Student academic appeals
What is a student academic appeal?
An academic appeal is a formal request for the review of a decision affecting you that has been made by a Heriot-Watt University academic body or officer with authority for making decisions on student progression, assessment and academic awards. The appeal process cannot be used to challenge academic judgement. (See below)
If you are considering submitting an appeal it is important that you act promptly.
When can an appeal be raised?
There are specific grounds under which an academic appeal can be submitted. These are set out in the Student Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures.
In summary, an academic appeal may be made where there is evidence to show one or more of the following:
- Your performance was affected by special circumstances that you could not report at the time for valid reasons, and these special circumstances have not been taken into account when the relevant academic decision was made or before the relevant Board of Examiners made their deliberations
- Staff or bodies have not followed approved regulations and procedures
- There has been a material lack of clarity on the part of the University which has affected your performance
- Staff or bodies have not acted fairly towards you by showing bias in the way they have made an academic decision
The appeal process cannot be used to challenge academic judgement
Please note: The appeal process cannot be used to challenge academic judgement. You cannot submit an appeal simply because you believe you should have been awarded a better mark.
Robust mechanisms exist within the University to ensure that marking standards are fair and appropriate. If you are uncertain why you received a particular outcome or mark, you should discuss this with your personal tutor, Course Leader, Supervisor or other member of staff as appropriate.
Making an appeal - First steps
If you feel you have grounds for making an appeal it is important that you act promptly.
- Consider informal resolution
Before making a formal appeal, you should make every effort to contact your personal tutor, Supervisor, or other relevant member of staff, to discuss the issue and ascertain if it can be clarified or resolved without resorting to formal procedures.
- Seek advice from the Student Union
The Student Union Advice Hub offers advice, support and assistance. They can offer independent advice on submitting an academic appeal.
- Familiarise yourself with the grounds for appeal and appeals procedure
Submitting an appeal
- To submit an appeal you must complete the appropriate academic appeal form.
Check this guide for information on the correct form to use.
- You must complete the mandatory fields of this form or your submission will not be considered. When you have completed the form it must be submitted to the specified officer.
- You will need to submit your appeal within set timescales. If you submit your appeal outwith of the required timescale it will be rejected.
Find out about the timescales.
- The appeal must be submitted by you, however, you may seek the assistance of
a third party. The University will only deal with a third party providing assistance to you where there is a written and signed authorisation by you to allow this to happen. You will remain the responsible person with respect to the appeal and will be required to liaise directly with the University authorities.
Learn more about submitting an appeal: Student Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures