I am registered as a post graduate student in Data Science and Analytics in the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences in Brunel University. On 17/09/2021, I submitted a coursework extenuating circumstance claim to the University relating to the module CS5500-CB_Dissertation which was due on 21/09/2021. The claim was rejected following lack of supporting evidence. Following the rejection of my first request, I filed another EC claim supported by a doctor’s letter. We engaged in several email exchange with my Senior Tutor Mr. Malhotra when trying to ascertain the validity of the letter. Following the misconduct investigations, I received a misconduct acknowledgment note on 20/09/2021. On 4/10/2021, I admitted to the letter not being genuine and the same was reiterated in my response to the right to comment stage of the investigation on 14/11/2021.

The panel then send me a notice for student academic misconduct meeting on 25/02/2022. The academic misconduct proceedings were based on breach of Senate Regulation 6.2. Regulation 6.21c and 6.21g provided for falsification of evidence and submission of fraudulent extenuating circumstances claim as an offence. The issue for determination was that I had falsified a doctor’s report as a reason for my request for an extension period for submission of my dissertation. The proceedings took place on 25/02/2022. During the proceedings, I submitted my evidence in person and I did not call any witnesses. I accepted the allegations but submitted to the panel that I had suffered from covid-19 approximately three times. Due to the long waiting time of two weeks when my dissertation was due on 21/09/2021, upon filing the second request I provided the doctor’s letter under the impression that my claim would be rejected if I did not give the evidence there and then.

The written decision of the panel was sent to me on 3/3/2022. The panel resolved to apply the following penalty: a mark of zero / grade of F will be assigned to the Dissertation and to the associated assessment block. Reassessment is required (second and final attempt), but the maximum achievable grade in the assessment block will be capped at C-. The affected assessment block will contribute grade point 0 to the GPA calculation for the classification of any award. The panel also averred that the only reason that they did not issue the expulsion penalty was because they acknowledged lack of information on the university’s part (Par. 4 of the decision of the panel in The panel Outcome attachment). After issue of the decision, I was given an appeal window of 14 days making the deadline for filing of the appeal 17/3/2022.

I was however not able to file my appeal until 20/07/2022 via the misconduct appeal form. My appeal request was however declined by the Head of Student Affairs based on lack of a compelling reason for the delay. The Head of Student Affairs found that the GP letter was dated 10th June while acknowledging that I presented to a colleague with symptoms of low mood secondary to Extreme stress. My request for appeal was declined since I did not provide a compelling reason for my whereabouts during the period between 3/3/2022 and 17/3/2022.

Following the end of my university’s procedures, vide a letter containing the decision on request for my appeal, I was referred to file a complaint under the OIA. I believe that I have grounds of review based on procedural irregularity which is premised on the constant change of policies by the university without sufficient notice to the student and despite the EC claim site having an option for submission of evidence on a later date, my request was declined (Screenshot of university’s rejection of time extension).


I wish to make an appeal on the ground that there has been a procedural irregularity in the university’s EC claims procedure.

Procedural Irregularity and Uncertainty

During my EC application on 17/09/2021, I was not given any advise whatsoever by the department on options in relation to the No-detriment policy of the college. The EC claims department made no mention of the no-detriment policy applicable in regards to Covid-19. If the options available under the no-detriment policy of covid-19 had been spelt out to me, I would not have committed the fraudulent falsification of the doctor’s letter since I was under pressure to adduce supporting evidence. During the passing of the decision by the panel, the panel made me aware of the no-detriment policy terms that: “the University’s Covid-19 No-Detriment Policy still applied to any Postgraduate students submitting their dissertation as a first attempt in September 2021. This meant that:

  • If the dissertation was submitted and given a failing grade (anything below C-), you would have been offered a second and final attempt (uncapped).
  • If the dissertation was not submitted, you would have been offered a second and final attempt (capped).” (Paragraph 6 of the decision of the panel on the letter dated 3/3/2022.

The panel pronounced itself on this status quo but I was not afforded the privileges springing from the no-detriment policy on covid-19 since upon filing of my first EC application. It was declined on the grounds of lack of supporting evidence. Due to the first approaching due date of the dissertation submission and deterioration in the covid-19 infection, I was under the pressure to adduce any compelling evidence to avoid academic issues with the university. I forged the doctor’s letter since that was the option available to me considering the circumstances of the situation and with the information, I had received from the EC claims department. If the university had informed me of the options available to me under the no-detriment policy, the pressure for submission of supporting evidence would not arise and I would have not been in breach of the Senate Regulations on EC claims.

Secondly, the EC application portal has an option for submission of evidence on a later date. However, upon filing my first EC application, a rejection of the claim was sent within 15 minutes. Considering that the initial application made on the 17/09/21 (at 15:23 PM) was rejected, I filed a fresh EC claim under which I attached the doctor’s letter as supporting evidence. I was not given adequate time to submit evidence of sickness affecting my academic performance for my dissertation (end of year module) hence the urgency and pressure to falsify evidence. Additionally, the procedure when one seeks to provide evidence at a later date is not clear on whether the EC claim is closed or it should remain open until the date of submission of the evidence. I later received a genuine doctor’s letter acknowledging the Covid-19 which was after the denial of the 14 days extension for submission of evidence by the EC department. The genuine doctor’s letter will be attached under my attachments as evidence that I  did not in any way have a fraudulent intention but the necessity of the circumstances of my situation.

This screenshot of Doc 6 (of the review evidence) indicates that the staff may have an option to grant time to the EC applicant leaving the case open till further notice. According to the Mark Perry staff email, a period of time is granted on the email response from the EC claims department until a certain time. In this case, according to Doc 7 (appendix 2) this time would have been 05/10/21. This time was not given to me which would have been critical to my circumstances, in fact I would have been able to provide a genuine medical report confirming my sickness. If the EC department had informed me of the later date for submission of my evidence, I would have provided genuine evidence of my illness. I was only told of the time extension possibility when I phoned Mark Perry who explained how exactly the EC procedure works. This information was given to me after the misconduct had occurred. This should have been mentioned in that crucial email of rejection from the EC department.


  1. During the Covid-19 pandemic period, the GPs were extremely busy and obtaining a GP letter under the circumstances would take a long time which was not given to me during my EC claim application.
  2. I have promising grades and I have not been involved in any misconduct cases with the university other than this one.
  • I also suffered from depression following the decision of the panel evidenced by the doctor’s note.


  1. I pray that an order is issued to the university for allowance of the submission my Masters’ dissertation.


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