Appeals - Informal (File Note) and Formal Faculty Appeals
A student may appeal against a mark or grade given for a single assessment task, the final mark for a unit of study, or any decision relating to their degree. The University's appeals process is comprehensive, allowing the student the opportunity first to attempt a resolution of the matter informally with the individual staff member concerned, then if necessary to take the matter through a series of formal stages at Business School and University level.
This policy does not apply to complaints of harassment and discrimination, which are handled under the University's Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy 2015 and the Complaints Policy.
The University operates on the basis that academic decisions (eg. in relation to assessment, examining, etc.) are entrusted to members of the academic staff acting in accordance with proper procedures established by the Business School.
The University's procedures for student appeals against academic decisions are set out in the Resolutions of Senate relating to Student Appeals against Academic Decisions. The University's procedures for student appeals against exclusion from the University are set out in section 18 of the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2000 (as amended)
The University requires that a student wishing to appeal an academic decision commences the appeals process within 15 working days of the decision, or, for unit of study results, within 15 working days of the release of results.
Business School Procedures
Appeals about marks, marking or other unit related issues: Students wishing to appeal a mark decision or other unit based decision should submit an informal appeal (File Note) to the relevant Discipline Administration Office. The Discipline Administration Office will forward the File Note to the appropriate Unit of Study Coordinator. Students should use the File Note to initiate the informal appeal. The UOS Coordinator will consider the appeal.
Special Consideration/Special Arrangements: Students wishing to appeal a Special Consideration or Special Arrangements decision should submit their informal appeal electronically via the same online form through which they submitted the initial application. The Special Consideration Panel will review the appeal.
Academic Dishonesty or Plagiarism decisions: Students wishing to appeal Academic Dishonesty or Plagiarism decisions should submit their appeal using the same webform for formal appeals on this page, where it will be forwarded to the relevant Associate Dean.
Show Cause or Exclusion Appeals pertaining to show cause or exclusion matters should follow the instructions outlined in the decision letter received.
Group work appeals: An appeal against the mark granted for a group work assessment task are only considered if ALL group members submit/sign the appeal. As all students will be affected by the outcome of any re-mark, all must request that the mark be reviewed. An informal appeal (File Note) or a formal appeal will not be accepted without all students in the group signing the appeal request or providing written consent.
A single student or part of a group can discuss the assessment task or request an explanation for the mark from the marker. This request will not result in any alteration of the mark.
Steps to follow for informal (file note) and formal faculty appeals
Marks and other educational issues
Informal process (File Notes)
A student concerned about a mark or grade should first download and complete a File Note *and submit it to the relevant Discipline Administration Office via email from their University email account. This needs to be done within 15 working days of the academic decision.
- File Notes must be completed on this form Please use Acrobat 7 or later. Earlier versions of Acrobat and other software will not support the form.
- All 3 pages and any relevant supporting documentation must be emailed to the relevant Discipline Administration Office listed below, not to the Unit of Study Coordinator or lecturer.
Accounting email@example.com including BUSS1030
Business Analytics firstname.lastname@example.org including BUSS1020
Business Education email@example.com
Business Information Systems firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Law email@example.com
International Business firstname.lastname@example.org including ACCT6002
MBA Programs email@example.com
Work and Organisational Studies firstname.lastname@example.org
- File Notes must be saved using the following naming convention: UOS Code_FirstName_LastName_SID_DD/MM/YYYY.pdf
EXAMPLE: BUSS1001_Jane Citizen_430412345_01012014.pdf
Failure to do so will delay processing of your informal appeal.
- You must only use your University email account i.e email@example.com to submit your File Note.File Notes received from any other email will be disregarded. Submission from your University email account constitutes your electronic signature and validates the File Note.
- If the File Note relates to an assessment please attach a copy of the marked assessment to the submission email.
- If the File Note pertains to a group assessment all members of the group must consent and be listed in the File Note. The File Note should only be submitted once; with remaining group members cc’d using their University email.
- The Discipline Administration Office will forward the File Note to the relevant academic staff member.
- The academic staff member will review the issues raised by the student and reach an initial decision. Details of the initial decision and the reasons for it will be recorded on the File Note.
- Submitting an appeal can initiate a remark of the assessment concerned. This remark will be applied regardless of whether the result is higher, lower or the same as the initial mark.
- A copy of the File Note will be emailed to the student and the original will be filed securely in the Discipline Administration Office.
- If the student is satisfied with the initial decision detailed on the File Note, it shall stand as the final decision and no further action is required.
