Assessment Appeals 

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The University recognises that from time to time students may feel that they have grounds to appeal the decisions of examination boards. The UCD Assessment Appeals Policy outlines the circumstances under which students may submit appeals and the procedures that will be followed. Decisions that can be appealed include final (module) assessment results, and progression on and award of research degree programmes.

Students with concerns about the outcome of assessment should contact the relevant academic staff member as soon as possible.

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You can appeal the decision of an Examination Board on the following grounds:

  • Procedural irregularity - there is evidence of substantive irregularity in the conduct of the assessment process, including where this results in an inappropriate grade assessment.
  • Extenuating circumstances - all students wishing to submit an extenuating circumstances claim must follow the extenuating circumstances process, at a local level, in the first instance.

If an extenuating circumstances claim is not considered because it is late a student can appeal on the following basis:

  • There were extenuating circumstances of which the Programme Board was aware but had rejected, because the application was late and the Programme Board did not consider the reason why the application was late to be valid.

In exceptional circumstances, students who have graduated and who have been granted permission to submit a late appeal can appeal on the following basis:

  • A prior circumstance emerged of which the Programme Board was not aware. To appeal on this basis, evidence must be provided to show that the circumstances were not known or could not have been disclosed at the appropriate time.

Exclusions
Dissatisfaction or disappointment with the result of an assessment is not a ground for an assessment appeal.

Similarly, appeals are not allowed on matters relating to academic judgement.

The appeals process has two stages:

  1. Early Resolution
  2. Formal Assessment Appeal

Early Resolution

After receiving your results, if you have any concerns you should make them know to your Module Coordinator and/or Head of Subject Area or School. If an error is identified the School has the authority to make the necessary changes, thereby removing the need to submit an appeal. Most queries can be satisfactorily resolved at this stage.

If you are dissatisfied with the response from the School and if you have valid grounds for appeal you can raise your concerns via the formal assessment appeals process.

Formal Assessment Appeal
Formal Appeals must be lodged within 20 working days of your final (module) result becoming available. (For Semester 1 2018/19 appeals, the appeals window is from 14 February to 14 March 2019). 

To lodge an appeal, you must complete the Assessment Appeal Form , include any evidence and email it to assessment.appeals@ucd.ie prior to the deadline. You must also pay a €75 assessment appeal fee.

Appeal submissions should be as clear and concise as possible, concentrating on the grounds for the appeal and linked to the supporting evidence.

Other information which does not constitute an appeal, such as a complaint about the level of service provided, should be excluded and the appropriate route followed for these kinds of concerns.

The assessment appeals procedure comprises 4 potential stages.

  1. The appeal will first be assessed by the Appeals Officer to confirm that it falls within the remit of the Assessment Appeals Policy and to check that local or informal processes have been exhausted. 
  2. Valid appeals (for taught modules) are sent to the relevant Head of the School, or his/her nominee, for a response. Copy of the School's response is sent to the student and the student has the opportunity to submit a reply, should they wish to do so. 
  3. The appeal is then scheduled for hearing by the Assessment Appeals Committee (AAC). The AAC reviews the appeal and determines whether fair procedures were followed in the assessment process and whether a fair outcome was reached. It is not the role of the Assessment Appeals Committee to reassess a student’s work or overturn an academic judgement.
  4. The Assessment Appeals Committee decides to either uphold or not uphold an appeal. If an appeal is upheld, it will result in a recommendation to the Examination Board to reconsider the student's case in the light of the appeal finding. If an appeal is not upheld, the original decision will be confirmed.

Timeline for submitting an assessment appeal 

Stage Timeline 
Submission  20 working days from final results 
School notified 5 working days from submission 
School response 10 working days from notification 
Student's response 5 working days from School response
Committee decision  30 working days from submission 
Communication of decision  5 working days from decision 

We aim to reach a decision on your appeal within 30 working days. 

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Dates 2018/19 

Semester 1 - Final Results
14 February 2019
Assessment Appeal Window
14 February - 14 March 2019 
Semester 2 - Final Results
27 June 2019 
Assessment Appeal Window
27 June - 25 July 2019 
Summer Term - Final Results
21 October 2019 
Assessment Appeal Window
21 October - 19 November 2019 

Each programme has a dedicated Student Adviser who can offer support, information and advice.

Access contact details and information on a range of student issues. 

UCD Chaplains are available for support, guidance and advice.  

The SU Sabbatical Officers are available to offer assistance and support to students.

Student Counselling Service is provided by professionally qualified psychologists and counsellors.

Q1. WHAT IS PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITY?
Procedural irregularity is a failure of the Examiners to follow the process or the rules that have been put in place, or when a decision has been made on an error of fact.

Examples of procedural irregularity in the conduct of the assessment process could include:

  • Academic work not being assessed in accordance with University regulations
  • Mathematical error or an error in recording marks
  • Examiners not acting in accordance with regulations or procedures

Q2. WHAT TYPE OF EVIDENCE CAN I INCLUDE WITH MY APPEAL?
Admissible evidence must be factual and specific in supporting the grounds for appeal. Evidence might include:

  • Correspondence (written or email)
  • Module Descriptors 
  • Assessment Information 
  • Records of Attendance

For Students appealing the outcome of a research degree, the decision letter or email informing them of the outcome should also be included.


Q3. WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPEAL IS UPHELD?
If your appeal is upheld, it will result in a recommendation to the Examiners to reconsider your case in the light of the appeal finding. You should be aware that even if your appeal is upheld, it may not make a difference to your overall position or final award/degree classification.

Q4. I WANT TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON MY ASSESSMENT?
Students who wish to obtain feedback on assessment results should contact the relevant assessor (i.e. module coordinators, examiners and supervisors) once the results are released.


Q5. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO REACH A DECISION ON MY APPEAL?
Normally a decision regarding  anappal will be made within 30 working days. Occasionally, the University may not be able to meet the normal timescales. In such circumstances the student will be informed of any delays.

Q6. WHY WAS MY APPEAL RETURNED?
When a formal appeal is received it is reviewed to determine whether it has been submitted within the requirements of the process. If one or more requirements is not met, the following actions will be taken.

Issue Action 
Not within the designated time limit  Rejected (In exceptional circumstances, where there is evidence to explain why it was submitted late, the student may be granted permission to submit a late appeal).  
Incomplete appeal application  Returned to student for completion or clarification. 
No evidence at an attempt at local resolution.  Referred back to student. 
No admissible grounds / grounds not explained Request clarification from student. 
No evidence supporting grounds Request clarification from student. 
The matter raised does not fall under the Assessment Appeals procedures.  Refer student to apparopriate route.  

Ms Una Hegarty
Assessment Appeals Officer
Student Engagement, Conduct, Complaints and Appeals Office
L112, James Joyce Library Building
Email: assessment.appeals@ucd.ie
Tel: 01 716 7132