ACADEMIC APPEALS              

What is an Academic Appeal?

An academic appeal is the process open to students to challenge a decision by an exam board (PAB) about the outcome of assessments, or to challenge the outcome of a Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) or Late Authorisation (LA) decision.  Please see below for our Q&A guide on any questions you may have on this process.  If you would like personalised advice please click our ‘Want advice now’ or email


PECs & LAs                   

What is a PEC claim (Personal Extenuating Circumstances)? If you are experiencing unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances that have affected your studies, then you can submit a Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) claim.  A PEC claim is the formal way of telling the University that you have had circumstances which have affected your work.  A PEC form is completed and submitted via your Student Portal

What is a LA (Late Authorisation) Request? There is a process through which students may apply for an extension – this is called an, ‘Application for Authorisation for Late Submission of Assessed Work’. This enables you to ask for additional time for unforeseen and unpreventable circumstances affecting your ability to meet the deadline.  This means that you did not know the circumstances were going to happen and you couldn’t plan around them.  

How do I ask for an extension? You would submit the application online via the Student Portal.  You can access the form and guidance in the ‘Help and Support’ section under ‘My Course’.  An extension request should be submitted before the assessment submission deadline.    It is important to be aware that a penalty will be incurred for work submitted after a published deadline without approval or an agreed extension. A reduction of 10% of the total available mark will be made for work submitted up to 24 hours late.  A mark of zero will be given to coursework submitted more than one working day late without approval. 

If you miss an original or extended deadline (without an approved extension) then you may submit a Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) claim so that the university is aware of the reasons why you couldn’t meet the extended deadline.

Should I ask for an extension, or submit a PEC claim? You can’t normally receive an extension and an approved PEC for the same thing. There are exceptions, if your circumstances worsen for example, but normally you will need to decide whether you should apply for an extension or submit a PEC claim. The core issue tends to be whether you will be able to complete your work to your normal standards within the timeframe of an extension (usually up to two weeks but occasionally up to a month). If so, this is likely to be the best option but if not, you might wish to submit a PEC claim.

Our advisors can support you in making this decision, so please do contact us if you’re not sure which of these options is best for you.



Complaints can be made about any aspect of the University.  You will usually be expected to provide evidence of your complaint, so ensure you keep all documents including emails or anything else you think may be relevant.  A complaint must be initiated within three months of the issue arising. There are three stages to the Complaints process. 



Discipline in University or in the Community Q&A 

Discipline in the Accommodation Q&A 

Fitness to Practise Q&A



Academic Misconduct Q&A 



If you would like information and help with transfer to another programme/taking time out of your studies/leaving the University, you should contact the Student Transition Team.  This is referred to as a ‘Change of Circumstances'.  I understand that the team can also provide information about fees and any fee liability. You can initiate contact via MyNorthumbria or click here to find out some useful information.

Click here for instructions to initiating the process

The Student Transition Team will contact you and offer support and guidance before you commit to a decision.


Your reps

Useful Links 

Handbook of Student Regulations and Forms  

Library Study Skills

Student Terms and Conditions 

Contact our Advice Team


Facebook – NSU/Education


Drop-in advice for Initial Case Assessment

  • Newcastle City Campus - Monday to Friday 10am-4pm
  • Coach Lane Campus – Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday 10am-4pm
  • London Campus – Monday to Thursday 1pm-5pm Friday 11am-3pm

All drop-ins are subject to staff availability.  To guarantee a time please email us.  After your assessment all future appointments will need to be pre-arranged with an advisor