Academic regulations

What to do if you believe adverse circumstances impaired your academic performance or if you wish to make an appeal.

Adverse circumstances

Normally, we would expect students to contact us if they faced adverse circumstances and were seeking an extension for an assessment. For details, please see the Studying for Credit Guide.

The Studying for Credit Guide is available to download as a PDF.

If there is new information, or if you feel that adverse circumstances affected your performance even though you had been given extra time, you are entitled to bring this information to the attention of the Office of Lifelong Learning.

Who to contact

You should contact Caroline Bamford, Continuing Personal Education Coordinator, in writing as soon as possible and no later than 10 July 2015. For your case to be considered by the Special Circumstances Committee, you must complete OLL’s special circumstances form and provide relevant documentary evidence, such as a medical certificate.

  • Dr. Caroline Bamford
  • Credit for Entry Co-ordinator
  • Office of Lifelong Learning
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Paterson's Land
  • Holyrood Road
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
  • Work: +44 (0)131 650 4400

What happens next?

Your case will be considered by OLL’s Special Circumstances Committee, which meets in late July before the Final Assessment Board, and we will write to you to let you know the outcome of your case.

Grounds for appeal

An academic appeal is a request for a decision made by the Final Assessment Board to be reconsidered. There are limited grounds for appeal:

  1. Substantial information directly relevant to the quality of performance in the assessment which for good reason was not available to the Final Assessment Board when their decision was taken.
  2. Alleged irregular procedure or improper conduct of an assessment. For this purpose “conduct of an assessment” includes conduct of a meeting of the Final Assessment Board.

If you have concerns about some aspect of your academic performance or assessment that were not made available to the Board, you should first of all raise these concerns as soon as possible with the Office of Lifelong. Please email with a request to raise your concerns and this will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff in OLL. Often such initial discussions fully address the student’s concerns without the need for a formal appeal.

Open Studies Email:

How to submit an appeal

By email

If you decide, after you have raised your concerns, to submit an appeal then you should send your submission in writing (by email if possible) to Registry Academic Services.

By post

If you would prefer to submit your appeal by post, as soon as possible, and no later than two weeks of receiving your record of credit, please send the information to:

Please note:

In order to ensure that the Final Assessment Board can take decisions based on all the relevant information, students should already have contacted Graham Venters to make sure that information about circumstances which might affect the outcome of their assessment - illness, conduct of an assessment, other personal circumstances - had been made available to the Final Assessment Board before it first met.

University regulations clearly state: "Ignorance of the requirement [..] to report timeously factors which may have adversely affected [your] performance, or failure to report such factors on the basis that [you] did not anticipate an unsatisfactory result in the examination, can never by themselves constitute good reason".

How long will it take?

You should be aware that the process of considering an academic appeal does take some time, with timescales being measured in weeks rather than days. For instance, after submitting your letter of appeal we will gather relevant factual information from the Convenor of the Final Assessment Board and any other relevant staff.

Whilst we aim to keep the process moving as swiftly as possible, the average time for a full appeal is 9 to 10 weeks.

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