Swansea University

8. Powers of the Academic Appeal Board

8.1

The Academic Appeal Board shall consider:

  • whether all work submissible and properly submitted for assessment was taken into account by the Examination Board;
  • whether there is evidence of an administrative or computational error of such a nature to cause reasonable doubt as to whether the Examination Board would have reached the same conclusion if that error had not been made;
  • whether there is evidence of defects or irregularities in the conduct of the examination or in written instructions, or in advice relating thereto to cause reasonable doubt as to whether the Examination Board would have reached the same conclusion if that defect or irregularity had not been made and the candidate has provided a compelling reason for not bringing to the attention of the College these defects or irregularities;
  • whether details of relevant extenuating circumstances affecting the candidate’s conduct or performance were submitted to the College in accordance with the Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment;
  • whether appropriate action was taken in relation to the extenuating circumstances;
  • whether evidence provided by the candidate supports the notion that he/she was incapable of determining whether or not they were fit to undertake the assessment and/or of notifying the College at the relevant time and therefore provides a compelling reason for non-disclosure;
  • whether the evidence provided by the candidate supports the notion that the candidate had extenuating circumstances which fall within section 2.6;
  • whether the relevant extenuating circumstances have any bearing on the case;
  • whether there is evidence of prejudice or of bias or of inadequate assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners;
  • whether the decision of the Examination Board was such that no body of reasonable people could have arrived at that decision.

8.2

If the Academic Appeal Board is satisfied on the above issues, it may take one of the following courses of action:

  • In light of the circumstances, and with due consideration to the wishes of College(s) and/or Chair of the Examination Board concerned, uphold the appeal and amend the decision of the Examination Board.
  • In light of the circumstances, uphold the appeal and recommend that the case be reconsidered by the original Examination Board with a strong guidance on a possible outcome.
  • In light of the circumstances, uphold the appeal and recommend that an entirely new Examination Board should reconsider the decision of the previous Board.
  • In light of the circumstances, uphold the appeal and give the candidate permission to re-write the thesis and to resubmit for re-examination by the original Examination Board within a specified time limit (particularly for postgraduate degrees).
  • In light of the circumstances, uphold the appeal and give the candidate permission to re-write the thesis and to resubmit for re-examination by an entirely new Examination Board within a specified time limit (particularly for postgraduate degrees).
  • If it is found that all the circumstances of a candidate’s case were known and appropriate action had been taken or that such extenuating circumstances were not relevant to the case the Academic Appeal Board may reject the appeal and therefore confirm the decision of the Examination Board.
  • If it is found that the evidence does not support the notion that the candidate was incapable of determining whether or not he/she was fit to undertake the assessment and/or of notifying the College at the relevant time and thereby does not constitute a compelling reason for not disclosing the circumstances at the appropriate time, the Academic Appeal Board may reject the appeal and therefore confirm the decision of the Examination Board.
  • In appropriate cases the Academic Appeal Board could require candidates to suspend studies where it is deemed that advising the candidate to withdraw is inappropriate.
  • If the panel requires further information before it can determine an outcome, the Chair may adjourn consideration of the case pending receipt of the additional information.
  • It is to be noted that the Academic Appeal Board does not have the ability to change a candidate's module marks and/or degree classification on the basis of extenuating circumstances.  The object of any assessment is to measure achievement and not potential. Marks awarded are an accurate relection of performance and so will not be altered subsequently on the basis of extenuating circumstances.  If an appeal is upheld on the basis of extenuating circumstances, the candidate may be given a further opportunity to undertake the affected assessment(s), potentially as an uncapped opportunity.
  • Other courses of action may be taken as appropriate.

8.3

In making its decision, the Academic Appeal Board must be mindful of any constraints imposed by external agencies such as professional bodies.

8.4

  • International candidates who need a visa to study in the University should be aware that their continued study at the University is dependent upon them meeting the conditions of their visa and the time-limits set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).  For more information please refer to https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/student-visas
  • Decisions taken by the Academic Appeal Board shall be made in accordance with the University’s academic regulations and shall not be informed or influenced by visa restrictions and time-limits set by the UKVI.  In the case of international candidates sponsored by the University, further/continued study based upon any academic decision taken by an Academic Appeal Board or Examination Board is conditional upon the candidate meeting the University’s requirements and holding a valid visa.

Candidates who have any concerns or queries regarding their visa should contact International@campuslife.

8.5

Following any re-examination of a thesis under paragraph 8.2 point 4 and 5 above, it shall be within the discretion of the Examination Board to recommend that the candidate be allowed one further opportunity to resubmit the thesis either at the full or reduced fee.

8.6

When a re-examination of a thesis is undertaken as a result of point 5 under paragraph 8.2 above, new external examiner(s) shall be appointed.  The external examiner(s) shall not be provided with any information about the previous examination other than they are conducting a re-examination of the candidate’s submission on appeal.

8.7

The Appeal Board may set as a condition of any outcome, the requirement that a candidate be required to provide evidence to the University to demonstrate their fitness or otherwise to continue with or return to their studies.