Step-by-Step Guides

 

We've created a series of academic step-by-step guides to help give you the essential information you need to know. Each guide goes through the processes from start through to completion and also lists other useful documents and contacts. 

We recommend reading through the guide relevant to the issue your facing and then to get in touch with us. We can discuss the processes further with you and support you through to completion of them.

To access the step-by-step guides, and further information about each process, click on the relevant topic below.

How We Can Help

Here in the Advice Service we can help you with academic issues in the following ways:

  • We can listen to your situation, and advise on the relevant process, next steps and other options.
  • We can recommend what to include in any forms or statements you might need to complete, and check through a draft for you before you submit it.
  • Where necessary we can advise on what evidence to include with your submission.
  • We can liaise with other services and your department on your behalf where needed, with your consent.
  • If you’re asked to attend a meeting or panel hearing, we can help you prepare for this, and attend with you as moral support and to take notes.
  • We can signpost you to other Union, University, Student-led and Community services who can help with your circumstances.
Academic Appeals

An academic appeal is your way of asking the University to review a decision relating to your progression or award, under certain circumstances. An appeal can be submitted once the Board of Examiners/thesis committee have met to make a decision. Such decisions include:

  • Termination of your studies.
  • Resit without residence year.
  • Transfer to a lower award (e.g. PhD to MPhil).
  • Lower award than the one you registered for (e.g. Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate, or MPhil).

To submit an appeal you must meet one or more of the following grounds, and be able to supply evidence where necessary:

  • New Evidence of Significant Mitigating Circumstances.
  • Evidence of Procedural Irregularity.
  • Evidence of Prejudice or Bias.

To find out more about academic appeals, including the relevant submission deadline, the appeal form, and information about the grounds and process, please see here.
Senate Regulation 10 relating to academic appeals can be found here.
You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Academic Appeals.

Allegations of Cheating

According to the University, cheating involves “actual, or attempted deception and/or dishonest action in relation to any academic work of the University”. This can include talking to another candidate during an exam, and taking unauthorised material, paper or equipment into an exam, regardless of whether or not you use it.

Unauthorised material and equipment includes:

  • Notes in any form.
  • Mobile phones.
  • All models of calculator not approved for an exam.
  • All other electronic devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, smart watches).

If the University suspect you of cheating, you may be ask to respond to this allegation by writing to the Academic Registrar. If a penalty is applied to your exam, you then have the option to appeal this decision.

More information from the University about student discipline appeals, along with the appeal form, can be found at this page.

Senate Regulation 11 relating to student discipline can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Allegations of Cheating.

Attendance Monitoring

The University expects students to attend and engage with all compulsory teaching events. Compulsory and non-compulsory sessions should be made clear to you in your course handbook, but if you’re not sure of this we advise that you get in touch with your department to find out.

Attendance is monitored through the Attendance Management System, which is the system whereby you tap your card onto the scanner at the start of your taught sessions to register your attendance.

If you have periods of unauthorised absence this will show through the Attendance Management System, and the University will contact you about this. If you don’t respond there can be consequences, and if you’re a Tier 4 Sponsored student your visa could be affected. As such, it’s really important that you attend what you’re supposed to attend, report any absences, and respond to any communication from the University about attendance.

If you’re referred to an Attendance Panel as a result of non-attendance, and a penalty is applied, you can submit an appeal against this decision.

To find out more about the University’s attendance expectations, management system, and potential consequences, please see this page.

The Policy on Attendance at Timetabled Teaching Events can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Attendance Monitoring.

Changing Course

If you’re not happy with your current course, you can apply to transfer to another. A transfer isn’t guaranteed as various criteria need to be met, such as entry requirements, and whether or not there is space on the course. As such, we recommend that you speak to the department you want to move into before applying, to find out whether a transfer is likely.

To apply to change course you need to complete an online application. This will then be considered by the department and you should receive a response within 7 working days.

To transfer course within the current academic year, you need to apply within the first two teaching weeks of the first semester. Any change of course applications made after this time will take effect at the start of the next academic year.

There may be visa and financial implications for changing course, so it’s important to consider these also.

To find out more about changing course, including criteria to transfer, the transfer form, information about the grounds and process, and guidance on who to talk to about the implications of changing course, please see here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Changing Course.

Collusion

According to the University, collusion is “the active cooperation of two or more students to jointly produce material where there is a requirement that that material be produced independently. A student who knowingly allows any of his or her academic work to be acquired by another person for presentation as if it were that person’s own work is also guilty of collusion”.

