Appeal procedure

Find out more about submitting an appeal and where to find out information about what happens during the appeals procedure

The University values fairness and works hard to ensure the best outcomes for you. If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by the University that affects your academic progress, the right to an award, or a non-academic decision, you may be able to appeal the decision through the appeals procedure.

Before you engage with the appeals procedure, it is important for you to have a thorough understanding of the relevant procedure under which the decision you are appealing against was made. You can submit an appeal against:

Students can obtain independent advice about submitting an appeal from the Students’ Union Student Advice Centre.

Should I make an appeal?

The appeals procedure applies to all University of Plymouth students who are studying at sites of delivery in the UK and international partnerships unless a non-standard regulation has been formally approved.

The appeals procedure is not a way of bypassing or setting aside the judgement of academics on your performance; it is a way of ensuring that academic decisions are made in accordance with relevant regulations and that as far as possible all relevant circumstances affecting your academic performance are taken into account.

It is also not a means of setting aside professional judgements with respect to your wellbeing, behaviour or fitness to practise which have been made in accordance with the relevant procedures.

If you suspect that an error has occurred and the wrong mark for a module has been recorded on your transcript, you should raise this matter directly and in writing with your faculty office or the Doctoral College or with the partner institution at which you study. Such enquiries will not be treated as formal appeals.

If you experience issues related to aspects of teaching and learning on your programme, availability of facilities, or problems with accommodation, you should seek a swift resolution through the student complaint procedure, not the appeals procedure.

How do I submit an appeal?

All appeals should be submitted by completing the appeal form and sending it to appeals@plymouth.ac.uk  with all relevant, independent supporting evidence. The Complaints and Appeals Team will send an acknowledgement within ten University working days of receipt of the appeal.

What sort of evidence do I need to provide?

The evidence you will provide will depend on the nature of your appeal, however, in all cases it should:

  • be written by appropriately qualified professionals (for example, a GP or counsellor etc.) who are independent to the student. Evidence from family and/or friends will not normally be accepted.
  • be on headed paper and signed and dated by the author. Evidence presented by email is acceptable if the email has been sent by the author from the official domain name of the author's organisation
  • confirm specifically that the circumstances were witnessed on the relevant date as opposed to being reported retrospectively
  • be in English. It is the student's responsibility to provide supporting documentation and any translation should be undertaken by an accredited translator (e.g. be a member of the Association of Translation Companies http://www.atc.org.uk/index.html).
For further information about evidence requirements, please refer to the appeals procedure.

Can I appeal before my marks have been confirmed?

Marks awarded are provisional until they have been ratified by a Subject Assessment Panel and a decision is then subsequently made on your progression or award by an Award Assessment Board. You cannot submit an appeal while your marks are still provisional, you must wait until the results and appeal deadline have been published.

Can I appeal if I disagree with a mark I have been given?

You cannot ‘dispute’ a mark which has been awarded. There are mechanisms in place to ensure quality and standards of marking, involving both internal and external academics.

If you feel that the assessment feedback you receive with your mark does not answer the queries you have as to why the mark awarded is not what you were expecting, you are welcome to ask for additional feedback.

Will my marks be increased if my appeal is upheld?

No, upheld appeals do not normally change your marks and improvements to marks may only be achieved by reassessment.

How long will it take for my appeal to be considered?

The Complaints and Appeals Team will process all appeal cases as soon as possible and aim to resolve them within 20 University working days from the date your appeal is acknowledged, but complex cases may take longer. The Complaints and Appeals Team will keep you updated if your appeal does take longer than expected.

How will my appeal impact on graduation?

In some instances, a graduation ceremony may be held within the two-week deadline period for the submission of appeals following referred award assessment boards. In such cases, students will be permitted to attend the ceremony, without prejudicing any appeal they may later submit, providing the appeal is submitted within the deadline.

Students whose appeals are undergoing consideration at the time of a graduation ceremony may also attend the ceremony without prejudicing the outcome of the appeal process. Such students will not receive an award certificate until the appeal is concluded.

Who can I speak to for further advice about the appeals process?

The Students’ Union Student Advice Centre can provide independent advice on your appeal and help you complete your appeal form.

The Complaints and Appeals Team can provide general guidance on the appeals process and what you can expect from it. They can be contacted at appeals@plymouth.ac.uk.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the outcome of my appeal?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your appeal and have completed the University’s internal procedures, you have the right to ask for a review of your case by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). You may wish to visit their website for further information.

Appeals procedure

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