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Academic appeals

If you believe that there is a suitable reason to contest an academic decision that affects you, you can apply for review of the decision. If you are not happy with the outcome of the review, and you believe that the review decision was procedurally unfair, you can lodge an academic appeal.

Academic appeals

What is an academic decision?

The term ‘academic decision’ is defined in section 1.5 of the University of Sydney (Student Academic Appeals) Rule 2021 (the Academic Appeals Rule). It applies to a range of decisions, including a decision:

  • about a mark or grade
  • about special consideration or special arrangements
  • about credit, including conditional credit and mobility credit
  • to impose conditions or restrictions on your re-enrolment after you are asked to show good cause
  • to exclude you from an award course
  • not to re-admit or re-enrol you following exclusion from your award course
  • to terminate your candidature, if you are completing a postgraduate award.

Not all decisions made by University staff are academic decisions. Non-academic decisions include those related to unit of study administration and access to University facilities. You can make a complaint about a non-academic decision.


Can I appeal a late discontinuation under special circumstances outcome?

If you feel you have genuine grounds to contest any units not approved in your application, you can apply for a review of the decision.

Academic appeals process

There are three escalating stages in the academic appeals process outlined in the Appeals Rule (pdf, 102kb). Each stage is managed by a different unit within the University. You will need to make sure you submit your appeal to the correct unit, depending on the stage of your appeal.

Please note if you have been awarded your degree you are no longer eligible to submit an appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB). All appeals must be lodged prior to your degree being conferred.

If you have lodged an appeal and you are due to graduate, you will need to withdraw from the graduation or conferral process until such time that your matter is finalised.

For all appeals matters, including submitting your appeal or requesting updates, you need to use your University email account.

The appeal process does not give you an automatic right to have an assessment reviewed or re-marked, and is not a process for negotiating higher marks.

Advice and support

Before you prepare or submit an appeal, you may wish to seek advice and support from one of the independent student organisations.

The SRC and SUPRA staff are trained professionals with knowledge and experience with University regulations and responsibilities.

You can also contact the Student Affairs Unit (SAU) to get clarification on the Academic Appeals Rule or the appeals process. SAU cannot advise you on whether you should submit an appeal, or what to include in any appeal.

If you find the appeals process is causing you distress or think the outcome could be upsetting or challenging, you can contact the Student Counselling Service. An appointment with a counsellor can give you the opportunity to discuss issues arising from your appeal and to develop new strategies to manage your studies.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 27 October 2023

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