Student Appeals against Academic Decisions
Any student may query or appeal against an academic decision that affects him or her.
The University entrusts the making of academic decisions (e.g. assessment, examining, exclusion) to academic staff acting in accordance with proper procedures. A student dissatisfied with a decision is entitled to query and appeal academic decisions.
University of Sydney (Student Appeals Against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 outlines how a student may query or appeal against an academic decision.
The Student Affairs Unit of the Registrar's Division has a website outlining the appeals process.
In plain English, a summary of the 3 step appeal process is:
- Resolution with Teacher or Unit of Study Coordinator: Students should first raise the issue with the lecturer or teacher or unit of study coordinator concerned for resolution.
- Formal appeal to the Faculty: If the student's concerns cannot be resolved as in step 1, or because of an apparent failure to follow procedures, the student may then lodge a formal written at the Engineering Faculty Office.
- Formal appeal to the Student Appeals Body: Any student who was not satisfied with the Faculty's decision can appeal to the Student Appeals Body against the academic decision if he or she believed that due academic process had not been observed by the relevant Faculty in relation to the academic decision.
A student who believes that there are genuine grounds for contesting an Academic Decision should first discuss his or her concerns with the relevant teacher or unit of study coordinator.
Students are required to raise their concerns within 15 working days of being advised of the Academic Decision (eg the day the results were released). In exceptional circumstances, the Dean (or his/her delagate in such matters) may extend this time period.
Your teacher or unit of study co-ordinator should address your concerns by providing an explanation of the reasons for the
Academic Decision. If there has been an error in the decision (eg the marks were not correctly added) then the error should be corrected at this stage.
Once the reasons behind an academic decision have been explained to you, if your concerns have still not been resolved, you may lodge a formal written appeal to the faculty.
- An appeal will be decided upon by the Dean (or their nominee in such matters). This person is independent of the original decision.
- Appeals are to be lodged within 20 working days of the date on which the student was advised of the decision being appeal. We encourage you to submit an appeal as soon as possible and not wait the full 20 days (if you do not need it) in order to resolve the issue earlier.
- Faculty appeals against exclusion should be lodged electronically and online via the Sydney Student system using a similar upload process as for lodging a Stage 3 show good cause response.
- All other Faculty level appeals are to be submitted either in person to the Engineering faculty office in the PNR Building, or via email to .
- In exceptional circumstances, the Dean (or their nominee) can receive or consider an appeal received after 20 working days. In such a case, the student is required to explain why the appeal has not been lodged on time within the appeal documentation. Submission of independent evidence to substantiate the reasons behind late submission would strengthen any case for considering a late appeal.
- The written appeal should contain the following:
(a) The details of the decision being appealed. There should be sufficient detail and background such that a person unfamiliar with the case can understand the decision being appealed. (eg the date of the assignment, how many marks you got, the name of the unit of study)
(b) The reasons why the student believes the original decision is wrong (eg you could refer specifically to a university policy, or a unit of study outline, or an email/letter from a member of staff as evidence)
(c) Details of the informal resolution process for assessment queries as per the first part of the appeals process. You should include copies of correspondence or notes of meeting(s) with your lecturer where you have asked specific questions about your assessment, what the response was from the lecturer, and why you are dissatisfied or disagree with the lecturer's response.
(d) Any other documentation to support the case (eg if this related to an assignment, you should include a copy of the assignment question sheet, your marked assignment, and any marking criteria you were given).
- Submission of independent evidence to substantiate any issues would strengthen any case.
- We recommend that you seek the advice of the SRC (for undergrads) or SUPRA (for postgrads) if you plan to appeal.
You may appeal further to the Student Appeals Body (SAB) on the grounds that due academic process has not been observed by your faculty in relation to an academic decision.
Your appeal must be lodged in writing to the registrar, via the Student Affairs Unit, within 15 working days of the date of the written decision of the relevant dean, or within such extended time as the registrar authorises. We encourage you to submit an appeal as soon as possible and not wait the full 15 days (if you do not need it) in order to resolve the issue earlier.
Student Appeals Body (SAB) university level appeals are managed and decided upon completely independently of the Faculty of Engineering and IT.
Full details are available at the Student Affairs Unit website.