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Academic appeal - CS052404

A postgraduate student did not achieve a passing grade for their dissertation at the second attempt.

They appealed against the decision to award them a Postgraduate Diploma rather than a Masters award. The student described feeling under pressure before submitting their dissertation and explained that after submitting it a family member had been very unwell.

The student did not make their appeal until eight months after the provider’s deadline. They explained to the provider that they had sought help from an agency and paid them to make an appeal, but they had taken the money and not offered any help. The provider decided that the student did not have a good reason for submitting the appeal late and it did not accept it. The student complained to us.

We did not uphold the complaint (we decided it was Not Justified). We accepted that the student had approached the agency in good faith expecting them to help with the appeal. But the provider had made information available to students about sources of free advice within the provider and via the student’s union, and the student had chosen not to use this help. The student did not have any evidence that showed they were unable to make any contact with the provider during the eight-month period to ask for help.