Manual of Policies and Procedures

E/9.1 Review of grades and academic rulings

Contact Officer

Director, Student Business Services

Approval Date

14/09/2018

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

30/09/2021

9.1.1 Purpose
9.1.2 Application
9.1.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.1.4 Review of grades
9.1.5 Review of academic rulings
9.1.6 Status of students awaiting the outcome of a review
9.1.7 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

9.1.1 Purpose

This policy sets out the principles for students to seek a review of a final grade or an academic ruling and the timeframes QUT will respond in.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the procedural information provided on the HiQ website (QUT staff and student access only).

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9.1.2 Application

This policy applies to domestic and international students, undergraduate and postgraduate students. For review of grades (E/9.1.4) this policy applies only to the final grade for a unit and does not apply to review of individual assessment items.

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9.1.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

Executive Dean

  • oversees and assures assessment practices and capability within a faculty
  • determines the outcome of a request for faculty level review of grade
  • determines the form of review for an academic ruling and makes a final determination (may be delegated to an academic member of faculty academic board or to a faculty appeals committee)

Faculty Review Committee

  • recommends to the executive dean on a faculty review of grade (Step 3)
  • reports to Faculty Academic Board on review of grade
Head of School
  • oversees and assures assessment practices and capability within a school
  • determines the outcome of a request for school level review of grade
Unit Coordinator (or equivalent)
  • implements and communicates unit-level assessment and feedback practices, consistent with the accredited assessment approach for the course
  • conducts unit level assurance of achievement standards
  • recommends changes to grades for students
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • approves protocols for the review of grade and academic ruling processes
Director, Student Business Services
  • manages the review of grade and academic ruling processes and advises students of outcomes

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9.1.4 Review of grades

Students are entitled to timely access to feedback on, and the results of, their own individual assessment items, including examinations (C/5.1.8 Assessment and feedback). During the course of a teaching period students should discuss their progress in all assessment tasks with relevant teaching staff, and can expect to be provided with a clear indication of the extent to which they have or have not achieved the objectives set for each assessment item, as provided in the Assessment and feedback policy (C/5.1). Since this step may constitute a significant component of the learning outcomes for the unit, this should be undertaken as soon as possible (normally within five working days) after the release of the grade/mark for the assessment item.

Students who are dissatisfied with the final grade received for the unit should initiate the Review of grade (QUT staff and student access only) process. Review of grades may lead to no change or to a less favourable or a more favourable outcome for the student.

Initiation of the review of grade process will not affect the final grade for a unit and any consequential prevention of enrolment in other units that require the unit as a requisite, until the review process is finalised.

Reviews of passing grades under steps 2 and 3 attract a charge (schedule of administrative charges) which is reimbursed if a higher grade is awarded following the review. There is no charge for review of fail grades.

Preliminary Step – Clarification

Prior to proceeding with the informal and formal processes of the review of grade, the student should have accessed:

  • feedback in relation to achieving the objectives of the assessment items (C/5.1.8 Assessment and feedback) and
  • the component marks for individual assessment items and their relative weightings making up the overall grade (C/5.1.10 Assessment and feedback).

Step 1 – Informal review at unit coordinator level

Following the release of the final grade for the unit, a student who believes that an error has occurred in the compilation of the overall grade from component assessment items should consult the unit coordinator. If the unit coordinator accepts the student's case, the unit coordinator may recommend to the executive dean, in accordance with the QUT grading policy (C/5.2.9) and relevant faculty policy, that the grade be altered.

Step 2 – Formal review at school level

If the student remains dissatisfied after completing step 1 of these procedures, or if the student is unable to obtain clarification of the reason for the grade for a unit, then the student may apply for a school level review of the grade normally within 10 working days of the release of the final grade for the unit. The application must be supported by a written case that must indicate how the result awarded does not reflect the quality of the assessment item/s in relation to the published assessment criteria.

The head of school responsible for the unit determines the form of the review, which should include an independent re-assessment of the item(s) in dispute. The review must assess whether procedures have been correctly followed, whether the assessment is in accordance with the unit outline and whether the assessment is consistent with the assessment criteria, and must address the issues raised in the student's written case. The student is normally advised of the outcome within 10 working days of submission of the request for formal review.

