An update on QUT’s Grade Review process

Academic Advocacy is a professional service of QUT Guild, committed to supporting and representing the interests and needs of students in academic matters, navigating university policies and advocating for better quality of education. The Advocacy Team are collaborating with Glass on a series of articles to make sure you know your rights and to help students get through their studies as successfully as possible. 

This article was written by Advocate, Anna Rose Wilson.

The University’s Manual of Policies and Procedures had a major update earlier this year, which includes the platform students utilise to access relevant provisions. As such, the Advocates thought to provide you with an updated guide to assist you when applying for a Review of Grade.  

Students should discuss their course progress in all assessment items with the relevant teaching staff throughout the semester. This is important because you cannot request a review for individual assessment items, including exams, and you must wait until final grades are released to begin the review process. Regularly checking in with your tutors could save you from any surprises.  

Final grades for units completed in Semester 1 will be available on Friday 5th July, apart from those students completing Deferred Exams or Supplementary Assessments. If after reviewing your feedback you disagree with the final grade, you should begin this process immediately. Students have ten business days (equivalent to two weeks after final grades are released) to submit the formal review application.  

Step 1: Informal review 

Before seeking a review, ensure you have read and understand the feedback provided and the component marks for each assessment item and their weightings in the overall grades. If you still disagree with the final grades, contact the relevant Unit Coordinator to informally discuss your concerns and clarify reasons for receiving the grade. 

Step 2: Formal Review  

After the informal discussion with teaching staff, if students still don’t agree with their final grade, they can gather documentation to support a Formal Grade Review. A formal review is only available if: 

  1. An error has occurred in the compilation of the overall grade from component assessment items, which was not corrected at the informal review, or 
  1. The result awarded doesn’t reflect the demonstrated achievement of the assessment criteria relating to the assessment item in dispute. 

The Head of School responsible for the unit will assign an independent assessor (not previously involved in reviewing or marking the assessment items) to review the written submission and the supporting evidence. If the student believes the grade doesn’t match how well they did on the assessment (item 2 mentioned above) the assessor will have relevant subject matter expertise and will re-assess the item/s in dispute, to determine whether the original assessment was made in accordance with the unit outline and consistent with the assessment criteria.

Your application must be supported by a clear written statement (preferably limited to three pages) that explains and substantiates the specific grounds of your request by referencing the Criterion Referenced Assessment (CRA).  

Students should receive an outcome within 20 working days with a written rationale that addresses the issues raised in their application. Please note that the outcome of a review may result in a lower grade, no change in grade, or a higher grade being awarded.  

According to the QUT website, the following grounds are not considered relevant and will result in your application being denied: 

  • Unmarked work (this must be addressed through informal review). 
  • You were close to receiving a higher grade. 
  • The effect of a failed unit on the length of your course. 
  • You believe your work warranted a higher mark (without any further justification or referral to the CRA). 
  • Undertaking an overload of recommended units in the teaching period. 
  • Circumstances, covered by special circumstances (there are normally considered through academic concessions or Withdrawal Without Penalty applications). 
  • Issues with the learning outcomes or the assessment methods. 
  • Grades received by other students.  
  • Penalties imposed following academic or student misconduct. 
  • A feedback mechanism for student learning experiences (QUT uses the Student Voice Survey to express these concerns). 

    Review of grade: Appeal 

    If after receiving your outcome for the Formal Review of Grade you are still dissatisfied with your final grade, you may submit an appeal within five working days of receiving the result of the formal review.   

    Your appeal must include a written statement addressing the rationale provided in the outcome of your formal review, and why you believe it is incorrect. Please note that your appeal will be declined if you simply resubmit the original case without responding to the outcome of the formal review. You will receive an outcome within 20 working days. 

    The application will be forwarded through to the faculty review committee, which consists of academic staff not previously involved of the review who may seek advice from other relevant academic staff. The committee checks whether processes have been correctly followed, assess the adequacy of the Head of School’s response, and considers any new matters included in the written submission.  

    While awaiting your outcome

    Your final grades will stand until the review process is completed. You can still enrol in units within the course but consult with your faculty or Course Coordinator if there are any issues. 

    Remember that you have the right to review your grade if you disagree with it, but your application must follow the guidelines from QUT. We have seen hundreds of applications and are more than happy to assist students in understanding the requirements and process of a Grade Review. We can provide you with individual advice regarding your options if you do find yourself unhappy when final grades are released.

    It’s important to note Advocacy Officers are not experts in the learning content of each unit however, we can guide you with understanding the policy and process around reviews and appeals to help you get a better outcome. Book an appointment with an Advocacy Officer here – supporting you with kindness and guiding you with knowledge.  

    About the author, Anna Rose Wilson, Advocate at QUT Student Guild Advocacy:

    I’m Anna Rose Wilson, a QUT Guild Academic Advocate with almost five years of experience. I’m working towards completing my Honours in Law and Psychology at QUT, and I’m passionate about supporting students facing personal challenges that impact their studies. I aim to ensure students are aware of available support services, using a trauma-informed approach. In the future, I hope to work in Family Law or Employment Law. Feel free to say hello if you see me on campus or at the Bot Bar!

    Advocacy
    Advocacy

    Academic Advocacy is a professional service of QUT Guild committed to supporting and representing the interests and needs of students in academic matters, navigating university policies and advocating for better quality of education.

    Articles: 10

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