student.union@newcastle.ac.uk

Student Advice

 

Academic and Disciplinary Issues

Sometimes things go wrong during your time at University.  We hope they don't, but we're here to help if things become a struggle.

On these pages you can find out about:

 

Unfortunately we can’t advise you on academic writing skills, such as researching or writing a dissertation. We recommend you look at support and resources available from the library instead

Personal Extenuating Circumstances

If you are an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student, the University can take into account a personal problem, short-term physical or mental health issue, bereavement or other difficulty through the Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) procedure. PhD students should look at using one of the change of change in cirumstances.

Generally, the problem should be unforeseen and outside of your control. This means that you couldn't have expected it to happen and you couldn't have prevented it happening. The University won’t normally consider long-term illnesses, disabilities or mental health conditions under this procedure.

You will normally need to provide evidence (from an independent third party if possible) for example, a doctor's letter or a death certificate. If your request is successful, the University will grant an adjustment such as an extension, deferral, or additional resit attempt. You will not get extra marks for submitting a successful PEC application but it can change an outcome for example, a fail becomes a compensated pass.

To request an adjustment, simply complete the online PEC form as soon as you become aware of an issue affecting your studies. It is too late once you receive your results. You can find the link to your online PEC form on the Student Progress Service website. Remember to explain how the issue has affected your studies as the University can’t make assumptions.

COVID 19 update for 2020/21: You do not need to submit documentary evidence for any health, bereavement or Covid-19 related PEC request for the 2020-21 academic year. However, you must explain the issues they have faced, the impact this has had on your studies and a rationale for the requested adjustment, which will be will be taken on trust for Covid-19 related issues to streamline the process. A PEC can also be considered for unexpected IT issues or software failure issues which impact on your access to, or completion of, online learning and assessments.

For further information, you can find the University's guidance on the Student Progress Service website

Taught students may also want to consider one of the other Change of Circumstances procedures If you would like help with a PEC form or Change of Circumstances, or you are unhappy with a PEC decision, please make an appointment with the Student Advice Centre

 

Academic Appeals

You can challenge a University decision (e.g. degree classification, unsatisfactory progress decision) using the Academic Appeal procedure. However, you can only appeal on the grounds of undisclosed personal extenuating circumstances (PECs)procedural irregularity in how the decision was made or you feel that there was bias or prejudice in how the decision was reached. You can’t appeal just because you don’t agree with the decision, or to complain about lack of support or supervision (as you are expected to raise this at the time).

There are three stages to the appeals process:

Level 1 – You have 14 days from the date of decision to submit an academic query in writing (letter or email will suffice) to your School. You should explain why you are challenging the decision and how your case meets the criteria for an academic appeal.

Level 2 – If you are dissatisfied with the Level 1 outcome, you then have 21 days from the date of the school’s response to complete your academic appeal. You will need to complete the appeal form (found here ) and include a copy of the School’s response plus any supporting evidence you have. The form should be emailed to the Student Progress Service casework@ncl.ac.uk.

Level 3 – If you remain dissatisfied with the Level 2 response, you can ask for a review of the academic appeal.  You have 14 days from the date of the academic appeal outcome to request a review.  You can only ask for a review if you believe that there has been a procedural error in how the appeal was investigated.  You cannot ask for a review simply because you’re not happy with the outcome.

For further information, you can find the University's guidance on the Student Progress Service website.

If you would like advice about the Academic Appeal procedure or help submitting an academic appeal, please make an appointment with the Student Advice Centre.

 

Complaints

You can complain about a School, Service or member of staff within the University using the Complaints procedure. Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated and you should be prepared to provide evidence to support your allegation.

There are three stages to the complaints procedure:

Level 1 – Write to the Head of School or Service (email is fine) within 3 months of the incident  explaining the issue / problem and try to resolve it directly with them.

Level 2 – If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your Level 1 complaint, submit a complaints form (found here) no more than 3 months after the Level 1 response from the School or exceptionally within 6 months of the incident. Email this to the Student Progress Service casework@ncl.ac.uk along with any supporting evidence.

Level 3 - If you remain dissatisfied with the Level 2 outcome, you can ask for a review of the complaint decision within 14 calendar days of notification of the outcome. However, Level 3 requests can only be submitted on the basis of a procedural irregularity in how the decision was made.

Complaints about another student of the University

To complain about another student at the University, email the Student Progress Service casework@ncl.ac.uk. Fully explain your concern and provide supporting evidence. Student Progress Service may invite you to a meeting as part of the investigation.

The allegation will normally be investigated under the University's Student Disciplinary Procedure.

For further information, you can find the University's guidance on the Student Progress Service website.

If you would like advice about the Complaints procedure or help submitting a complaint, please make an appointment with the Student Advice Centre

 
 

Assessment Irregularities

If the University suspects you of academic misconduct such as plagiarism or not following exam rules, they will investigate this under the Assessment irregularities procedure.

If they decide that there was academic misconduct, this procedure can result in academic and disciplinary consequences depending on how serious the case is. For example, a zero mark for the work or fail for the module may be given as well as a formal written warning on your record. The most serious sanction is expulsion.

If you are suspected of an assessment irregularity, you will usually be asked to submit a statement and attend an interview to discuss the case before a decision is made.

For further information, you can find the University's guidance on the Student Progress Service website.

If you would like advice about the Assessment Irregularity procedure or help writing a statement, please make an appointment with the Student Advice Centre.

 

Disciplinary Issues

If the University suspects you of breaking the Code of Conduct such as damage to University property, criminal behaviour, or behaviour that may bring the University into disrepute, they will investigate this under the Student Disciplinary procedure.

If they decide that there was misconduct, this procedure can result in disciplinary consequences such as a warning, a fine, and the most serious sanction is expulsion.

If you are suspected of misconduct, you will usually be asked to submit a statement and attend an interview to discuss the case before a decision is made.

For further information, you can find the University's guidance on the Student Progress Service website.

If you would like advice about the Student Disciplinary procedure or help writing a statement, please make an appointment with the Student Advice Centre.