Step 3 – Formal review at faculty level

A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the school level review of grade (step 2) for a unit may apply for a faculty level review normally within five working days of notification of the outcome. The applicant must provide a clear written case stating why the previous review outcome was inadequate. The student must address the rationale provided in the outcome and may include additional reasons or evidence. Resubmission of the original case for review without addressing the outcomes or response to the original review will not be accepted.

The application is forwarded through the executive dean of the faculty responsible for the unit to the faculty review committee for consideration. The faculty review committee is a sub-committee of the faculty academic board comprising, at a minimum, the executive dean or nominee (as Chair), a member of academic staff and a student representative appointed by the faculty academic board, none of whom were involved in previous levels of this review. The quorum of the committee is three. The committee may seek written input from relevant academic staff. The committee checks that correct processes have been followed, assesses the adequacy of the school's response to the student's case, and considers any new matters included in the student's written case.

The faculty review committee makes a recommendation to the executive dean to either uphold the school level (step 2) outcome or to vary the outcome.  The executive dean will consider the recommendation of the review committee and make a final determination. The decision of the executive dean is final.

The applicant is normally advised of the outcome within 15 working days of submission of the request for formal review at faculty level. The response to the application for review must include a response to the student's case and the reasons for the decision.

The faculty review committee monitors the number and type of reviews conducted and reports on its activities to the faculty academic board.

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9.1.5 Review of academic rulings

The following matters are considered academic rulings for the purposes of this policy:

  • advanced standing applications
  • amendment of enrolment program (including unit substitution, overload requests and refusal to allow enrolment)
  • requisite waivers
  • leave of absence
  • special consideration
  • deferred examination applications
  • supplementary assessment applications
  • assignment extension applications
  • outbound cross-institutional requests
  • course completion requirements.

Students who have received notification of an academic ruling and who wish to be provided with further information on the basis and implications of the ruling should contact the relevant faculty.

If, after having received further information, the student believes that an error has been made or that a ruling is unjust, the student may apply for a review. A review of academic ruling is not used where other procedures are already specified in policy, in particular:

  • review of grades
  • admission decisions
  • academic progress (probation and exclusion)
  • failure to maintain academic integrity (including cheating or plagiarism)
  • withdrawal without financial or academic penalty outcomes.

Requests for a review of academic ruling must be submitted within 10 working days of the date of notification of a ruling. A review may lead to no change or to either a less favourable or more favourable outcome for the student.

The relevant executive dean of faculty determines the form of the review and makes a determination. The applicant will normally be advised of the decision of the executive dean within 20 working days and the outcome is final.

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9.1.6 Status of students awaiting the outcome of a review

The University will make determinations on reviews as soon as practicable, but will not necessarily resolve any particular case before the census date for the next teaching period. The final grade for a unit and any related academic outcome will stand until the review process is finalised.

Students whose review will not be resolved before the commencement of the teaching period (where the delay is not the fault of the student) are permitted to enrol in units within the course of study. Students must consult the course coordinator about the enrolment program they will undertake while awaiting the outcome of a review. When the review process is finalised, the student remains bound by the ruling or by the consequences of the grade which was the subject of the review and may be withdrawn from nominated unit enrolments with no adverse academic or financial consequences.

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9.1.7 Definitions

Grade means the final grade awarded for the unit.

International student has the same meaning as "overseas student" in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth).

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Related Documents

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP E/4.1 Student admission

MOPP E/4.2 Advanced standing

MOPP E/6.3 Student academic concessions

MOPP E/6.7 Academic progress

Review of grade and academic ruling protocols

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
14.09.18 All University Academic Board Periodic review - revised and simplified policy
25.09.15 All Director, Student Business Services Periodic review - minor editorial changes only
02.01.14 All Director, Student Business Services Revised policy - editorial changes to clarify the intent of the policy and reflect current practice
23.11.12 All University Academic Board Revised policy to incorporate minor changes to business practice following implementation of the Student and Academic Management System (SAMS)
13.11.09 All University Academic Board Periodic review - minor editorial changes only
01.12.05 E/9.1.1 University Academic Board Revised policy to clarify issues relating to timeliness of response and articulation of the role of unit coordinator - effective from 01.01.2006 (endorsed by Academic Policy and Procedures Committee 02.11.05)
26.09.03 All University Academic Board

New policy (effective from 01.01.2004)(endorsed by Academic Policy and Procedures Committee 30.07.03)

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