Academic Registry Home

students finding their way

Contact

Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre
for independent support and guidance in respect of the Student Academic Appeals and Reviews procedure

Directors of Studies
for all guidance about your programme and studies

 

Guidance about Student Academic Appeals and Reviews

Introduction | Conduct of Student Academic Appeals and Reviews | Support | Initiating an appeal (stage 1) | Contacts for appeals | Requesting a review of an appeal outcome (Stage 2) | Key Terms Explained | Procedures & Forms | Links to Further Sources of Support | Additional information

Introduction

The University has established procedures allowing students to make complaints about issues that might arise in the course of their studies and to appeal against academic decisions about them. This page is primarily about appeals, but since appeals and complaints could be related, first of all it offers an outline of both procedures with access to further information and support.

For example, you should look at this information if you, as a student:

It is quite often preferable and more effective to seek an answer or resolution without having to start one of the formal processes, simply by talking to the appropriate person about your concerns. You are encouraged to do this. The appropriate person might be your Personal Tutor, your Director of Studies, or the Head of your Department or School, or the Head of the relevant Service. If you feel uncomfortable about raising an issue informally with the Faculty/School or Service, you might prefer to seek advice from the Advice & Representation Centre in the Students’ Union, or, if you are a postgraduate research student, from the University Independent Advisor for Postgraduate Research Students.

If you begin making a formal Student Complaint or Academic Appeal, and the issues you have raised under one procedure would be dealt with more appropriately under the other procedure, the University will advise you how it will consider your case.

Conduct of Student Academic Appeals and Reviews

Any student considering submitting an Academic Appeal should refer to Regulation 17, which sets out the process and the responsibilities of both the student and the University.

Important note for students

The Regulation and procedures described here are effective from 1 June 2015.

With effect from 1 June 2015, the revised version of Regulation 17 improves the clarity of language, process and scope, and extends the potential Executive Actions available to the Chair of the Board of Studies. It is anticipated that these changes will benefit students by allowing for the speedier resolution of a wider range of cases.

Academic appeals received after 1 June 2015 will be considered under this revised regulation.

Any Academic Appeals (previously called Academic Reviews) initiated before 1 June 2015, will be completed in accordance with the Regulation and procedures in place up to and including 31 May 2015 (this previous version of the Regulation can be found here). For more information, please contact the Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre.

The remainder of this page provides guidance and resources for students wishing to submit an Academic Appeal against a decision of the Board of Studies about

  1. their suitability to progress from one stage of the programme of studies to the next;
  2. their suitability to remain on the programme of study;
  3. their marks/grades, degrees, certificates or diplomas, and any classifications/grades awarded.

The Academic Appeal process applies only to decisions taken by a Board of Studies. Students who are not sure whether the matter should be submitted as an Academic Appeal should read Student Complaints and Academic Appeals for guidance and/or seek advice from the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre of the Students' Union.

Support

Students are encouraged to speak to the Director of Studies for their programme should they wish to raise an academic issue informally at any point. Directors of Studies may also help students to understand their individual academic situation, and to understand the possible actions and potential range of outcomes permitted by the assessment regulations following a successful Academic Appeal.

In addition to the guidance available from Directors of Studies mentioned above, it is strongly recommended that students speak to the Advice and Representation Centre of the Students’ Union before submitting an Academic Appeal, or as soon as you become aware of any issues with your academic progress. The Advice & Representation Centre provides independent support and guidance, and its staff can act as the “friend or adviser” permitted by the Regulation.

Additional support for student wellbeing is available from Student Services. International students should seek advice from Student Services’ International Student Advice Team if they have questions regarding the implications of a Board of Studies decision.

Partner College Programmes
If you are a student at Wiltshire College, Bath College or Swindon College, you should seek advice from your College Students’ Union / Student Services not the University of Bath Students’ Union.

