Advice | Academic Procedures
Here you'll find information about how some of the University regulations work and how they may affect you.
If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact, or drop by, the Student Advice Centre.
Taking a break in Studies (previously called Intermitting) or Withdrawing (from a course)
Break in Studies: this used to be known as intermitting or intercalating (it's sometimes also called "suspending your studies"), and the student will be able to resume their studies at a later date.
Withdrawing: if a student wants to withdraw from their course altogether; maybe in order to pursue other career options or enrol on another course at a later date; it's known as withdrawing.
Transferring to another course or institution
Transferring between courses can be a major change to both your life and your course, especially if you are moving to a different University in a different town. We therefore advise: be sure that a transfer is the right solution for you!
If you are unhappy with your course, do talk to your course tutor; if you are unhappy with where you are, the University's counselling and support services may be able to help; if you are thinking of transferring due to financial difficulties, the Student Advice Centre can advise you on whether there are other options.
How do I appeal against an academic decision?
If you have been turned down for Exceptional Circumstances you can appeal.
If you didn't put in Exceptional Circumstances but want the University to consider your circumstances later on, you can appeal but will need a very good and well-evidenced reason why you didn't use the Exceptional Circumstances process.
If the University didn't follow its own rules in your assessment, you can appeal.
If you just want to challenge your marks but none of the above apply, there are probably no grounds for an appeal. You certainly can't challenge "academic judgement".
Appeal deadlines are both short and strict - take action now.
Academic Conduct / Plagiarism
If you're not sure what you need to do in order to avoid breaking the rules, get Academic Skills Support
Good Academic Conduct is about keeping to the assessment rules. Any attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment is therefore Academic mis-Conduct.
The University defines Cheating ‘as any attempt by a student to gain unfair advantage over another student in the completion of assessment, or to assist someone else to gain an unfair advantage’, and Plagiarism as ‘the representation of another person's work, without acknowledgement of the source, as a student’s own for the purposes of satisfying formal assessment requirements’. Submitting a piece of your work which you have previously had assessed for a different award or module, at this institution or at another University, is also classed as plagiarism.
We can help if you experience problems with these rules.
Click here to go to the University's index page for its academic regulations. Our page aims to help you navigate your way through the University Regulations as an undergraduate student.
Exceptional (formerly "Extenuating") Circumstances
“Exceptional Circumstances” is a phrase which refers to serious and exceptional factors outside your control which have adversely affected your performance within your course/programme of study. These factors may have prevented you from attending examinations, caused you to miss assessment submission dates or even prevented you from attending classes resulting in your loss of contact time.
The University expects students to catch up on academic work whenever that is possible.
Social Networking Sites
When you put any information on a social networking site, it could be made public and be seen by many people. It's more like shouting something from the rooftops or putting up posters than whispering something to your friends: easy to find, easy to prove, hard to keep private.
What seems insignificant to you and your friends could damage your reputation when seen by others if it's hurtful or seen as unprofessional. This can lead to disciplinary action by the University (for example, if it's seen as bullying) and can have serious consequences for students pursuing professional careers, in particular students studying health, social care and therapy related awards.
Staffordshire University Faculty of Health has produced Guidance on the use of Social Networking which we recommend you take a look at.
Advice from the University
Student Guidance Advisors are available for every School and can be found through the Student Hub. They work for the University and are there to help with academic and pastoral issues as part of the University team along with Personal Tutors and Award Leaders. If you need detailed help on working out what your academic options are, they're good people to speak with.