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Understanding the appeals process

If you feel unhappy with the University's exam process, here's how to lodge an appeal and request a review of a mark

If you're unhappy with the University's processes, here's how to lodge an appeal. Find out who to get advice from, what are the grounds for an appeal, how to make an appeal, what happens during the appeals process and how to request a review of your mark.

Download appeals procedure guide

Complete appeal form

Complete Stage 3 appeal form

When to appeal

You can use the academic appeals procedure if you need to challenge the decision of:

  • an academic appeal
  • an appeal against exclusion
  • UK, EU and Global admissions appeals
  • an appeal against decisions made under the Student Conduct Policy (including Fitness to Study (FtS) and Fitness to Practise (FtP) matters)
  • an appeal against a decision of a criminal convictions panel
  • an appeal against a decision of an Extenuating Circumstances claim
  • a student status appeal (relating to non-payment of fees or not providing registration details)
  • an End Point Assessment appeal
  • a postgraduate examination board appeal

You can't appeal simply because you're unhappy with your mark.

Getting advice

Before you appeal, it's essential to get a second opinion on your situation. This includes whether your expectations are realistic.

Get advice from:

If you prefer to talk to another student and get advice, you can speak to a Sabbatical Officer at the Students’ Union. They have a good understanding of how the appeals procedure works. Ask your course rep who you should approach.

If you prefer to talk to another student and get advice, you can speak to a Sabbatical Officer at the Students’ Union. They have a good understanding of how the appeals procedure works. Ask your course rep who you should approach.

The UPSU advice team (staff and peer advisors) offer advice and support throughout the appeals procedure.

A representative from the Students’ Union can go with you to any interviews, panels and hearings.

Please contact the Academic Caseworker at the Students’ Union on advice@upsu.net or +44 (0)239284 3478. This service is available to all University of Portsmouth students.

Your Head of Department has a good understanding of how the assessment boards work. They can advise on procedural matters, including whether you need to approach the Module Assessment Board or the Board of Examiners for your appeal.

If you're an International student, the International Student Advisers can provide immigration advice and support to international students studying at the University. Please contact them at student-visa@port.ac.uk
If you are a Degree Apprenticeship student, then the End Point Assessment Organisation may have their own appeals procedure which can be followed. Support will be given if you are required to initiate the appeal with the organisation and any steps that are required.

What are the grounds for appeal?

There are two possible reasons why an appeal might be made:

  1. the University or End Point Assessment Organisation has made an administration error / not followed its own procedures (which you can evidence) when arriving at the decision being appealed
  2. you were prevented from completing a process / procedure for reasons related to your personal circumstances, that you were unable to disclose, for a sound and acceptable reason related to the circumstances themselves, before the deadline for making an appeal has expired.

Making an appeal

Stage 1 - Early Resolution Opportunity

Regardless of the type of appeal you wish to make, you will have received an official communication from the University, outlining the decision you are unhappy about. 

You will have 10 working days from the date of this official communication in which to submit a Stage 1 appeal to the member of staff named on the official communication. 

If this member of staff identifies an obvious error on behalf of the University or End Point Assessment Organisation, they will take steps to have that error rectified. 

If the member of staff does not identify an obvious error, or needs to investigate the reasons for not providing evidence before the appeal deadline, they will advise you in writing that this is the case (a Decision Notice), and provide a deadline by which you must submit an appeal under the Stage 2 Formal Appeal procedure, if you are unhappy with their decision.

The member of staff will have 10 working days from receipt of your Stage 1 Early Resolution Opportunity to complete Stage 1. 

Stage 2 - Formal Appeal

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your Stage 1 Early Resolution Opportunity, then you will have 10 working days to submit a Stage 2 Formal Appeal.

You must have received a Decision Notice from your Stage 1 Early Resolution Opportunity.

You can submit a Stage 2 Formal Appeal via this Appeal Form.

Once the information required above has been checked, your appeal will be processed in line with one of the following processes:

  • Your appeal may be referred to another University department for consideration under a different process, for example, the Student Complaints procedure.
  • Your appeal may be rejected because it does not meet the criteria for an appeal. You will be able to request a review of this decision (Stage 3 - Review Stage) at this point.
  • Your appeal may be accepted for formal consideration and assigned to a senior member of staff depending on the subject of your appeal.
  • The formal appeals process for End Point Assessment will be introduced, and an independent quality assurer will review your appeal and communicate in writing their decision.

You will be informed of the process to be followed in relation to your appeal within 5 working days of the receipt of your Appeal Form submission. 

Stage 3 - Review Stage

We hope that your appeal will be resolved within either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the Appeals Procedure. 

If, however, you are unhappy with a decision made at Stage 2, you may request a review of these decisions within 10 working days of being informed of the decision by submitting a Stage 3 Review Stage request. 

The Academic Registrar will consider all requests for a review of an appeal decision to allow for continuity and consistency, although this review stage may be delegated to another member of staff if the Academic Registrar is unavailable.

The appropriate grounds for requesting a Stage 3  Review will be:

  • The fact that you do not believe the appeal procedure was followed correctly
  • The fact that the investigation was not completed within the normal time period
  • You have new evidence which you were unable to provide earlier in the process
  • You do not believe that the decision reached was reasonable in all of the circumstances

You must submit your request to academicappeals@port.ac.uk.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

If you feel your appeal has not been properly handled, you can apply to an independent body. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) handles individual complaints once a student has exhausted the complaints procedures of their university.

Get help through the MyPort Information Hubs 

If you're a current student, your faculty's MyPort Hub is your first port of call for any guidance you need with any aspect of University life. From questions about your course, to what support services are available to help you - contact the MyPort teams to help find what you need:

Live chat - which appears as a purple box in the bottom right of all MyPort web pages
Email - myport@port.ac.uk
Phone - +44 (0)23 9284 4444
Drop into your faculty hub for in-person support.

Opening hours

MyPort Hubs are open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8.30am - 4.00pm on Friday.