Initiating an appeal (Stage 1)

Regulation 17 sets out the timescales for each stage of the Academic Appeal process. Students should note that an academic appeal (Stage 1 of the process) must be submitted no more than 14 calendar days after notification of the decision of the Board of Studies.

Stage 1 of the process is where a student submits an Academic Appeal to the Chair of the Board of Studies, against a decision of the Board. It includes consideration of the case and the outcome from this stage.

If you wish to appeal against a decision of the Board of Studies which has been notified to you, you need to follow the process set out in Regulation 17. This means that you must send your Academic Appeal so that it will reach the Chair of the Board of Studies for your programme (see list below) no more than 14 calendar days after notification of the decision against which you are appealing, and including:

You are also strongly recommended to seek independent advice from the Advice & Representation Centre of the Students’ Union on your academic circumstances and the case you wish to make.

Contacts for appeals

Please send Stage 1 Academic Appeal requests to the appropriate contact to reach the Chair of the Board of Studies.

Faculty/School Contact
Faculty of Engineering & Design By e-mail: Professor Gary Hawley (j.g.hawley@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies

By post: Professor Gary Hawley, Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Engineering & Design, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences By e-mail: Professor David Galbreath (hss-chair-of-bos@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies

By post: Professor David Galbreath, Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

School of Management
(including IMML students)
By e-mail: Professor Veronica Hope Hailey (v.hope.hailey@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies
Please cc: acadreviews@management.bath.ac.uk

By post: Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, Chair of the Board of Studies, School of Management University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

Faculty of Science By e-mail: Professor Nicholas Brook (n.brook@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies

By post: Professor Nicholas Brook, Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

Students on programmes administered by the Learning Partnerships Office:  
Addictions Counselling
Early Years and Childhood Studies
Social Work
Sport (Sports Therapy)
By e-mail: Professor David Galbreath (hss-chair-of-bos@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies
Please cc: Dr Florin Bisset, f.bisset@bath.ac.uk, the Head of the Learning Partnerships Office

By post: Professor David Galbreath (Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences), c/o Learning Partnerships Office, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

Motorsport Engineering By e-mail: Professor Gary Hawley (j.g.hawley@bath.ac.uk) the Chair of the Board of Studies
Please cc: Dr Florin Bisset, f.bisset@bath.ac.uk, the Head of the Learning Partnerships Office

By post: Professor Gary Hawley (Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Engineering & Design), c/o Learning Partnerships Office, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

Applied Computing By e-mail: Professor Nicholas Brook (n.brook@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies
Please cc: Dr Florin Bisset, f.bisset@bath.ac.uk, the Head of the Learning Partnerships Office

By post: Professor Nicholas Brook (Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Science), c/o Learning Partnerships Office
University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

International Foundation Year By e-mail: Professor Nicholas Brook (n.brook@bath.ac.uk), the Chair of the Board of Studies
Please cc: Dr Florin Bisset, f.bisset@bath.ac.uk, the Head of the Learning Partnerships Office

By post: Professor Nicholas Brook (Chair of the Board of Studies, Faculty of Science), c/o Learning Partnerships Office
University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY

 

Requesting a review of an appeal outcome (Stage 2)

Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a Stage 1 Academic Appeal may wish to request a review of the appeal.

In Regulation 17, Stage 2(A) describes the process whereby a student may ask the Director of Academic Registry to conduct a Review of a Stage 1 decision by the Chair of the Board of Studies that no prima facie case has been established and that no action should be taken in response to the Academic Appeal.

Stage 2(B) describes the process whereby a student may ask the University Secretary to convene a Student Academic Appeals Committee to conduct a Review of a Stage 1 outcome where the Chair of the Board of Studies took Executive Action or where an Appeal Hearing was held.

