Student academic appeals

What is a student academic appeal?

An academic appeal is a formal request from a student asking the University to review a decision relating to progression, assessment or academic awards.

Before you submit an appeal, please be sure to read the student academic policy and procedures.

Who to submit an appeal to

The University appeals team manages the academic appeals process on behalf of Schools. You should send your appeal submission, and any queries about appeals, to appeals@hw.ac.uk  

The appeals team is responsible for any liaison needed with your School as part of the appeal process.

The University upholds the principle that students can raise appeals against academic decisions without fear of disadvantage.  

Before you submit an appeal

Please note the appeal process cannot be used to challenge academic judgement. You cannot submit an appeal 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 not sure why you received a particular outcome or mark, you should contact your personal tutor, supervisor, or other relevant member of staff to discuss the issue and see if it can be clarified or resolved without using formal appeal procedures.

International students

If you are an international student, you will, where circumstances allow, be allowed to progress with your studies pending the outcome of the appeal, within the period of your current visa.

The University will do its best to resolve any academic appeal before the end of your current visa expiry date, but this may not always be possible.

If you have any concerns, you should seek advice from the Global Student Office by emailing isao@hw.ac.uk

Graduation

If you are considering appealing against an award, please note that you will not be entitled to graduate until either the process of the academic appeal has been concluded, or you withdraw the appeal in writing and so agree to accept the award. 

Even if an appeal against an award is concluded or withdrawn before the next available graduation ceremony, your graduation is likely to be postponed to a subsequent ceremony to allow time for the necessary academic and administrative processes to be carried out.

More information

The Student Union Advice Hub offers free, impartial and confidential advice on matters such as possible grounds for appeal and details of the process.  

You can contact them at advice.hub@hw.ac.uk.  

How to submit an appeal

You are responsible for reading about and understanding the grounds for appeal and the appeal procedure as set out in the University’s Student Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure.

Before the University can consider your appeal, you must ensure that it: 

  • meets one or more of the specific grounds on which an appeal may be submitted and is supported by evidence. Evidence submitted in a language other than English must include a certified translation in English. Evidence from parents or friends is not considered independent and cannot be used.
  • is submitted within the set timescale stated in the procedures. For a Stage 1 appeal, this is not later than 10 working days after receipt of the information which forms the basis of your appeal coming to your knowledge. For a Stage 2 appeal, this is not later than 20 working days after confirmation of the Stage 1 outcome has been issued to you. If you submit your appeal outwith the required timescale without good reason it will be rejected. 
  • is submitted by you from your Heriot-Watt email address. You may ask for help from a third party, such as the Advice Hub, to prepare your appeal submission, but you remain the responsible person for the appeal and you must liaise directly with the University Appeals Team as necessary.

Please note you can only submit a Stage 2 appeal if you think that your appeal has not been dealt with satisfactorily at Stage 1.

Appeal forms

If you decide to submit an appeal, you must complete the relevant appeal form below and send it with supporting evidence to the University appeals team at appeals@hw.ac.uk

Please note that the academic appeals process can take some time to reach an outcome because it requires an investigation to be carried out.

Key information

Appeals contact email address