Falmouth University Academic


Academic appeals

Are you unhappy with a result of an exam or a piece of coursework or your degree classification?


If so you might want to consider whether you have grounds for appeal.  It’s worth starting by stating that you can’t appeal against ‘academic judgment’.  So, if you achieved a mark of, say, 52%, but think your work was worth around 65%, that isn’t going to give you a ground of appeal.


However, the grounds on which you can appeal are:

  • Material circumstances affecting your performance of which a Board of Examiners or the Board of the Faculty had not been aware before reaching its decision, though only if you can present reasonable grounds why such circumstances had not been presented to the Board in advance of its meeting.
  • Procedural irregularities in the formal conduct of an assessment or in reaching another academic decision.
  • Evidence of prejudice or of bias on the part of one or more examiners and/or markers.


Other factors that you should consider are:

  • Appeals should be started within 20 working days of you being notified of the decision that you want to challenge.
  • Appeals should be started using the University’s appeal form, which is available from the University’s website: https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/student-regulations
  • You are likely to improve your appeal by getting advice from an FXU adviser.


For full details of the University’s appeals procedure click here.


Academic and exam misconduct

The University is concerned to not to allow academic dishonesty, whether this is by plagiarism, collusion with another, or cheating and expects all of students to behave in a manner which upholds the principles of academic integrity. 


The University summarises its position as follows:


“Academic integrity is a fundamental value in higher education. No student should seek to gain an unfair advantage in assessment and the University expects students to be aware of what constitutes good academic practice.”


Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, collusion, commissioning and misrepresentation.  The University’s procedure for dealing with academic misconduct has three potential stages: stage 1 for minor offences; stage 2 for major offences; and stage 3 for more serious breaches of exam misconduct.  At all three stages the University will contact the student and provide details of the allegation made against them. 


The University treats issues of alleged academic misconduct seriously.  If the University informs you of an allegation of misconduct, you can get advice and support from FXU


Full details of the University’s procedures for dealing with academic and exam misconduct are available here.


Students have a right of appeal against the decision of the Academic Misconduct Panel (Stage 2) or the Academic Disciplinary Committee (Stage 3) using the University’s appeals procedure.


Course complaints

The University’s complaints procedure is available for students to raise concerns about their University experience - for example in relation to teaching, supervision or support services.


Complaints can be made by an individual student or by a group of students. 


Complaints should be made within 8 weeks of the incident.  The University’s procedure has 3 ‘steps’ and a strict timetable under which it should ‘play out’.


Before submitting a complaint or at any stage during a complaint that is already underway, you may want to discuss the issue with an FXU President or Adviser


Click here for full details about the University’s complaints policy and complaints procedure.


Extenuating circumstances

Valid extenuating circumstances can only be used to gain further time for assessments and, if appropriate, the removal of a capped mark. They cannot be used to gain additional marks.


An assessment board may consider certain extenuating circumstances in mitigation of:

  • Failure to submit work by the assessment submission deadline
  • Failure to attend for assessments or examinations.


Examples of valid extenuating circumstances may include;

  • Illness at the time of the date for the submission of work or the examination
  • Bereavement
  • An acute episode of a chronic condition
  • Unusually severe mental or emotional stress at or immediately before the date for submission of work or the time of the examination.


Claims for extenuating circumstances should be submitted within 4 weeks of the assessment deadline or exam.  Claims should be submitted online using the designated form, which is available on your My Falmouth student portal.


Successful applications for extenuating circumstances will be applied at the module level and, where appropriate, a new assessment submission deadline will be set.


Click here for details of the University’s extenuating circumstances procedure.


Students whose claims for extenuating circumstances are rejected have a right of appeal using the University’s appeals procedure.


If you want to discuss your claim for extenuating circumstances or an appeal, make an appointment to see an FXU Adviser.


Student Health Wellbeing and Fitness to Study

This is a supportive policy which can be used when a student’s health, wellbeing and/or behaviour is having a detrimental impact on their ability to progress academically and/or to function effectively at university.



If you’ve been referred into the University’s Fitness to Study process and want help with navigating your way through it, make an appointment to see an FXU Adviser.



Intermitting involves interrupting your studies.  For various reasons, sometimes a student may want to take time out from their studies.  If you’re that student you should start by discussing the issue with your personal tutor or course leader.  You should also consider the financial implications of interrupting – not least to ensure that when you return, you have sufficient funding to enable you to complete your course.  You can discuss this with an FXU Adviser.  You could also read through FXU’s checklist for interrupting student’s checklist (Intermitting-checklist).


If you decide to interrupt your studies, you should complete the relevant form – which you can get from FXU.


For further details on what to do if you’re considering interrupting your studies, click here



Similarly, for various reasons, sometimes a student may want to withdraw from their studies.  Again, you should discuss this with your personal tutor or course leader – even if you’ve already made up your mind. 


Withdrawing could have significant financial implications for the student involved – that’s why you should get advice before confirming your decision.  You can get that advice from an FXU adviser.  Also, you can find out more by reading FXU’s checklist for withdrawing students.


For further details on what to do if you’re considering interrupting your studies, click here



Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in these advice pages. However, it should not be regarded as a substitute for statutory regulations, or individual advice which is available from FXU Advisers.