Academic Appeals

Academic Appeals

The appeals process gives students the chance to ask the exam board to look again at their decision and consider new information that they were unaware of at the time.

This is a quick guide on what you need to know before submitting an appeal. This isn’t a substitute for advice so we recommend getting in touch with us using our Contact Form

When can I appeal?

You can only appeal once you have received your exam results.

What can I appeal on?

You can only appeal on 2 grounds

1)      Something went wrong on your course or in the way your assessment was administered and it affected your mark

2)      Something happened in your person life and Ulster University didn’t know and it affected your mark e.g. illness, bereavement etc.

My situation doesn’t fit into either of these scenarios.

Contact the advice team to discuss your options.


Quick note - There is no process in Ulster University to challenge a mark you disagree with.

What’s the deadline?

Within seven working days of the publication date of the Board of Examiner’s decision on the web.

Key Ulster University forms

Appeals Forms:

SA1: New evidence that was previously unavailable

SA2: Procedural irregularities occurred

SA3: Form for Associate Students

Average length of process

Between 10 days and 6 weeks from submitting your Appeals Form

Don’t like the outcome?

You can appeal the decision; more information below


You can submit an appeal under two circumstances, if there has been a Material Irregularity or if you had Extenuating Circumstances at the time of your assessment. Ulster University lay out specific criteria you must meet which are laid out below.


Grounds for Appeal

1)      Material Irregularity

If the University make an error in the way they administer your assessment, if you were not given the level of support promised or something else goes wrong on your course which affects your performance in an assessment then you may have grounds to appeal the exam board’s decision.

2)      Extenuating Circumstances

These circumstances are serious, unexpected, and beyond your control and will have affected your ability to perform in your assessment. You will need to explain, and evidence, why you didn’t submit details of this extenuating circumstance before your work was marked, e.g. perhaps you were struggling to deal with your situation, mental health or other factors prevented you from doing so.

*Your situation may fit into both categories or you might feel unsure which best applies to your circumstances. The Advice Burea is here to help you so get in touch today. Please note, you can’t submit an appeal if you disagree with the mark you obtained for a piece of work.



Ulster University require you to provide evidence to support your claim. Your evidence will need;

·         to cover the period of your material irregularity or extenuating circumstance

·         contain as much detail as possible

·         be in English

·         if it’s on the grounds of extenuating circumstance you need to explain why you were unable submit a claim at the time


The Appeals Process

·         Complete the relevant appeals form from the links above (The Advice Bureau can assist with this)

·         Submit the form within 7 working days from the publication of results

·         If accepted, your appeal will be forwarded to the Exam Board Chair

·         The Chair will consult with staff and may make a decision on your appeal or you will be called to a panel

·         The Examinations Office will normally advise you of the outcome of your appeal in writing by recorded delivery within 5 working days of the meeting of the Appeals Panel


Submitting your appeal

You need to submit your appeal at each stage to the University Examination’s Office. The deadline for appeals is 7 working days after the results were published. If you miss the deadlines and still want to appeal you will need to evidence why it was not possible to submit your appeal within the outlined period.

For your own records, we recommend doing this via email or if lodging your appeal in person ask for a receipt. Alternatively you can post it, if you do so, be sure to make a copy of all documents for your records and send it to the relevant campus


Possible outcomes

·         Upheld – This means your appeal has been accepted and the exam board will reconsider their decision. This is different in each case but it could mean an incremental increase in mark or a chance to resubmit your work

·         Dismissed – This means your appeal has been rejected


If you lose your appeal and are dissatisfied with the outcome you can progress this either to the University Visitor or lodge a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman.


What can The Advice Bureau do for me during an appeal?

·         Advise you on the process

·         Help you structure your form and the reasons for your appeal

·         Read over your form and suggest any changes

·         Guide you through a stage 2 appeal if you don’t like the outcome


UU Appeals Guidance Notes:

Ulster University SU

Ulster University Student's Union was established in 1984 and is a membership-led organisation which represents over 26,000 full and part-time Ulster students. Company Number NI646426 (Registered in Northern Ireland).

Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC107053.


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