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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). 

Below are answers to your Frequently Asked Questions. However the full Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes) can be found here.

  • What you should do before making an appeal?

    Prior to submitting your appeal, it is advised that you:

  • What are grounds for appeal?

    The three grounds on which you can appeal are:

    1. New evidence has become available which could not have been provided to the Board of Examiners (BoE) meeting (evidence that you chose to withhold from the Board of Examiners will not normally constitute new evidence at an appeal).
    2. There has been a procedural irregularity which has had a demonstrable impact on your academic outcome.
    3. For Postgraduate Taught Students Only: that there was inadequate supervision of the thesis/dissertation element of the Postgraduate programme. An appeal will not be considered on this ground, unless there is good reason to show why such issues were not raised by the student promptly at the time they first arose.
  • What isn’t grounds for appeal?

    The following are not grounds for appeal:

    1. Not being aware of the University regulations.
    2. Not knowing the University procedures (e.g. Exceptional Circumstances procedure).
    3. Being unhappy with your module mark or thinking that you can do better.
    4. Wanting to re-sit examinations or re-submit coursework in order to improve grades.
    5. Being awarded a degree classification that does not satisfy your career plans.
  • Where can I find the FSAC appeal form?

    The FSAC appeal form can be downloaded from FSAC Appeal Form.

  • Advice for completing the FSAC form

    It is strongly recommended that you seek advice on preparing your appeal from the Students’ Union Advice Centre (LINK).

    Do make sure that you complete ALL parts of the appeal form.

    You should address the following points on your appeal form:

    1. State clearly what decision you are appealing against. If possible, you should attach a copy of the letter you have received from your School notifying you of the decision of the Board of Examiners (the decision you are appealing).
    2. What are your grounds for appeal? Make sure that you tick the appropriate box.
    3. Give a summary of any issues that you believe may have impacted on your progression or academic outcome.
    4. Did you encounter exceptional circumstances? If so what are they?
    5. Did you inform the School of these circumstances? Do you have any emails/correspondence to support this? Did you submit an Exceptional Circumstances application? If not, why did you not do so?  You should attach copies of any relevant documents.
    6. What would you like the FSAC to do? You should check the University Regulations and/or your Student Handbook to make sure that the FSAC has the power to grant what you are asking.
    7. If you are requesting another attempt to pass an assignment/exam, what will be different next time?
    8. Is there any additional information you would like the FSAC to know about?
    9. Ensure that you have provided all supporting evidence which you consider supports your appeal. If you fail to submit the relevant evidence in support of your appeal before the appeal deadline, it may be rejected at the review stage because of lack of evidence (see Review Stage below). 

    FSAC appeals are considered on paperwork alone. Neither you nor the School will be invited to attend meetings. It is, therefore, very important that you complete the FSAC Appeal Form properly and submit all the necessary documentation to Academic Affairs before the stated deadline.

  • Supporting Evidence

    You should submit all relevant evidence which supports your appeal case.

     

     Useful types of evidence might include (but are not limited to):

    • Medical reports (including letters from your GP)
    • Police reports
    • Exam invigilator reports
    • Emails, letters and other correspondence
    • Witness statements
    • Meeting notes

    If appealing under the ground of new evidence, it is important to provide documentation which evidences both the exceptional circumstance and the impact your exceptional circumstances had on your ability to study or perform academically.

    All evidence must be in English. If you provide an English translation of a document in another language, the translation must be certified as an accurate translation.

    Evidence should be relevant to the missed/failed exam or assessment.

    Any medical evidence should:

    • Relate specifically to the dates and duration of your illness.
    • Contain a clear medical diagnosis or opinion and indicate how this impacted on your academic performance.

    Academic Affairs may require to see the originals of any documentation that you submit with your appeal.

    Evidence must not be tampered with or forged. The University takes this very seriously and the standard penalty for a first offence of falsification/fabrication of evidence provided to the University is expulsion from the University.

    The Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide additional advice on the types of evidence that should be submitted with your appeal.

  • What happens once I have submitted my 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. Please note that the Appeals and Complaints team will endeavour to send this to you as quickly as possible.

    It is important that you check your University email account regularly and read any emails sent to you carefully.

    Once submitted, your appeal will be considered by a Sifting Panel and a Review Panel. You are not required to attend these meetings.

  • What does the Sifting Panel and Review Panel do?

    The Sifting Panel will review your appeal (and supporting evidence) and will decide either to accept or reject your appeal. If accepted, your appeal will be sent to your School for a response.

    The Sifting Panel will reject your appeal if it does not present a prima facie case, e.g.:

    • Your appeal form is incomplete and/or does not contain any supporting evidence.
    • The outcome requested is to change marks, to re-sit or re-take modules which have already been passed.
    • Your desired outcome is not within the powers of the FSAC/CSAC to grant.

    If the Sifting Panel reject your appeal, the Review Panel will review this decision. The Review Panel will only consider the original appeal documentation and no additional information will be accepted at this stage.

    The Review Panel will decide either to confirm or overturn the Sifting Panel decision. If accepted, your appeal will be sent to your School for a response.

  • My FSAC appeal was rejected by the Review Panel, what happens next?

    If your appeal has been rejected by the Review Panel, there is no further internal right of appeal and the original decision of the Board of Examiners will remain in place.

    If, after considering the reasons why your FSAC appeal was rejected, you remain unhappy about the FSAC process or outcome, you may submit a complaint to the Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (https://nipso.org.uk/nipso/). Complaints to the Ombudsman must be made within 6 months of your FSAC Review stage decision.

  • My FSAC appeal was accepted by the Review Panel, what happens next?

    If your appeal has been accepted at the Sifting and Review stage, your appeal will be sent to your School for a written response.

    Your appeal and the School response will be presented to the Faculty Student Appeal Committee for consideration.

    You are not required to attend the FSAC meeting.

  • 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 appeals@qub.ac.uk stating your reasons for withdrawing your appeal.

  • When is the FSAC meeting?

    The dates for FSAC meetings can be found here.

    You are not required to attend this meeting.

  • What are the possible outcomes of my FSAC appeal?

    The FSAC can make the following decisions:

    i. Dismiss the appeal, with reasons, and confirm the original decision against which the appeal was made.

    ii. Refer the matter back to the Chair of the Board of Examiners, with or without a recommendation.

    iii. Uphold the appeal in part or in full, and may permit the student to re-sit or re-take a failed module(s).

    In exceptional cases, the FSAC may also refer the case to the Central Student Appeals Committee.

    The FSAC cannot make academic judgements, i.e. change marks or degree classifications.

     

  • How and when will I be informed of the FSAC decision?

    Normally, the FSAC decision will be sent to you within 8 working days of the decision being reached.

    The FSAC decision, along with the School response and Record of the FSAC meeting, will be sent to your University email address.

    Please note that the Appeals and Complaints team are unable to respond to individual, ad-hoc requests for FSAC decisions and you will be sent your decision once it has been finalised.

  • What if I am unhappy with the outcome of my FSAC appeal?

    If you are unhappy with the FSAC decision, you may appeal on grounds to the Central Student Appeals Committee (CSAC).

    See CSAC – A Student Guide for further information.

  • 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 Academic Affairs (academic-affairs@qub.ac.uk).