Planning, Governance and Compliance

Academic related appeals procedure

                                                                                                                                                                                   Purpose and scope of the academic related appeals procedure

The academic related appeals procedure is intended to provide a formal means for reviewing a decision made on student progression, assessment and awards, and resolving the student's concerns in a fair and consistent manner. This is different from the Student Complaints Procedure which provides a means for resolving specific problems or areas of concern you may have, at the time these arise during the academic year, relating either to teaching provision or university services more generally.

In essence the potential grounds for appeal in most cases include:

  • circumstances of which the body in question was not aware at the time its decision was made and which could not reasonably have been presented at the relevant time;
  • procedural error or irregularity on the part of the University material to the decision and
  • evidence of bias or prejudice on the part of those making the decision (though please note that the exact wording of the relevant grounds varies according to the particular category of appeal - see the relevant pages of this website relating to the different categories of appeal to see the exact wording of the relevant grounds for appeal in each case).

Please note however that a matter of academic judgment - including the appropriateness of a mark awarded to you for an individual item/s of assessment - is not subject to appeal.  If you are dissatisfied regarding a mark awarded to you, you are advised that the correct route is for you to follow up on this within your School and inquire whether any feedback/further clarification can be provided on the basis for the mark awarded.  Since this is a matter of academic judgment, however, please note that you should not have any expectation that a mark will be changed.

As indicated above, an appeal may be brought where the student believes that the award or mark is incorrect because the University has made an error.  It is not enough to show that an error has taken place however; it will also be necessary for you to show that the error resulted in an incorrect decision being made.  If the error is clearly demonstrable, and/or it is accepted on the part of the School or SSRO that a student has been disadvantaged as a result of an error being made, it can often be corrected without the necessity to go through the formal process, so students are advised to seek urgent advice from their School in the first instance.


Your classification will not be lowered as a consequence of your submitting an appeal, and nor will an individual mark be reduced. Privacy and confidentiality will be respected, and disclosure of information provided by a student in the course of an appeal will be strictly limited to those individual officers directly involved in consideration of the appeal. The appeal will be considered in accordance with the University's Equality and Diversity Policy.

Please note if you are an undergraduate student that you cannot request via appeal that you be considered for progression to the next stage if you have not met the 90 credit and 40% uncapped stage mean requirements.  This is not permitted by the Examination and Assessment Regulations, and nor does the Chair of the Appeals Board judge this to be academically sound, or in the best interests of the student, given that it would not allow any realistic chance of success in the following stage.  The Chair of the Appeals Board has therefore confirmed that in no circumstances will a student be permitted via appeal to progress to the next stage if the 90 credit and 40% uncapped stage mean requirements have not been met.

Deadline for appeal and submission requirements

An appeal in relation to an outcome determined by the Exam Board in your School (each School has its own Progression and Award Board) must be lodged within 21 calendar days of publication of the decision by the Board.  Please note it is not therefore possible to appeal against a mark or marks - including those released to you during the year following the period of mid-year assessment - until a decision has been made on your overall progression or award at a meeting of the Progression and Award Board at the end of the year when it meets during the summer (or during the resit period).  

An appeal against a decision by a Misconduct PanelSuitability for Professional Practice Panel, or Partner Institution, must also be lodged within 21 calendar days of notification of the decision. 

An appeal against a decision of a School Student Progress Committee that a student is required to withdraw from the University, or an appeal against a decision of a Reasonable Adjustment Panel, must be lodged within 7 working days of the date of the notification of the decision.

(Please refer to the relevant section of the website relating to the different categories of appeal to see the specific deadlines and relevant appeal form in each case).

For the sake of clarification, the above-stated deadlines mean that you are not able to appeal in relation to circumstances that relate to a previous academic year. 

The deadline for appeal excludes Bank Holidays and any other days upon which the University is exceptionally closed (for example due to snow).

An appeal submitted after the deadline can only be accepted if there are strong and valid reasons for doing so, and ignorance of the appeals procedure or deadline, or late receipt of results because the student did not inform the University of their current address/email cannot be accepted as valid reasons for late submission.  Nor can your personal arrangements be cited as a reason for a late appeal as the student is expected to take responsibility for managing these in such a way that the deadline can be met.  Student Handbooks contain guidance on updating address details in Sussex Direct.  It is the student's responsibility to identify any possible grounds for appeal within the stated deadline.  Please note also that it is not possible to introduce new grounds, or request a further remedy, after submission of your appeal form.

Your appeal form and any supporting information or evidence must be submitted in English and it is your responsibility to ensure that any materials submitted in connection with your appeal are translated into English.  The translation must be completed by an independent person and/or agency who must provide their contact details and signature to confirm that the translation is judged to be a true and accurate representation of the original source.

You may submit an appeal either in hard copy, or via email.  Please note however that if your appeal submission is bulky or if there are a large number of attachments (or these are not possible to access) you will be requested to provide a hard copy.

Please note that appeals in relation to PhDs or Doctorates are handled separately by, and submitted to, the Research Student Administration.