If you are dissatisfied with a decision of the Board of Examiners in your School, you may appeal on grounds to the Faculty Student Appeals Committee (FSAC).
On receipt, your appeal will be considered by the Director of Academic Affairs (or nominee) and a senior colleague, who will decide whether you have presented a prima facie case.
If it is considered that you have not presented a prima facie case, your appeal will be rejected. Any appeal which is rejected will be reviewed by a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) and a senior colleague.
If you have presented a prima facie case, your appeal will be forwarded to your School for a response. Your appeal and the School response will be considered by the FSAC.
The FSAC comprises the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) or nominee, and two senior colleagues, one of whom must also be a senior academic. The FSAC will consider your appeal on the paperwork submitted by you and by your School alone, so it is important that you complete the Appeal Form properly and submit all the necessary documentation to Academic Affairs before the FSAC deadline.
You will receive notification of the FSAC decision, together with copies of the School response and the Record of the FSAC Meeting.
To initiate the appeals process, a student must complete all sections of the FSAC Appeal Form and submit it to Academic Affairs within ten working days of the date of the University deadline for publication of results. If you miss this deadline the FSAC will not be able to hear your appeal.
You should be careful to explain how you meet the ground(s) of appeal and should ensure that you attach all supporting evidence when submitting your appeal form. Requests for appeal which are not submitted on the appropriate form will not be processed. The appeal will be acknowledged on receipt.
A former student may not lodge an appeal after they have graduated from the University. However, a student may proceed to graduate while appealing, providing the appeal is submitted within ten working days of the formal publication of the final result.
Should a change to a result be required following an appeal, the transcript will be amended accordingly. Where a degree classification changes after graduation, the student will be issued with an amended parchment on return of the original parchment.
In order for the FSAC to be able to hear your appeal, you must state the grounds on which you are appealing. While you might feel unhappy about a decision, e.g. your examination marks, this does not mean you have grounds for an appeal. There are 3 grounds on which you can appeal:
The following are not grounds for appeal:
Once you have established that you have grounds for an appeal, it is strongly recommended that you seek advice and assistance on preparing your appeal. The Students’ Union will be able to assist you with the appeal form and a representative will also be able to accompany you to the Committee hearing.
To get in touch with the Students’ Union, you should submit this form and an adviser will be in touch with you.
Please complete all parts of the appeal form. You will need to address the following points:
Answering these points will help the Committee to understand your case and to reach a fair decision. Please be careful to make sure that the appeal document is not one big block of text, try to break it up into smaller paragraphs.
Once the FSAC Appeal Form and supporting documentation is complete, please ask someone from the Students’ Union (http://www.qubsu.org/AdviceSU-Help/AcademicIssues/) to read through it before submitting it by email to email@example.com or by hand to Academic Affairs, Level 6, Administration Building, Queen's University Belfast BT7 1NN.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the information is accurate, includes all supporting documentation and is submitted on time. Any documentation submitted after the deadline for submission of appeals will not be considered. The FSAC will consider your appeal on the paperwork alone so it is important that you submit all relevant documentation before the deadline.
The FSAC will normally only consider appeals against Examination Board decisions for the relevant assessment period (e.g. you cannot submit an appeal after the semester two examination period relating to the decision about a semester one examination).
Although your appeal and supporting documentation will be accepted by email, Academic Affairs will require to see the originals of any documentation you submit in support of your appeal (eg letter from your GP or death certificate).
Academic Affairs is tasked with ensuring that the evidence considered by a FSAC/CSAC is bona fide and will, where necessary, take steps to verify that documentation submitted is valid and authentic. This may include contacting the stated author of the document in question or your GP surgery to verify that the document was written by them. If the document is a letter from your GP, only the contents of the document submitted by you will be disclosed; no other matters will be discussed.
Documentary evidence must not be tampered with. Where it is suspected that a student has submitted a forged document or has made changes to the document, however minor, the appeal will be adjourned and the matter referred to the student’s Head of School for investigation under the Conduct Regulations. You should be aware that the University takes offences of this kind very seriously. The standard penalty for a disciplinary offence of falsification/fabrication of evidence provided to the University (first offence) is expulsion from the University.
All appeals will be treated with the appropriate level of confidentiality, with information being released only to those who need to see it (eg 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 (eg, 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 Academic Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Academic Affairs will contact you via your University email address to confirm receipt of your appeal and explain 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. These emails will contain important information about your appeal.
Your appeal and supporting documentation will be reviewed by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (or nominee) and a senior colleague and, based on the paperwork alone, a decision will be made to either accept your appeal, in which case your appeal will be sent to your School for a response, or reject your appeal.
Your appeal may be rejected if it does not present a prima facie case:
If your appeal is rejected at this stage, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) and a senior colleague will review the decision to reject your appeal. The review will only consider the original appeal documentation and no additional information or supporting evidence will be accepted at this stage.
If your appeal is accepted, it will be forwarded to your School for a response.
Please note that the decision to forward your appeal to your School for a response is not an indication that your appeal meets grounds. Your appeal and the School response will be considered by the FSAC on the paperwork.
If your appeal is not accepted, there is no further internal appeal against a review decision. However, if, after considering the reasons given for rejecting your appeal, you remain aggrieved by the process or outcome, you may submit a complaint to the Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman. If you wish to submit a complaint to the Ombudsman, you must do so within 6 months of the date of the written notification of the decision.
If it is decided that you have presented a prima facie case, your appeal documentation will be forwarded to your School for a written response.
Your appeal documentation and the School response will be considered by the FSAC on the paperwork alone. It is, therefore, very important that you submit all relevant documentation by the FSAC appeal deadline.
The FSAC comprises the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) (or nominee who is a senior academic) and two colleagues at least one of whom is an academic member of staff.
The FSAC will consider your appeal on the paperwork submitted by you and by your School alone. Neither you nor the School will be in attendance. It is, therefore, imperative that you complete the Appeal Form properly and submit all the necessary documentation to Academic Affairs before the stated deadline.
The meeting may be held electronically.
The FSAC can make the following decisions:
The FSAC cannot make academic judgements, i.e., change marks or degree classifications.
You will be notified of the FSAC’s decision normally within eight working days of a decision being reached. This will be communicated to you in writing to your University email address. You will also receive copies of the School response and the Record of the FSAC Meeting.
If you are dissatisfied with the FSAC decision, you may appeal on grounds to the Central Student Appeals Committee (CSAC). See CSAC – A Student Guide for further information.
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