Low/unfair dissertation mark, should I deal with it or try and appeal?

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Lizz.98
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So I am just finishing my final year and recently got feedback on my dissertation, lets just say I am less than ecstatic. Bar the dissertation module (which accounts for 28 percent of my overall degree grade) I have achieved an average of around 75% for all assignments, and after achieving a 66 for my dissertation, I can no longer get a first-class degree which sucks considering the time/effort I put into it, which I understand doesn't automatically give me the right to a good grade of course.

A couple of weeks before the deadline, I sent a draft (intro + 10% of overall diss) to my supervisor. I had previously told him on two occasions I was aiming for a first in the dissertation, and the responding email to the draft, he said he was "very impressed" with what I had written so far, and that he "loved" the introduction for example. In hindsight, it was this comment that gave me a major false sense of security; only a week before the deadline, I felt as if I was in a great chance for a first and instead of doing major structural work had his feedback been worse, I essentially changed nothing.

So, with minimal adaptations, I sent off my piece, only to receive a mark of 66%. I felt the feedback was very unfair (it was double marked by the way); one said the findings were not remarkably original which I find untrue. My topic involved applying a feminist lens to female-perpetrated terrorism - there was little to no literature regarding feminism and terrorism, which I based my arguments around. Another comment said the case studies I chose were justified on the basis that they garnered gov. attention, which seems to support a state-centric view of terrorism - essentially contradicting a point I made earlier. I don't know where he got that idea from because I mentioned in my methodology section other reasons for choosing those case studies. Etc, etc, etc.

I feel EXTREMELY disappointed in my grade as I was on track for a first (first world problems) and I was wondering if anyone had gone through anything similar & can maybe advise me in what I should do. I felt as if the feedback gave no substantial improvement that would have taken my diss to a first, rather than a 66. I felt as if the feedback contradicted the work in my piece, and to say my arguments were unoriginal felt a little harsh lol. Anyways, should I just deal with it (it was double marked, two lecturers couldn't really have got it wrong) or should I try and find grounds to appeal (no idea if that's even possible as the scope for appeal opportunity at my uni seems rather limited). I really wanted that first </3
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ecolier
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(Original post by Lizz.98)
So I am just finishing my final year and recently got feedback on my dissertation, lets just say I am less than ecstatic. Bar the dissertation module (which accounts for 28 percent of my overall degree grade) I have achieved an average of around 75% for all assignments, and after achieving a 66 for my dissertation, I can no longer get a first-class degree which sucks considering the time/effort I put into it, which I understand doesn't automatically give me the right to a good grade of course.

A couple of weeks before the deadline, I sent a draft (intro + 10% of overall diss) to my supervisor. I had previously told him on two occasions I was aiming for a first in the dissertation, and the responding email to the draft, he said he was "very impressed" with what I had written so far, and that he "loved" the introduction for example. In hindsight, it was this comment that gave me a major false sense of security; only a week before the deadline, I felt as if I was in a great chance for a first and instead of doing major structural work had his feedback been worse, I essentially changed nothing.

So, with minimal adaptations, I sent off my piece, only to receive a mark of 66%. I felt the feedback was very unfair (it was double marked by the way); one said the findings were not remarkably original which I find untrue. My topic involved applying a feminist lens to female-perpetrated terrorism - there was little to no literature regarding feminism and terrorism, which I based my arguments around. Another comment said the case studies I chose were justified on the basis that they garnered gov. attention, which seems to support a state-centric view of terrorism - essentially contradicting a point I made earlier. I don't know where he got that idea from because I mentioned in my methodology section other reasons for choosing those case studies. Etc, etc, etc.

I feel EXTREMELY disappointed in my grade as I was on track for a first (first world problems) and I was wondering if anyone had gone through anything similar & can maybe advise me in what I should do. I felt as if the feedback gave no substantial improvement that would have taken my diss to a first, rather than a 66. I felt as if the feedback contradicted the work in my piece, and to say my arguments were unoriginal felt a little harsh lol. Anyways, should I just deal with it (it was double marked, two lecturers couldn't really have got it wrong) or should I try and find grounds to appeal (no idea if that's even possible as the scope for appeal opportunity at my uni seems rather limited). I really wanted that first </3
Well an appeal is usually for procedural problems, not because you're not happy with your marks or regret what you have / haven't done.

Do you have those?
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artful_lounger
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It's a high 2:1, which is still a strong mark. Also bear in mind you can only appeal procedural issues, not academic judgement, and I'm not sure "I was given good feedback and got a good mark, but not as good as I hoped/expected" is going to be sufficient grounds for appeal. Note also when deciding overall degree classifications, unis usually have leeway with candidates on the borderline between two classifications to deem them to have achieved the higher (or lower) one potentially. Also bear in mind your other modules may be moderated in the summer exam board meeting and you may end up missing a first by a larger margin anyway (or may end up having your marks increased and get one anyway). So it doesn't seem like a huge issue, honestly; it's not like you failed your dissertation and were forced to graduate with an ordinary degree instead of an honours degree.
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Lizz.98
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(Original post by ecolier)
Well an appeal is usually for procedural problems, not because you're not happy with your marks or regret what you have / haven't done.

