It's Appeals season, so we've compiled a 101 guide to as an introduction to the topic of Appeals.
Why hello there! Welcome to my classroom, where I (Chloe, Student Advisor at Arts SU) will be temporarily taking off my advisor hat and replacing it with… whatever hats teachers wear, I guess? Okay, I’m no teacher, but I do have some knowledge to share and lessons to teach, and today I plan to do just that with a very hot topic for this time of year: Academic Appeals.
Today’s learning objective is to understand what an appeal is, and squash some of the common misconceptions we hear from students who approach the Advice service. I anticipate that a few of you were expecting something a bit juicier on the first day of school (trust me, I get it). But my aim here is not to throw buzzwords and rules at you, but instead to strip a seemingly complex concept back to the absolute basics in an accessible and more relatable way. So with that said, class is in session.
Topic 1 – What an appeal is
Put simply, an appeal is a request for your unit results to be reviewed and reconsidered by the university Exam board (they’re the ones who finalised your grades and produced your results letter). The word “appeal” refers to the overall process of making this request, not just the form itself. The appeals process is conducted centrally and will be the same no matter which college or course you are from. UAL have very specific rules, expectations and timelines regarding appeals that they will very rarely deviate from, so it is important to be familiar with these before your results are released. In fact, the rules surrounding academic appeals are so specific that they are mostly the same for every university in the UK!
Any student at UAL is able to submit an appeal using the process and there is no eligibility criteria to request a review. However, there are very specific conditions in which UAL is able to accept your request. We’ll cover some of these conditions here and the rest in our next class.
In summary? An appeal is a word used to describe a rigid and formal procedure at any university where any student can ask the question “Can I have another go at this, please”.
Topic 2 – What an appeal is NOT
Now that we have established what an appeal is, it’s time to take a quick look at what an appeal is not. We see a lot of misconceptions about appeals come through our service, so let’s take a moment to squash some of the most common myths.
1) An appeal is not an opportunity to contest whether your mark was unfair or misjudged
We know how frustrating it can be to receive a mark that feels contradictory to your previous feedback and/or attainment, but unfortunately, UAL is very confident in the strength of their marking processes. If your appeal questions the academic judgement of the individual that marked your work, your request will more than likely be denied.
2) An appeal is not a remark request
If you’re looking to appeal in the hopes to gain a letter grade or two on your current mark, it’s best I tell you before getting stuck in that this is extremely unlikely. In most cases, students who are successful in their appeal are offered an uncapped resubmission/retake, so you should expect to submit your assessment again should your appeal be upheld. There are exceptions to this of course (for example, your mark was reduced for being ‘late’ despite the fact you did, in fact, submit on time). Even in these cases, though, the adjusted mark will never exceed what the work had originally achieved.
To put it plainly, a successful appeal won’t ‘boost’ your current grade. This boost would only come from doing the work again, so:
3) An appeal is not a quick fix
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often students are shocked by the amount of detail and time required to complete a successful appeal. UAL has a wide range of resources and procedures available to support students long before results day rolls around, many of which are much less taxing than the appeals process. If you are facing difficulties in or beyond the university that are preventing you from working to your full potential, it is always best to seek support as early as possible so as not to limit your options or make matters worse. You can find out more about what support is available on our website, or our advisors would be happy to outline these for you (see links below!).
Topic 3 – When can I appeal?
To fully understand what the appeals process is, it is also important to establish when you can utilise it and under what conditions. There’s no point filling a form in to later find out you’re out of time, right?
When can I appeal?
1) After exam board results are released – Appeals can only be considered once your grade has been finalised by an exam board. If you have received your marks on moodle (also known as an indicative grade) and feel it was negatively impacted by external circumstances, you should submit an EC claim ASAP. Read it here (link) – include deadline
2) Within 15 working days of your exam board letter – This one is self-explanatory, but your deadline to appeal is 15 working days from the publication of your results
On what conditions?
3) That you don’t already have approved ECs – if you had an EC for the unit you are looking to appeal, it’s likely you don’t need to request a review. Your EC allows you the opportunity to resubmit your work already, so you should instead contact your program admin to ask for another go.
4) When you have grounds to appeal – Appeals can only be considered if they meet one of two grounds; EC’s and MI (see UAL Student Guide to Appeals for definitions!). It is super important that you read the definitions of each and consider whether either (or both) applies to your situation.
And that is all for today! A quick intro of academic appeals and when you might need to do one. This may never apply to you, but it is important to keep these things in mind should you ever get stuck in the future. Our next class will be focusing on how to submit an appeal application, so I’d encourage you to give it a read. Most importantly, though, if any of the points in this blog resonate with you, please do come and speak to a member of our team so we can help you!
I hope this has been helpful and look forward to seeing you all in the classroom again soon.
Chloe, Student Advisor
Links, Resources, and References
UAL Student Guide to Appeals
UAL Appeals Regulations
Arts SU Advice – Appeals
UAL Evidence Guidance
Arts SU Advice Service
Book an Appointment
Advice Service Website
UAL Support Services
UAL Counselling, Health Advice and Chaplaincy
UAL Student Advice Service (Finance and Immigration)
UAL Disability & Dyslexia Service
Other Useful Information
UAL Extenuating Circumstances