What is an Appeal

An appeal is an attempt to get the University to reconsider a decision that has affected you. You can appeal against course marks, progression and exclusion decisions, decisions about your final degree classification, and the decisions of Student Discipline Officers and Fitness to Practice panels. If you are able to successfully appeal, your case will be sent back to the staff who made the original decision to be reconsidered.


The University only considers appeals that meet particular criteria (or ‘grounds’). If you are appealing because you disagree with your marker about the quality of your work, or you feel like they have been too harsh, it is highly unlikely that your appeal will be upheld. This would be considered to be contesting academic judgement, which is not allowed under the appeal regulations. Note that the grounds for appeal are very specific, and your appeal must conform to these requirements in order to stand a chance of being upheld.


You should also be aware that the deadlines for submitting an appeal are very strict. In many cases, students will have as little as ten working days (two weeks) to submit an appeal, so it’s important to move quickly.


If your appeal is successful, your case will be returned to the body who made the decision that you are appealing (for example, the board of examiners). They will be asked to reconsider their decision based on the information that came to light in the course of your appeal. Even if it’s successful, an appeal doesn’t guarantee that the decision will be changed; it’s possible that the original decision making body will arrive at the same conclusion.


Successful appeals don’t often result in more marks being awarded for assessed work. More common outcomes include disregarding the marks for particular assessments when calculating overall course marks, allowing borderline cases to be awarded a pass, or waiving lateness penalties for coursework. There are no circumstances in which an appeal would allow you to be awarded credits or a degree if the original decision making body feel that you haven’t met the necessary learning outcomes.


What you need to do


In order to appeal, you need to complete an appeal form, write a statement explaining your case, and provide any necessary evidence. Once you have assembled all of these and are confident that they are as strong as they can be, you should send them all in a single email to academic.appeals@ed.ac.uk.


The appeal form is reasonably straightforward: you provide some identifying information about yourself, explain which decision(s) you want to appeal, select the grounds on which you wish to appeal, and state which outcome you would like to receive if your appeal was upheld.


The statement is a detailed explanation of your case. This is the most complex and labour-intensive part of preparing an appeal. You should give a thorough account of your reasons for appealing, and clearly explain precisely how your case meets the official grounds for appeal. It’s generally a good idea to send a draft of your statement to one of our academic advisers (academic.advice@eusa.ed.ac.uk) for feedback prior to submitting your appeal, (remember we will need time to read it and respond with any suggested edits so please give us much time as possible). 


The evidence you need to provide will vary depending on the exact nature of your case and the grounds on which you are appealing.

Page last updated: