Assessment Appeals 

secca_inside_appeals

The University recognises that from time to time students may feel that they have grounds for appeal against a decision related to assessment of their academic work. The UCD Assessment Appeals Policy outlines the circumstances under which students may submit assessment 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 an assessment should contact the relevant academic staff member as soon as possible.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

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

  • Procedural irregularity - there is evidence that the procedures relating to a decision were not followed properly, which may have impacted on the decision. 
  • Late Extenuating Circumstances - there were extenuating circumstances of which the Programme Board was aware but had rejected, because the application was late and the Governing Board did not consider the reason why the application was late to be valid.

All students wishing to submit an extenuating circumstances claim must follow the extenuating circumstances process, at a local level, in the first instance. Students can only appeal in circumstances where an extenuating circumstances application is not considered due to lateness.  

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 10 working days of your final result becoming available. 

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. 

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 Assessment 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. A 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. Valid appeals (for Research programmes) are sent to the Chair of the Governing Board, the Head of the School and members of the Research Degree Examination Committee or the Assessment Panel. 
  4. The appeal is then scheduled for hearing by the Student Appeals Committee (SAC). The SAC 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 Student Appeals Committee to reassess a student’s work or overturn an academic judgement.
  5. The Student 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  10 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. 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Dates 2020/21 (Taught Programmes) 

Summer Trimester - Final Results
2 September 2021

Assessment Appeal Deadline
16 September 2021 

Graduate Taught - Final Results
30 September 2021
Assessment Appeal Window
14 October 2021 
Autumn Trimester- Final Results
28 January 2022
Assessment Appeal Window
11 February 2022
Spring Trimester - Final Results
17 June 2022
Assessment Appeal Window
1 July 2022
Summer Trimester - Final Results
31 August 2022
Assessment Appeal Window
14 September 2022
Graduate Taught - Final Results
29 September 2022
Assessment Appeal Window
13 October 2022

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. I AM CONCERNED THAT MY GRADE IS INCORRECT?

If you have any queries in relation to your final grade, you should contact your Module Coordinator or School. The Module Descriptor for the module you wish to query, will show both the Module Coordinator and School names. 

Q2.  I WANT TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON MY ASSESSMENT?

Students who wish to obtain feedback on assessment results should contact the relevant Module coordinator once the results are released. 

Q3. WHEN CAN I APPEAL?

Appeals must be submitted within 10 working days of receiving the final result of an assessment. Students can also appeal components of modules but only following release of the final grade for the module. You cannot appeal a provisional result. 

Q4. WHAT IF I MISS THE APPEAL DEADLINE?

If you miss the deadline, your assessment appeal application will not normally be accepted. However, if there are exceptional circumstances explaining why you were unable to submit an appeal within the stated timeframe, UCD may allow the submission of a late appeal.  (Section 4.2 of UCD’s Assessment Appeals Policy) 

Q5. I AM A FINAL YEAR STUDENT, CAN I STILL APPEAL?

Yes, you can still appeal, however your graduation/conferring ceremony will be deferred until your appeal has been decided as GPAs cannot be amended after you have graduated from the University. Once your appeal has been decided we will inform the Conferring unit and your degree will be conferred at the next conferring period. 

Q6. CAN I APPEAL MY OVERALL GPA BECAUSE IT IS CLOSE TO THE NEXT DEGREE CLASSIFICATION? 

You cannot appeal to have your overall GPA reviewed. You can appeal against the result of any assessment of your academic work, on specific grounds. In the context of an undergraduate degree, this means an appeal against the result of a module or an appeal against the result of a component of a module. 

Q7. WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR APPEAL?

The two grounds on which you can appeal are:

  1. Procedural irregularity – there is evidence that the procedures relating to a decision were not followed properly.
  2. Extenuating circumstances –there were extenuating circumstances of which the relevant Governing Board was aware but had rejected, because the application was late and the Governing Board did not consider the reason why the application was late to be valid. 

Q8. WHAT IS A PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITY?

A procedural irregularity in the conduct of the assessment process, is a failure of the University to follow its assessment regulations, policies or procedures, and which as a result has disadvantaged the student. It can also refer to an error or mistake in the way that an assessment has been carried out.

For example, a student could be disadvantaged if the time allocated for an exam was shortened. In a situation such as this, it is not always necessary to lodge an appeal. A student could raise this issue with the Module Coordinator during or after the assessment, thereby providing an opportunity for the Governing Board to resolve the issue prior to the release of final results.    

Q9. HOW SHOULD I COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT APPEAL FORM?

You should address the following points on your appeal form

  1. State clearly what decision you are appealing against. Research students should attach a copy of the letter you have received notifying you of the decision of the Board of Examiners (the decision you are appealing).

  2. What are your grounds for appeal? Make sure that you tick the appropriate box.

  3. Give a summary of the procedural issue(s) that you believe may have impacted on your academic outcome. Refer to any relevant evidence in the case details section of the form.

  4. Ensure that you have provided any evidence which you consider supports your appeal. Admissible evidence must be factual and support the grounds for appeal, such as relevant emails/correspondence, a module descriptor, assessment information or academic regulations.

  5. If you fail to submit the relevant evidence in support of your appeal before the appeal deadline, you may not be able to submit it at a later stage. Additionally, in the absence of any relevant evidence, your appeal might be deemed ineligible for consideration.

For (late) Extenuating Circumstances

  1. State clearly the date that you submitted the retrospective(late) Extenuating Circumstances application to the College/School Office and include the date that you were informed of the outcome of your application. Include any emails/correspondence to support this.

  2. Explain the reason why you were unable to submit an Extenuating Circumstances application within the appropriate timeframe. Provide any evidence that support this. 

  3. If you had informed the School/Module Coordinator of the circumstances at an earlier stage, include any emails/correspondence to support this? 

Q10. CAN I ATTEND A STUDENT APPEALS MEETING? 

No, assessment appeals are considered on paperwork alone. Neither you nor the School will be invited to attend meetings. It is, therefore, very important that you complete the Assessment Appeal Form properly and submit all the necessary documentation to assessment.appeals@ucd.ie before the stated deadline. 

Q11. 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 grade or your final award/degree classification. 

Q12. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO REACH A DECISION ON MY APPEAL?

Normally a decision regarding an appeal 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. 

Q13. 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 
Appeal not submitted 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.  Student advised to raise the matter, in the first instance, at a local level. 
No admissible grounds 

Student is advised that the appeal is ineligible for consideration and refund appeal fee. 

Grounds not fully explained Request clarification from student. 
No evidence provided which supports the grounds for appeal Request supporting documentation from student. 
The matter raised does not fall under the remit of UCD’s Assessment Appeals Policy.  Advise student of the scope of UCD’s Assessment Appeals Policy. If applicable, refer student to appropriate route.  Refund appeal fee.

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