If the University suspect collusion in your work, you may be ask to respond to this allegation by writing to your department’s Plagiarism Officer. If a penalty is applied to your work, you then have the option to appeal this decision.

More information from the University about student discipline appeals, along with the appeal form, can be found at this page.

Senate Regulation 11 relating to student discipline can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Collusion.

Complaints

If you’re not satisfied with any aspect of your academic or general university experience, you can make a complaint to the University. The first stage in this process is to raise your concerns informally, ideally with the head of the relevant department, but also your personal tutor, student staff committees, our Students’ Union sabbatical officers, or us in the Advice Service.

We recommend that you make clear what you’re unhappy about and why, the impact the situation has had, and the resolution you are hoping for.

If you’re not satisfied with the response you receive at the informal stage, you can then go on to submit a formal complaint to the University. The formal complaint form, and more information about the complaints procedure, can be found at this page.

Senate Regulation 12 relating to complaints can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Complaints .

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances is when you’ve experienced a serious or significant event, beyond your control, which has affected your health and personal life and stopped you from submitting an assignment or attending an exam on time.

If this applies to you, you can submit a mitigating circumstances form, with evidence, to your department within 7 calendar days of the assessment/exam deadline.

To find out more about the mitigating circumstances process, including criteria, support available, evidence required, how to complete the form and potential outcomes, please see here.

The University's mitigating circumstances policy can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Mitigating Circumstances.
Non-Academic Misconduct

The University doesn’t allow certain types of behaviour, and if you act in this way your behaviour will be investigated. If misconduct is found, disciplinary action will be taken against you. Examples of misconduct are detailed in Senate Regulation 11, along with more information about the disciplinary process.

If you’re subject to disciplinary action, you may be asked to attend a meeting or panel hearing, to discuss what has happened, to present your case and answer any question.

If a penalty is applied as a result of misconduct, you have the option to appeal this decision by submitting a Student Discipline Appeal.

More information from the University about student discipline appeals, along with the appeal form, can be found at this page.

Senate Regulation 11 relating to student discipline can be found here .

Permanent Withdrawal

Withdrawing from University is a big decision, so before you take the leap you may wish to speak to your friends, family, departmental staff, or us in the Advice service, to discuss whether withdrawing is right for you, and to find out about your other options.

If you’re sure you want to withdraw for whatever reason, you can do so at any time by completing a Permanent Withdrawal form. This should then be handed in to the Student Administration desk in the Charles Wilson Building, along with your student card.

There may be visa and financial implications if you withdraw, so it’s important to consider these also.

To find out more about withdrawing from University, including information about the process, the withdrawal form, and guidance on who to talk to about the implications of withdrawing, please see here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Permanent Withdrawal.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as “taking and using another’s thoughts and writings as one’s own”, and can occur in essays and dissertations, but also scientific experiments, diagrams, maps, fieldwork, computer programs and all other forms of independent study. Plagiarism doesn’t have to be intentional either, so it’s important that you follow the academic expectations of your course, and ensure that you are referencing properly.

If the University suspect plagiarism in your work, you may be asked to respond to this allegation by writing to your department’s Plagiarism Officer. If a penalty is applied to your work, you then have the option to appeal this decision.

More information from the University about student discipline appeals, along with the appeal form, can be found at this page.

Senate Regulation 11 relating to student discipline can be found here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Plagiarism.

Temporary Suspension of Studies

If you’re not currently able to continue with your studies for financial, medical, personal, or other reasons, it may be possible to temporarily suspend your studies for up to 12 months, putting your course on hold. The suspension period counts towards your maximum period of registration.

Before deciding to suspend your studies you may wish to speak to your friends, family, departmental staff, or us in the Advice service, to discuss whether it’s right for you, and to find out about your other options.

If you’re sure you want to suspend, you just need to complete a Suspension of Studies form, which should be handed in to the Student Administration desk in the Charles Wilson Building. It can take up to 3 weeks to approve your request.

There may be visa and financial implications for suspending your studies, so it’s important to consider these also.

To find out more about suspension of studies, including information about the process, the suspension form, and guidance on who to talk to about the implications of suspending, please see here.

You can also take a look at our Step by Step Guide to Temporary Suspension.

Step by Step Guide to Student Discipline COMING SOON.