What are the regulations?
University regulations stipulate that students must maintain:
“...acceptable progress as evidenced by attendance at classes, satisfactory performance in assessments and the proper completion of such other work as may be allotted to the student”.
The definition of ‘acceptable progress’ (for most students) is therefore regular attendance of timetabled activities and submission of work within given deadlines. If attendance or submission of work is found to be unsatisfactory then a certain process must be followed. The process is similar whether you are studying an undergraduate degree or a research degree, the only difference is that if you are on a research degree you are tested on ‘submission’ of work as opposed to ‘attendance’.
Formal action can usually be avoided if you inform your Department about any problems and provide supporting evidence as soon as they occur. We recognise that sharing circumstances which may be affecting your studies can be a daunting experience, however the Aber SU Advice Service is here to help you, so please do seek advice if you are unsure about whether your circumstances are relevant.
If you have been excluded from University you have a number of ways to appeal the decision or make a complaint if you think the decision is unfair or wrong. All students have a right to an internal review as well as an external review. The issues looked at and ground for challenging these in each review will be different.
Meeting with your department
If you have been found to be in breach of the rules on attendance you should be notified that a concern has been raised and should be invited to a meeting with a member of your department (usually the Institute Director). You could be excluded automatically if you fail to attend this meeting without good cause so it is important that you are prepared for the meeting by seeking advice from Advice Service prior to attending this meeting.
At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to explain your absences so if you have mitigating circumstances you should make these clear. If you have been affected by some form of physical or mental ill health then this is also a good opportunity to make a case for departmental support. In support of this, it is usually best to have already submitted special circumstances forms and evidence. Please see our Special Circumstances and Extensions guide for more information.
If you do not have a satisfactory reason for your poor attendance then you could be issued with a final ‘formal’ warning that if your attendance and submission of work fails to improve that you could later be excluded without further discussion. While at this stage you do still have chance to appeal, it is crucial to provide explanation and supporting evidence as early as possible.
What if I am dissatisfied with a decision from the University?
If you are concerned with a decision from the University, or if you feel that your results have been affected by problems on the course due to personal issues then you may be able to request an Academic Appeal. Usually they will expect you to have already given details about these issues if you wish to rely on them as grounds later on but in exceptional cases late evidence is accepted.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of an academic appeal you may also request a Final Review which normally closes the internal University processes. Please see our Academic Appeals guide for more information and seek advice from an Aber SU Advisor.
What can the AberSU Advice Service do to help?
The AberSU Advice Service is independent from the University and provides a free, confidential and impartial service to all Aberystwyth University students.
The Advice Service can assist you in a range of ways, including:
- Explain the regulations surrounding Academic progress and attendance to you and guide you through its various stages;
- Review any draft statements that you prepare and offer suggestions;
- Monitor the progress of your appeal;
- Accompany you to any meetings to provide support and representation;
- Help you to collate appropriate evidence to support your case.
To discuss all of your options, including what support is available to you, please contact us below:
First Produced: June 2017
Reviewed: November 2018