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Special Cases Committee (Senate)

On behalf of Senate to take final decisions on all cases referred to it under Regulations 2, 5 and 6 and Ordinance 8. This includes regulations on assessment; regulations regarding procedures for students on taught and research programmes; and exemptions from part of a programme of study in the University. The SCC deals with student cases where progression is not as expected, and handles student appeals.

Chair and members


  • Dr M Cockett, Chemistry

Deputy Chair 

  •  Dr J Goldberg, History

Nineteen* members appointed by Senate, at least one of whom should be a member of Senate

  • Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas, Psychology to serve until 31 July 2020 (Appeals Chair)
  • Dr S Hellmuth, Linguistics to serve until 31 July 2020 (Appeals Chair)
  • Dr Erica Sheen, English to serve until 31 July 2020
  • Dr L Baxter, Management to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr J Goldberg, History to serve until 31 July 2021 (Deputy Chair)
  • Dr J Jacob, Computer Science to serve until 31 July 2021 
  • Dr B Lee, Philosophy to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr P Lightfoot, Physics to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr Jason Lynam, Chemistry to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr J Nuechterlein, History of Art to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr S Olive, Education to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Dr A Rees, Sociology to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Professor C Skinner, Social Policy and Social Work to serve until 31 July 2021
  • Professor T Stoneham, Philosophy to serve until 31 July 2021** (Deputy Chair, Research students)
  • Dr P Cox, Hull York Medical School/Archaeology to serve until 31 July 2022 (Appeals Chair)
  • Professor T Lightfoot, Health Sciences to serve until 31 July 2022**

*There are currently three vacancies on the Committee

**denotes member of Senate

Agendas and minutes

  • Ms K Lucas / Mr R Simpson, Student Services

In attendance

Senior member of Student Services, or deputising senior colleague (at full Committee hearings if required)

Terms of reference

  1. On behalf of Senate to take final decisions on all cases referred to it under Regulations 2, 5 and 6 and Ordinance 8 of the University Ordinances and Regulations and in particular to decide cases relating to students where:

    (a) a proposed variation in the normal pattern of registration or progression for a University qualification is recommended
    (b) accreditation of prior learning or exemption from a prescribed period of study not covered by the Accrediation of Prior Learning (APL) policy is recommended
    (c) progression is not as expected
    (d) the award of an aegrotat degree is proposed
  2. In cases of academic misconduct to consider, where required, recommendations from Boards of Studies or Graduate Schools Boards.
  3. To consider appeals by students against decisions of Boards of Studies, Boards of Examiners, Departmental Exceptional Circumstances Committees or decisions taken by Chair's action by the Chair or their nominee, affecting students' academic progress.
  4. To decide any other special cases referred to the Committee by Boards of Studies, Graduate Schools Boards, Standing Committee on Assessment, or by Senate.
  5. To monitor and review statistical information on the cases within the Committee's purview, and to report annually to Senate.
  6. To report to Senate following each of its meetings, where appropriate.
  7. To have regard at all times to principles of equity, fairness and transparency and to bear in mind relevant Equality and Diversity, confidentiality and data protection policies and legislation.

SCC Procedures

  1. The Special Cases Committee deals with all students (taught and research) and all decisions will be taken either by a full meeting of the Committee, a Special Cases hearing (see points 5-8) or a Chair’s action meeting (see point 4).
  2. The procedure for handling student appeals is defined formally by Regulations 2.8 and 6.7 of the University Ordinances and Regulations and by the published Student Academic Appeals Procedures.

  3. A full meeting of the Committee (i.e. a policy meeting or hearing) will be considered quorate provided a minimum of three members are present.
  4. The Chair, Deputy Chair, Appeals Chair or Chair's nominee have discretion to decide on cases, as appropriate, in consulation with an ordinary member of the Committee but without reference to the full Committee. The majority of cases are considered in this way. This is known as a Chair’s action meeting.
  5. A Special Cases hearing is a full meeting of the Committee to which the student is invited, along with the Chair of the Board of Studies or Chair of Graduate Schools Board (or their nominee), the student’s supervisor, and/or other members of the University as determined necessary by the Chair (or Deputy Chair).  The student can be accompanied by a YUSU or GSA representative and/or a friend, who must be a registered employee or student at the University. The Chair of Special Cases Committee (or Deputy if they have called the hearing) decides who is invited to attend the hearing.
  6. Special Cases hearings are called at the discretion of the Chair of the Special Cases Committee, or their nominee. A Special Cases hearing will only be held if, in the judgement of the Chair, a hearing is necessary to resolve any issues which cannot be resolved by reference to the submitted documentation (with the exception of the circumstances outlined in point 7 below). As a guide, a hearing is also likely to be called in the following circumstances:
  • The total accrued leave of absence, or total length of programme extension for a taught student, becomes so lengthy that the student’s likelihood of successfully completing their programme is called into question;
  • An extension request or leave of absence request for a research student exceeds the limits specified in the Policy on Research Degrees.
  1. A hearing will always be held where a student appeals against a recommendation for termination of enrolment on the grounds that the student is academically unsatisfactory, other than where triggered by failure of the programme or failure to progress.

  1. Former members of the Committee are permitted to be part of a panel hearing cases if called upon to do so in exceptional circumstances and provided that only one such person takes part in any one hearing.

  1. New members of the Committee are permitted to attend hearings and Chair's action meetings in an observing capacity, in addition to the panel selected to hear or consider the case, in order to become familiar with the hearing process.

Who to contact

  • Student Hub
    Market Square
    Tel: 01904 324140
  • Office hours: Undergraduate Term Time 9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday);                         All Other Times 10am - 4pm (Monday to Friday)