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Results Day can provoke very mixed reactions! It can either be a cause for joy and celebration or an unpleasant surprise. If you feel as though the grade received is not indicative of your work, you may want to consider submitting an appeal.

What can you do?

We have outlined the process for you below – it is a long read so if you feel as though you would like to speak to someone about this in person, please do let us know! Remember, you can only appeal your final grades, not your provisional results.

The process

In essence there are two grounds on which you can appeal:

  1. Procedural Error 
  2. New Information about Exceptional Circumstances (ECs)

You can appeal under either (or both) and you do have a deadline to submit your completed form, along with any relevant evidence. The deadline depends on the exam period, but is generally 10 working days following the release of your results. Deadlines can be found on the LSE website. If you think you might struggle to meet this deadline and have a good reason, we would encourage you to contact the Assessment Regulations Team (ART) ASAP, and certainly before the deadline.

Appeals forms can be found online and must be submitted via the LSE portal along with any relevant evidence. Our advisers can look over a copy of your form before you submit it – just be mindful of the deadline!

Download appeals form(Downloads a Word document) Submit appeals form(Opens in new tab)

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will have the option of entering stage 2 of the appeals process. At this stage there are three grounds on which you can appeal (see paragraph 10.1 of the Academic Appeals regulations), and you’ll have a further 10 working days in which to submit it (starting from the day you receive the outcome to your first appeal).

Academic Appeals regulations(Opens in new tab)

You can read more about the academic appeals process, including finding a copy of the regulations, guidance and form, by visiting the Challenging Results page on the LSE website.

LSE Challenging Results(Opens in new tab)

The first ground under which you can appeal (under stage 1) is a ‘procedural error.’

The School describes this as an instance where “the Exam Board did not follow the correct procedure such that there is reasonable doubt that the decision would have been the same if the correct procedure had been followed.”

This can encompass anything from an administrative mistake to a wider procedural irregularity. This basically means that something happened after you submitted your assessment that shouldn’t have happened. It might be that your classification was incorrectly calculated because some completed modules were omitted, for example, or perhaps you had a successful EC claim, but the Exam Board didn’t consider it. Or it could be any other error which occurred at the School level after you clicked ‘submit’.

ECs are classified as circumstances which “would normally be sudden, unforeseen, out of the student’s control and proximate to the assessment(s) in question.”

As this deadline has now passed, if you feel you have valid ECs, you would now need to raise it via an appeal. However, you would need to:

  • Explain and evidence the ECs that affected the assessment in question
  • Provide a good reason (with evidence) for not submitting an EC application at the time

The Standards of Evidence document outlines the kind of evidence the School would expect to see under different scenarios.

It is important to note that LSE operates a “Fit to Sit” policy. In effect this means that once you enter an exam room (or in the COVID era, once you accept/commence an online assessment) you are deeming yourself fit enough to undertake the assessment in question.

The reason it is necessary to highlight this is because the School would expect students who were not fit enough to take their assessments to have either deferred them or to have sought an extension. Given that the criteria and evidence requirements for both deferrals and extensions were relaxed in light of the pandemic, any successful appeal under the EC ground will need to provide a good reason why these options weren’t explored at the time (particularly the deferral). There may well be strong reasons (for example, linked to mental or physical ill health) why you didn’t, but you will need to provide evidence.

There are two final points to be made about appeals based on ECs.

The first is that you can only appeal:

  • Your final degree classification
  • Not being awarded a degree, or a decision to class you as a “Final Fail”
  • A mark or grade of “Absent,” “Incomplete” or “Fail”

The second is that your marks must be borderline. More specifically, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • Your classification marks are no more than three marks below the next higher classification in a single course, and/or:
  • Your aggregate is no more than fifteen marks away as an Undergraduate, or ten marks as a Postgraduate, from the next higher classification on aggregate

If your appeal is based on new information about ECs, and doesn’t satisfy the above criteria, it is highly likely that your appeal will be unsuccessful.

You cannot appeal just because you disagree with your results. One of the most common reasons for appeals being rejected is because they are deemed to be questioning “academic judgement.” You also cannot appeal on the grounds of perceived poor quality teaching or course running – this is the matter for the Complaints Procedure.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), a body which performs an ombudsman-like function for the HE sector (and to whom you can complain if you remain dissatisfied after progressing through both appeal stages) describes academic judgement as “a judgment that is made about a matter where only the opinion of an academic expert is sufficient.”


What can we do?

Our advisers are more than happy to look over any forms before you submit them or provide you guidance on the process if there is anything you do not understand or would like clarity on.


Where to find us

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

Contact us

020 7955 7158

Booking appointments

You can book an appointment via email or via the Student Hub website.

su.advice@lse.ac.uk Student Hub


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