- If the student is not satisfied with the reasons for the initial decision, they should contact the academic within 5 working days to make an appointment to discuss the issue. It is essential that the student takes the opportunity to read the reasons for the initial decision before requesting a meeting and that they make an appointment to allow the academic to ensure that the relevant assessment materials are available during the discussion. This step is optional. Choosing not to initiate a meeting does not prevent a formal appeal from being lodged.
- After the meeting the academic will note their final decision on the File Note.
- A copy of the now-completed File Note will be emailed to the student and will be filed securely in the Discipline Administration Office.
- Many complaints should be resolved at this stage. If, however, the students concerns are not resolved at the end of the informal process, they have recourse to the formal appeals process detailed below.
* Starting the appeals process by lodging a File Note is important, because it allows students to clearly specify their concerns and allows staff to prepare for and properly investigate the issue.
Formal Faculty Appeals Process
Appeal to the Associate Dean
- If the student believes there are still genuine grounds for contesting an academic decision they should submit a formal appeal to faculty via the webform located on the side bar of this page where it will be considered by the appropriate Associate Dean. This needs to be done within 20 working days of the result of the informal process.
- All supporting documents must be submitted at the time the formal appeal is lodged. A Formal Faculty Appeal cannot be acknowledged as received whilst supporting documents are outstanding. If the Associate Dean is the lecturer/Unit of Study Coordinator, the appeal will be forwarded to another delegated member of staff for action.
- The Appeals Office will acknowledge receipt of a Formal Academic Appeal by email within three working days and will attempt to resolve the matter within 10 working days.
- The Associate Dean will email a letter notifying the student of his/her decision by email. This letter will explain the reasons for the decision and notify the student of any further right of appeal.
Appeal to Student Appeals Body
If a student still believes there are genuine grounds for contesting an academic decision, they have right to further appeal to the Student Appeals Body. Information about the Student Appeals Body is available on the Secretariat and Student Affairs website
Special Consideration/Special Arrangement decisions
Appeals process for Special Consideration/Special Arrangement
- A student concerned about the outcome of a special consideration or special arrangements application should submit a new online application through the same website including any information relevant to the appeal.
- Further information regarding Special Consideration/Special Arrangement decisions is available online.
Academic dishonesty or plagiarism decisions
Appeal to the Associate Dean
Following the meeting and or email correspondence, the student will have received a letter containing the decision made. If the student believes there are genuine grounds to contest the decision, the student should use the same Formal Faculty Appeal webform located on the sidebar of this page.
Appeal to Student Appeals Body
If the appeal cannot be resolved by the Associate Dean, the student has the right to further appeal to the Student Appeals Body. Information about the Student Appeals Body is available on the Secretariat and Student Affairs website
Additional information for international students: If an international student is not satisfied with the result or conduct of the internal grievance and appeals processes set out above, they will be advised of their right to complain to the NSW Ombudsman.
Non-academic appeals/grievances procedure
A student who is concerned about a non-academic decision made, or action taken by the Business School may request that it be reviewed. A non-academic decision is a decision made by the Business School that is not directly related to a student's academic assessment or progress in their degree. It may relate, for example, to a scholarship or prize, an internship or activity of the Careers and Employability Office, a student club or society, alumni activities or a Business School fundraising event.
Steps to follow
- A student who is concerned about a non-academic decision should, in the first instance, discuss their grievance with the relevant University officer. This needs to be done within 15 working days of the decision.
- The relevant University officer will notify the student of any action taken or any decision made by them in relation to the grievance.
- If, following discussion with the relevant University officer, a student's grievance is not resolved to their satisfaction, the Student can address their grievance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This needs to be done within 15 working days of the response in point 2.
- If the grievance has not been resolved through the process outlined above, the student can further address their grievance in writing to the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Business) or the Associate Dean (Graduate Business). The Associate Deans act as the Dean's delegate on all matters pertaining to non-academic grievances. The written grievance can be submitted via email to email@example.com.
- The Associate Dean will acknowledge receipt of the grievance in writing within 10 working days and will subsequently notify the student of any action taken and reasons for their decision.
The Associate Dean is the final point of appeal within the Business School for non-academic appeals/grievances.
Appeals requesting review of Learning Entitlement and Fee-Help decisions
A student who has a Commonwealth Supported Place (formally a HECS place) or uses Fee-Help may request an internal review of a University decision relating to their Student Learning Entitlement or Fee-Help. More information and forms are available on the Student Centre website