Academic Advice

Unlocking Your Academic Potential
Unlocking Your Academic Potential

This page is here to provide general guidance. If you would like to speak to an Advisor please click here.



The Academic Appeals Policy and procedure allows you to challenge or request for reconsideration of a decision made by the University regarding assessment, grading and student progression.  

What can you appeal against? 

  • Rejected mitigating circumstances and extensions 

  • A capped grade 

  • Deductions for late submissions 

If you need advice on how to complete your Appeal request then please come and visit the SU.  The SOAS SU Advisor can assist you with the following regarding your appeals:  

  • Support with drafting your appeals application.  

  • Provide advice on the SOAS Academic Appeals Policy  

  • Advice regarding supporting evidence.  Making sure you have the right kinds of evidence to support your case is a key factor that will determine the outcome of your Appeal.   

  • Attend Appeal hearings with you. Although we would not be able to speak on your behalf, we can be present at the meeting for moral support.  We can also support you  to prepare for the hearing beforehand. 

You can find step by step guidance on what to expect from Appealing on the school website: 

You can apply for an Appeal through SID:  


Mitigating circumstances  

Mitigating circumstances reflect any serious and unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control which may then adversely impact your academic studies. You can complete the mitigating circumstances form if you believe such non academic events might impact your capacity to sit an exam or submit an assessment to the best of your ability.  

According to the school’s policy, mitigating circumstances will include:  

  • Illness or Injury 

  • Bereavement 

  • Personal problems/traumatic events/family crisis 

  • Affected by a new or emerging international conflict or humanitarian crisis 

  • Compelled to be elsewhere, e.g. court, detained in custody, service in armed forces reserve 

  • Victim of crime 

  • Exceptional financial or accommodation problems 

  • School IT problems 

  • Exceptional work commitment (part-time students only) 

  • Death of a pet 

  • Other serious circumstances deemed acceptable 

For further information, please see the school Mitigating Circumstances policy: 


At the SU we can provide 1-1 advice on how to claim for mitigating circumstances. We can support you with the following:  

  • Advice and support with drafting your mitigating circumstances application.  

  • Give further advice about the universities mitigating circumstances policy.  

  • Advice on gathering evidence for your application 


For further guidance on mitigating circumstances please see the Schools page on MySOAS: 

You can also check out the Schools FAQs on Mitigating circumstances: 

We understand that applying for mitigating circumstances could be due to difficult and distressing reasons.  We encourage you to come and speak to our advisor who can provide additional support and guidance if you feel you need further help.   


Fitness to Study  

Fitness to study refers to a students capacity and participation to engage with university life.  Under exceptional circumstances a student may be deemed unfit to study by the school.  Concerns raised  by the school could be regarding:  

  • Their wellbeing and personal circumstances. 

  • Their ability to meet the academic requirements of their programme. 

  • Their engagement with any support that has previously been put in place. 

  • Their behaviour towards other students or staff 

If you are being investigated under the fitness to study policy and you would like further advice then please come and visit the SU Advice  

You can access the schools Fitness to study policy through this link: 


Interrupting or Withdrawing from University  

If you are going through a difficult period in your life you may decide that you would like to take a break from your studies.  

You can interrupt your studies which means you can take time out of your course with the intention of rejoining at the next available opportunity given by the school. You are still considered a student (within certain limits)  during your interruption.  However your Student Finance will be impacted.  For more information and advice please contact the Student advice and wellbeing’s financial support team  

Your student visa may also be affected so please contact the schools visa team for more advice and information.  

For more information on interrupting your studies please see 13.3 on the general admissions regulations policy: 


If you decide to Withdraw from your studies this will mean you are leaving the course completely and you will no longer be considered a student at SOAS. Your decision to withdraw may have complications on your Student finances and Visa so please do contact the schools visa team and student advice and wellbeing for further support.  


Choosing to interrupt or withdraw from your studies is a big decision. Before making a decision it’s really important to be informed of what your options are.   

Please come and speak to the SU advisor who can walk you through what options you have so that you can make a fully informed decision.  

Complaints against the School  

If you are dissatisfied or unhappy with the Universities delivery or lack of delivery of a service or programme then you have the right to make a complaint against the school.  

The SU can provide advice and support regarding your complaint application.  We can also attend meetings with you if you need to meet with the school regarding your complaint.  

For more information on the Universities complaints process and policy please see the following link: 

The schools complaint procedure does not cover complaints against the Students Union  


Academic Misconduct and Disciplinary procedures  

Academic misconduct is any type of cheating or improper advantage a student might attempt to gain in their assessments and examinations.  

Disciplinary action can be taken by the university when a students gets accused of committing misconduct.  This can be academic related. The main type of academic misconduct is for Plagiarism.  If you have been accused of plagiarism then please come and speak to the SU Advisor.   

A student can also be accused of non-academic misconduct.  For more information on non-academic misconduct please refer to the schools disciplinary policy and website: 

For more information please see the Universities Academic Misconduct policy: 

We can support you with your plagiarism appeal / misconduct allegation and help you to prepare for your hearing. The school usually invites you to attend a hearing with a panel who would then ask you questions about the allegations.  The hearing also gives you an opportunity to share your views.   

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