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Academic appeals

Appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB)

If you believe that due academic process has not been followed in reaching your formal appeal outcome, you can make an appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB).

‘Due academic process’ means making academic decisions according to published University, Academic Board and faculty rules, policy, procedure and local provisions, as current at the time the decision was made.

Appealing to the SAB is the final stage for making an appeal against an academic decision at the University.

You need to submit your appeal within 15 working days of receiving your outcome from the formal appeal (or within the allowed timeframe if you are granted an extension).

Higher degree by research students

If you are appealing a decision associated with either the termination of your candidature or the examination of your thesis, you may elect to submit an appeal directly to the SAB without a formal appeal to the Faculty (see 4.2 of the Rule (pdf, 98KB)). In all other cases, you will need to submit an appeal to the Faculty first.

Requirements for a SAB appeal 

For your appeal to be considered and heard by the SAB, you need to demonstrate that you have met all of the requirements for a SAB appeal. You can find more information about this in Part 5.3 of the Appeals Rule (pdf, 98KB).


Resolution with the original decision-maker

You need to have first attempted to resolve your concern through an request for resolution. If you have not completed this step of the process, you are not ready to submit an appeal to the SAB.


Appeal to the Faculty or Academic Panel

You need to have submitted an appeal to the faculty, school or Academic Panel, and received an outcome from this appeal in writing. 

If you have not completed this step of the process, you are not ready to submit an appeal to the SAB.


Breach of due academic process

You need to be able to demonstrate that due academic process has been breached at the faculty or Academic Panel appeal stage. Due academic process is defined in part 1.6.6 of the Appeals Rule (pdf, 98KB).

If there are no breach of due academic process, the outcome of your appeal to the faculty or Academic Panel will remain. 

Prepare your appeal

To qualify for a hearing by the SAB, you will need to provide a written appeal letter summarising your case, along with any necessary supporting documents.

Letter of appeal

You will need to prepare a letter to support your appeal. Where appropriate, you should try to address the following:

  • how you think the faculty, school or Academic Panel did not follow policy or procedures when dealing with your appeal
  • relevant information that you think was not properly considered by the faculty, school or Academic Panel
  • any policies or procedures you think the faculty or school did not correctly apply in your case
  • if you are appealing an exclusion, anything you think wasn’t properly taken into consideration in your show cause letter
  • steps you took to address reasons for your poor academic performance that were not taken into consideration by the faculty or school.

Supporting documents

You can include supporting documents with your appeal letter, such as medical certificates, relevant sections of University policy, forms or correspondence received to and/or from the University.

Submit your appeal

To submit an appeal to the SAB you need to log in and complete the online appeal against an academic decision/exclusion application form.

You will need to upload a written appeal letter and any other relevant supporting documents with your application.

Late appeals

If you require longer than the 15 working days allowed to submit your appeal, you need to contact the Student Affairs Unit at before this deadline. You need to provide a reason why you should be granted an extension and any documents that support your request for an extension. Where your reason is compelling, you may be given extra time to submit your appeal.

What happens next

Once you have completed and submitted your appeal, the appeals coordinator will email you to confirm your appeal has been received and is under consideration.

Application assessment

The appeals coordinator will determine whether you have met the requirements for your appeal to be heard by a SAB.

If you have not met the requirements, they will inform you that your appeal does not qualify for a hearing.

If your appeal does qualify, the appeals coordinator will contact you to confirm a time, date and location for the hearing. You will be given at least 10 working days notice. SAB hearings are normally held in person on the Darlington campus. If necessary, arrangements can be made to attend the hearing by telephone or video link.


When your hearing has been confirmed, your faculty, school or the Academic Panel will provide a written submission relating to your appeal. We will send you a copy of the submissions five working days before your hearing.

We recommend that you discuss your appeal with an adviser from the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) or Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA). You are encouraged to bring a support person to the hearing. This may be a representative from the SRC or SUPRA, or your own nominated support person, such as a parent or friend. The Chair of the SAB committee will consider any request for a support person to speak at the hearing.

At the hearing there will usually be three members of the SAB, a representative of your faculty, school or the Academic Panel and a member of the Student Affairs Unit to take notes. The SAB will have examined both your appeal and your faculty, school or the Academic Panel’s submission. You may be asked questions about your submission and, at the discretion of the SAB chair, may be given the opportunity to speak about your appeal. Unless approved by the SAB, no new submissions can be accepted at the hearing.

The SAB will consider all of the information presented, deliberate and will come to a decision. This process may occur on the same day or in the weeks, following your hearing.


After the hearing, the appeals coordinator will contact you in writing with the outcome of your appeal. The decision of the SAB is final.

If you want to check on the progress of your appeal before you receive the outcome, you can contact the appeals coordinator, quoting your appeal case reference number.

External appeals options

Options for further appeal include complaints to the NSW Ombudsman. The NSW Ombudsman can be contacted at Level 24, 508 George Street, Sydney 2000, by email at, or by phone on 02 9286 1000.

Where relevant, applications may be made to the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Equal Opportunity Commission and NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

Student Affairs Unit

  • Jane Foss Russell Building G02
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Last updated: 07 August 2019

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