Academic Appeals

Academic Appeals

An appeal is defined as a request for a review of a decision of an academic body charged with making judgements concerning student progression, assessment or awards.

The University has a duty to maintain and enhance the quality of provision for students and to provide an effective system for handling appeals and complaints. The University upholds the principle that students should have a full opportunity to raise appeals against academic decisions without fear of disadvantage and in the knowledge that confidentiality will be respected.

The Process

How to appeal against an academic decision

Before submitting an appeal you should consult your Adviser of Studies, Supervisor, Course Leader or School/College Administrator for advice and to explore whether there is a possible resolution without proceeding to a formal appeal.

The SRC Advice Centre can also advise you. See www.glasgowstudent.net/advice/.

If you are considering appealing against your final award, you should be aware that if you graduate you are deemed to have accepted the award; if you wish to appeal you must therefore withdraw from graduation.

The first stage of the Appeals Procedure is to appeal to the College Appeals Committee. You must submit a letter intimating your intention to appeal within 10 working days of publication of the decision. This should be submitted to the College’s Head of Academic and Student Administration. You will then have a further 20 working days to submit your full grounds for appeal and any necessary supporting documentation.[1] Alternatively, if you choose not to intimate your intention to appeal, you may proceed immediately to submitting your full grounds and supporting documentation. This must be done within 20 working days of publication of the decision.

There are three permitted grounds for appeal:

i)   unfair or defective procedure;
ii)  a failure to take account of medical or other adverse personal circumstances;
iii) relevant medical or other adverse personal circumstances which for good reason have not previously been presented.

The College Appeals Committee Convener will decide whether to consider your appeal by full hearing (which you may attend) or by preliminary disposal (which is held in private).

The College Appeals Committee will consider your grounds for appeal and will take account of a response from the School/Subject Area. The Committee may dismiss your appeal, uphold it or refer your case back to the Board of Examiners/Progress Committee for further consideration.

If your appeal has been considered by preliminary disposal and you believe that some element of your appeal has been overlooked you may request reinstatement of the appeal for further consideration by a full hearing of the College Appeals Committee. If you wish to seek reinstatement, you must do so within 10 working days of the Appeals Committee’s decision being issued, explaining what you believe to have been overlooked. A member of the College Appeals Committee who was not involved in considering your appeal will determine whether there are grounds to justify reinstating it.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome from the College’s consideration of your appeal (whether or not you sought reinstatement) you may be able to proceed to the Senate Appeals Committee. Again there are specific permitted grounds for appeal:

i)   new evidence has emerged which could not reasonably have been produced to the College Appeals Committee and/or;
ii)  defective procedure by the  College in its disposal of the appeal and/or;
iii) the disposal at College level was manifestly unreasonable.

If you decide to appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee you must intimate your intention to appeal within 10 working days of the College Appeals Committee’s decision being issued. This intimation must be sent to Dr Jack Aitken, Director of the Senate Office (email senate-appeals@glasgow.ac.uk). You will have a further 20 working days to submit your full grounds and any supporting documentation.[1] Alternatively, if you choose not to intimate your intention to appeal, you may proceed immediately to submitting your full grounds and supporting documentation. This must be done within 20 working days of the College Appeals Committee's decision being issued.

The Senate Assessor for Appeals will decide whether to consider your appeal by full hearing (which you may attend) or by preliminary disposal (which is held in private).

The Senate Appeals Committee will consider your grounds for appeal and will take account of a response from the College. The Committee may dismiss your appeal, uphold it or refer it back to the College Appeals Committee or to the Board of Examiners/Progress Committee for further consideration.

If your appeal has been considered by preliminary disposal and you believe that some element of your appeal has been overlooked you may request reinstatement of the appeal for further consideration by the Senate Appeals Committee. If you wish to seek reinstatement, you must do so within 10 working days of the Appeals Committee’s decision being issued, explaining what you believe has been overlooked. A Senate Assessor who had no involvement in the consideration of your appeal will determine whether there are grounds to justify reinstating it.


[1] Please ensure that any supporting documents are in English or are accompanied by an English translation.


Support and Advice

Before submitting an appeal you should consult your Advisor of Studies, Supervisor, Course Leader or School/College Administrator for advice and to explore whether there is a possible resolution without proceeding to a formal appeal.

The SRC Advice Centre can also advise you. The Advice Centre is an advice, information and representation service provided by the SRC for all Glasgow University students. The Advice Centre offers free and confidential advice on a wide range of subjects, and will be able to offer advice on such matters as possible grounds for appeal and details of the process. They may be able to represent or support you in the event of a hearing.

See www.glasgowstudent.net/advice/.

The Advice Centre can be contacted on 0141 330 5360 and at advice@src.gla.ac.uk.


An Appeal or a Complaint?

An academic appeal is a request for a review of an academic decision relating to the classification of degree awarded, the grade awarded for a course of study or a decision concerning your progress to the next year of study or to an Honours programme.

A complaint is a representation about the quality or standard of provision in a particular area of the University. It may be a matter concerning the advice you were given regarding choice of subjects, the conduct of a member of staff towards you or towards a class, or administrative matters concerning the organisation of a programme of study. A complaint, even if upheld will not result in a change to an academic decision.


External Adjudication

Following the outcome of an appeal to the College Appeals Committee you may have a further right of appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee. If following consideration of your appeal by the Senate Appeals Committee you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may seek external adjudication.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) provides an independent public services complaints system. Anyone may submit complaints about the University to SPSO if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation, review of a complaint or conduct of an academic appeal by the University. The SPSO cannot however consider matters concerning i) academic judgement, or ii) discretionary decisions which are made without any maladministration.

Further information about the procedure is available from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Following completion of a review of an academic appeal, the SPSO will provide a report of the matters considered and the outcome. Reports of such cases involving the University of Glasgow are available online as follows:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Reports   
Date  Outcome  Link to Report 
July 2012 Not Upheld  Link 
September 2013  Not Upheld  Link 
July 2014 Not Upheld  Link 
December 2015 Not Upheld Link
August 2017 Some Upheld Link
April 2018 Upheld Link