues concerning other departments raised in FSAC or CSAC.
If the FSAC Chair (or nominee) or another University department provides a written response to your CSAC appeal, you will be sent a copy by email in advance of the meeting.
- What happens at the CSAC meeting?
The CSAC meeting will follow the following format:
a. Introductions will be made and the meeting format will be explained.
b. You will be invited to briefly outline the decision you are appealing against and the grounds on which you are appealing. It may help to prepare a short statement which highlights important points and/or to comment on the School response or the FSAC decision.
c. If in attendance, the FSAC Chair will be asked to explain the FSAC decision.
d. If in attendance, the representative from your School (or from any other University department involved) will be invited to answer questions by way of clarification.
e. The Committee will then ask questions to clarify some of the issues you have raised in your appeal.
f. You and the School representative (and the FSAC Chair if in attendance) will be asked for any closing remarks.
CSAC meetings normally take approximately 20 minutes.
- Can I record the CSAC meeting?
Students and staff are not permitted to make electronic or digital audio or visual recordings of any meetings without the express consent of all participants.
Official minutes of the meeting will be taken by a member of Academic Affairs and will be available on request.
What are the possible outcomes of my CSAC appeal?
The CSAC will agree on one of the following outcomes:
i. Dismiss the appeal, with reasons, and confirm the original decision against which the appeal is made.
ii. Refer the matter back to the Chair of the Board of Examiners, with or without recommendation.
iii. Uphold the appeal in part or in full, and may:
- Permit the student to re-sit or retake a failed module(s)
- Apply, on the student’s behalf, for a concession to the Regulations
- Take any other decision deemed by the CSAC to be fair and appropriate in the circumstances.
The CSAC cannot make academic judgements, i.e. change marks or degree classifications.
- How and when will I get the decision of the CSAC meeting?
Normally, the CSAC decision will be sent to you within eight working days of the decision being reached.
The CSAC decision will be sent to your University email address.
The Committee may invite you to meet with a member of staff from the Appeals and Complaints Team to receive your decision letter in person to provide you with the opportunity to discuss the implications of the CSAC decision and any other concerns or issues you may have; however, the Appeals and Complaints Team have no power to change the CSAC decision.
Please note that the Appeals and Complaints Team are unable to respond to individual, ad-hoc requests for CSAC decisions and you will receive your decision once it has been finalised.
- What if I am unhappy with the outcome of my CSAC appeal?
There is no further internal appeal against the decision of the CSAC.
If you believe there has been maladministration in the processing of your appeal, you may submit a complaint to the Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman. Complaints to the Ombudsman must be made within 6 months of notification of the decision of the CSAC.
- Confidentiality and Data Protection
All appeals will be treated with the appropriate level of confidentiality, with information being released only to those who need to see it (e.g. for the School’s response).
In accordance with the Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes), all information submitted by you and by the School will be shared with the members of the Committee. You and the School will be sent copies of the information sent to the members of the Committee. You should not include in your appeal any information which you do not wish to be shared. You should also ensure that your appeal documentation does not contain any information relating to third parties (e.g. that names or any information by which a third party could be identified have been redacted, unless the third party consents to the information being shared) and the information complies with the University guidance on data protection.
You may withdraw consent to sharing any information at any time (unless it has already been shared) by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org