If you are dissatisfied with a Stage 1 Academic Appeal outcome, you should follow the guidance in the letter notifying you of the outcome and, as appropriate, send

Students who remain dissatisfied after receiving a Stage 2 (A or B) outcome have the right to request an independent review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. Further details are available from the OIA

Key terms explained

Assessment regulations: For most students on taught programmes of study (rather than research students), this refers to the New Framework for Assessment. There are different versions of the assessment regulations depending on which regulations your specific programme uses (for example, the NFAAR:UG for undergraduate programmes and the NFAAR:PGT for postgraduate taught programmes). Your programme handbook and/or the Programme and Unit Catalogue will indicate which assessment regulations apply to your programme of study. The possible actions and outcomes resulting from an Academic Appeal will be constrained by both your individual academic circumstances and the relevant assessment regulations, so you are advised to speak to your Director of Studies or the Advice & Representation Centre of the Students’ Union about what may be possible in your situation.

Board of Studies: Boards of Studies are responsible to Senate for all matters relating to the organisation of education, teaching and research in each Faculty/School, including all examination matters. While you may receive marks/grades and feedback throughout the course of your programme stage, you will not receive a formal progression or award notification, or final marks/grades, until the Board of Studies has met and made a decision to accept the recommendations from Boards of Examiners. The Academic Appeals process applies to these decisions only.

Chair of the Board of Studies: The academic member of staff who leads the meetings of the Board of Studies. This is normally the Dean of the Faculty/School and will be the person who will make a decision regarding your Stage 1 Academic Appeal. See Contacts for appeals above to identify the Chair of the Board of Studies for your programme.

Complaint: The University defines a Student Complaint as “an expression of dissatisfaction levelled by a student against another student, member of staff, service or facility of the University”. Unlike Academic Appeals, a Board of Studies decision does not have to have been reached before a Complaint can be made. For further information, see the Student Complaints guidance pages or, if you have any queries on the procedure, email studentcomplaints@bath.ac.uk. 

Director of Academic Registry: The Director of Academic Registry is head of a professional service department that provides a range of academic and regulatory administrative support to the University community. In the context of Regulation 17, at Stage 2(A) the Director of Academic Registry is responsible for reviewing the Stage 1 decisions taken by Chairs of the Boards of Study if no prima facie case was established and the student is dissatisfied with the Stage 1 outcome. You can correspond with the Director of Academic Registry at dep-acad-reg@bath.ac.uk.

Individual Mitigating Circumstances: The University defines IMCs as “the conditions which temporarily prevent you from undertaking assessment or significantly impair your performance in assessment: as such, the measure of their severity is not about impact on you, but impact on your assessment.” If you think your circumstances are interfering with your performance in assessment, you should speak to your Director of Studies and refer to the IMCs guidance. Any issues should be dealt with at the time of disruption, and you should not wait for a Board of Studies decision.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator: The OIA is an independent body, external to the University, set up to review student complaints. You can apply to the OIA for a review of your case if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome when both stages of the University Appeal procedure have been completed.

Prima facie case: This is a phrase that serves to describe briefly what you should seek to provide when you submit an Academic Appeal request. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary defines a prima facie case as “a case that is supported by sufficient evidence for it to be taken as proved in the absence of evidence to the contrary”. It is your responsibility to provide all the evidence needed to support the case you are making in your Academic Appeal. The Chair of the Board of Studies may seek to verify any factual information you have provided when deciding whether you have made a prima facie case for executive action to be taken or for an appeal hearing to be held.

University Secretary: The University Secretary oversees compliance with relevant legislation, University policies and governance structures. In the context of Regulation 17, at Stage 2(B), the University Secretary is responsible for reviewing the Stage 1 decisions resulting from Executive Action or a Board of Studies Appeal Sub-Committee where the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome. You can correspond with the University Secretary at universitysec@bath.ac.uk.

Procedures and Forms

Links to Further Sources of Support

You are encouraged to seek advice and support when considering the Academic Review process. Support is available from:

Additional support in respect of your welfare is available from Student Services and the International Student Advice Team in respect of visa and other matters for international students. If you are a student on a Licensed programme with the Learning Partnerships Office, you should seek advice from your College Students’ Union/Student Services.

Additional information