If your academic appeal has been dismissed at College level, there are still some options open to you to pursue your appeal, depending on the circumstances.
We understand how disappointing it can be when your academic appeal is dismissed by the College Appeals Committee. Whilst there are options for pursuing an appeal further, please do consider whether you have sufficient grounds and evidence to do so. The following information should help you make that decision, and of course you can always approach the Advice Centre for a confidential discussion.
We would also recommend you read over the Code of Procedure for Appeals to the Senate Appeals Committee and the Accademic Policy and Governance FAQ appeals section on Further Rights of Appeal
What can you do if your College Appeal has been dismissed
Most College Appeals are dealt with by ‘preliminary disposal’ – in other words there isn’t a hearing and a decision is made from the paper evidence only. If your College Appeal has been dismissed by preliminary disposal, and you wish to take your appeal further your only option is to submit a Senate Appeal.
It is very important that you read over the outcome documents which you should have received from the College Appeals Committee and try to find out what reasons they have given for dismissing your appeal.
There is a 10 working day deadline for you to begin the Senate Appeals process and you would need to submit another IIA (Intimation of Intention to Appeal) within this period to begin the process. Once submitted you would then have a futther 20 working days to draft and complet the Senate appeals template form.
You can download the Senate Appeal form here.
It is vital that if you wish to proceed with an appeal that you ensure you complete and submit this via the Senate Appeals template appeal form linked to above.
An appeal will not be considered by the Senate Appeals Committee unless an appeal form has been completed and if you try to submit via letter or an email you've drafted yourself this will immediately be rejected.
Submitting a Senate Appeal
There are only three grounds on which you can appeal to Senate.
- New evidence has emerged which could not reasonably have been produced to the College Appeals Committee and/or
- There has been defective procedure by the College in its disposal of the appeal and/or
- The disposal at College level was manifestly unreasonable.
Important: it is not enough to just repeat the same grounds which you used in your appeal submission to the College Appeals Committee. Instead you must show that at least one of the above grounds applies to your appeal.
The rules for a Senate Appeal are at Chapter 28 of the University Regulations.
If you do decide to appeal the first step is to lodge an Intimation of Intention to Appeal letter (IIA) against the decision. This is a simple short letter letting the Senate Office know that you intend to appeal. If you wish you can download and customise our Template IIA letter.
This ‘IIA letter’ normally has to be submitted within 10 working days (2 weeks) of the Appeals Committee decision which you are appealing against. Both the IIA and the Senate Appeal form should be submitted in writing to the Head of Senate Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of the Senior Senate Assessor for Academic Appeals.
If you have missed this deadline, sometimes the committee will be willing to consider a late appeal, but this depends on circumstances as to why the appeal was late, why you were precluded from meeting the deadline, and all of this would need to be explained in your appeal form.
Once you have submitted your Intimation of Intention to Appeal (IIA) letter, you have a further 20 working days (4 weeks) to get your appeal form together, which would state all your grounds and your desired remedy, and include any evidence that is relevant to your case.
At any time during this process, if you are at all unsure, want to talk it over with someone or would like to request representation, please contact The Advice Centre and our trained and experienced staff will be happy to help.
Senate Appeal form checklist
Important – your appeal form submission should be concise, but you need to make sure you’ve included all necessary information. Please check this list before you submit.
- Have you included your name, address, phone number and email address?
- Have you stated what decision you are appealing against?
- Have you stated the grounds that you are appealing on?
- Have you included your evidence? If you’ve mentioned things like a doctor’s letter or excerpts from your course handbook, you should include these.
- Read through your form — have you stuck to the facts? Is your form easy to read? If not, it’s likely the Senate Appeals Committee will also think this.
- How have been clear on what outcome you're seeking if your appeal is upheld? Make sure that you include the resolution you’re looking for.
- Have you said whether you will attend if a hearing is called?
- Have you confirmed whether you have arranged for someone to accompany you to a hearing, if one is called?
- If you didn’t present medical or other adverse personal circumstances to the College Appeals Committee, your Senate Appeal form has to contain a statement explaining the exceptional circumstances which prevented this evidence from being presented previously
If you require any help with your IIA letter, or completing the Senate Appeal form, please get in touch with the SRC Advice Centre.
We will be happy to read over any draft of your form, and provide any comments or suggestions as appropriate.
What can you do if your Senate Appeal has been dismissed
Unfortunately if your Senate Appeal is not upheld then University processes are at an end and the final stage would be to seek an independent external review via the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman. Speaking with someone in the Advice Centre if this is the case would be highly recomended.