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Academic & Disciplinary
Advice

We hope your time at university goes smoothly, however, if you do hit a bump in the road the Student Advice Centre (SAC) is here to support you with any academic and disciplinary issues. University processes can sometimes be difficult to navigate and you may feel unsure where to go and who to speak to, but a SAC adviser can explain how things work and point you in the right direction.

Personal circumstances getting in the way of your studies? We can advise you on what support is available and help you choose the best route for you going forward. We also provide guidance on a range of issues including how to change your course, leaving the University, and problems with your course, University services or the conduct of another student or member of staff.

We can support you with other University procedures such as submitting an Academic Appeal, responding to an Assessment Irregularity report such as plagiarism, as well as guiding you through a Disciplinary, Fitness to Practise or Fitness to Study investigation. An adviser can also represent you or act as your supporter during formal proceedings, where appropriate.

The COVID 19 outbreak is generating lots of concerns, questions and issues for many people. We're receiving a lot of queries related to the virus outbreak and we hope to be able to help you navigate these as best we can. We have created a list of FAQ’s

Covid-19 Academic FAQs


Academic

The appeal process is for where you’ve received a formal University decision (e.g. degree classification, unsatisfactory academic progress decision) and you feel that they’ve not taken everything into account. You can appeal on the grounds of undisclosed personal extenuating circumstances (PECs), procedural irregularity in how the decision was made, you feel that there was bias in how the decision was reached, or was irrational based on the evidence. You can’t appeal just because you think your examiner was harsh, you thought you deserved more marks than you received, or because you’re not happy with the outcome. You also can’t submit an appeal about lack of support or supervision as you are expected to raise this at the time in a Student Complaint.

There are three stages to the University's appeals procedure:

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If you don't like your course, or if you're just not sure it's for you, there are plenty of options available.

Make sure you understand all the implications before making a decision though, it may affect your student funding or you could end up having to pay accommodation costs even if you're no longer in Newcastle. The Student Advice Centre can explain the impact of the decision before you make it.

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If you’re unhappy with a mark, you may find it useful to arrange a meeting to discuss your feedback before doing anything else. Not sure what feedback you’re entitled to? Watch the following video to see what you can request.

You can complain about a School, Service or member of staff within the University using the Student 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:

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Sometimes life gets in the way of exams and assessments. Whether it's a personal problem, health issue, bereavement or other difficulty, the University can take this into account through the Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) procedure. This is the procedure where you tell your School about what is happening and how it has affected your studies, and they work to make sure that it is taken into account.

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The University may use the Support to Study procedure if there are concerns that your physical or mental health is negatively affecting your ability to engage with your studies. The Support to Study procedure is aimed to be a supportive mechanism to help manage the situation. However, at its most serious level there is a risk of your studies being terminated.

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Disciplinary

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 it is decided 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 and information on the Student Progress Service website.

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

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 it is decided 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 (or a panel hearing for serious misconduct) to discuss the case before a decision is made.

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

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

The Fitness to Practise procedure applies to students on degree programmes leading to a professional qualification within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. The procedure will be initiated if there are concerns about your suitability for professional practise due to your health and/or conduct.

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Academic Writing

Unfortunately we can't advise you on academic writing skills, such as referencing or writing a dissertation. We recommend you look at the Academic Skills Kit which has lots of useful resources and information.