Do you have those?
Yes we have those, although as I mentioned, I am not sure whether it is even worth the hassle and just wanted to get a second opinion. I did as much as I can although feel a little cheated in terms of feedback, probably won't do anything about it guess I just wanted to rant and see if anyone else had experienced something similar.
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Arden University
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(Original post by Lizz.98)
So I am just finishing my final year and recently got feedback on my dissertation, lets just say I am less than ecstatic. Bar the dissertation module (which accounts for 28 percent of my overall degree grade) I have achieved an average of around 75% for all assignments, and after achieving a 66 for my dissertation, I can no longer get a first-class degree which sucks considering the time/effort I put into it, which I understand doesn't automatically give me the right to a good grade of course.

A couple of weeks before the deadline, I sent a draft (intro + 10% of overall diss) to my supervisor. I had previously told him on two occasions I was aiming for a first in the dissertation, and the responding email to the draft, he said he was "very impressed" with what I had written so far, and that he "loved" the introduction for example. In hindsight, it was this comment that gave me a major false sense of security; only a week before the deadline, I felt as if I was in a great chance for a first and instead of doing major structural work had his feedback been worse, I essentially changed nothing.

So, with minimal adaptations, I sent off my piece, only to receive a mark of 66%. I felt the feedback was very unfair (it was double marked by the way); one said the findings were not remarkably original which I find untrue. My topic involved applying a feminist lens to female-perpetrated terrorism - there was little to no literature regarding feminism and terrorism, which I based my arguments around. Another comment said the case studies I chose were justified on the basis that they garnered gov. attention, which seems to support a state-centric view of terrorism - essentially contradicting a point I made earlier. I don't know where he got that idea from because I mentioned in my methodology section other reasons for choosing those case studies. Etc, etc, etc.

I feel EXTREMELY disappointed in my grade as I was on track for a first (first world problems) and I was wondering if anyone had gone through anything similar & can maybe advise me in what I should do. I felt as if the feedback gave no substantial improvement that would have taken my diss to a first, rather than a 66. I felt as if the feedback contradicted the work in my piece, and to say my arguments were unoriginal felt a little harsh lol. Anyways, should I just deal with it (it was double marked, two lecturers couldn't really have got it wrong) or should I try and find grounds to appeal (no idea if that's even possible as the scope for appeal opportunity at my uni seems rather limited). I really wanted that first </3
Lizz.98
What a fascinating dissertation topic, you should be commended for really thinking outside the box.

Something similar happened to me when I did my BA Hons in Sociology. I got a 1st in all of my essays, and all but one of my exams, and I got a '67' I think it was for my dissertation and it felt quite unfair. Quite often due to the large size of dissertations, students can drop a few marks with ideas getting a bit lost across the work (I've seen this in eight years as a lecturer too).

It is possible that if your grade really doesn't fit within the typical grade profile that you would usually get, it would probably be checked by an internal verifier who can recommend a higher (or lower) grade. I would be tempted to speak to student services to check what the assessment policies are.

Your work sounds really cool to me!

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
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Lizz.98
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(Original post by Arden University)
Lizz.98
What a fascinating dissertation topic, you should be commended for really thinking outside the box.

Something similar happened to me when I did my BA Hons in Sociology. I got a 1st in all of my essays, and all but one of my exams, and I got a '67' I think it was for my dissertation and it felt quite unfair. Quite often due to the large size of dissertations, students can drop a few marks with ideas getting a bit lost across the work (I've seen this in eight years as a lecturer too).

It is possible that if your grade really doesn't fit within the typical grade profile that you would usually get, it would probably be checked by an internal verifier who can recommend a higher (or lower) grade. I would be tempted to speak to student services to check what the assessment policies are.

Your work sounds really cool to me!

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
Thank you so much for your nice response! Since posting this I have come to terms with it haha, I have read from other posts on this site that a lot of people seem to get firsts throughout the year then miss out on a first-class degree due to their dissertation! It seems frustrating at first but like you said, but it is what is is I suppose.
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Arden University
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(Original post by Lizz.98)
Thank you so much for your nice response! Since posting this I have come to terms with it haha, I have read from other posts on this site that a lot of people seem to get firsts throughout the year then miss out on a first-class degree due to their dissertation! It seems frustrating at first but like you said, but it is what is is I suppose.
Lizz.98
It sounds like you know your stuff. Just because someone doesn't get a 1st doesn't mean they won't go on and do amazing at future study or a career, I think the average grade in the UK is a 2:2, some of my best nursing students get merits for their academic work but become brilliant nurses, as it is about soft skills too

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
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