A lawyer with experience in university policy


I mentioned that the video of my viva outcome was sent mistakenly to me by the internal.

I received my report for major corrections today and the report has an issues that are completely unachievable.
For example they want me to integrate the 3 chapters ( qual, quan and discussion)
They added points that were never discussed in the viva nor when they were delivering the outcome.
Last week, I spoke to the head of the department and she said that they will send me the report before they sent it to the research unit ( things are not official yet).
The internal was the issue here and she is the one who suggested this list. In the video the external said that he has done the work and it is not fair to give me complete rewrite. However, the report suggests a complete rewrite.

Does anyone know a lawyer who can work on my case?
What should I do to gain my rights as this is totally unfair.


Try Alpha Academic Appeals. I recall them being advertised on this forum. You seem to have a case from what you've mentioned previously.

Avatar for rewt

I don't know any lawyers but what are you trying to achieve? You still passed your viva, albeit with major corrections, and can call yourself Dr. If you dispute the viva result in court with lawyers and don't do the corrections you will technically fail and not be Dr Phd20sb. I know the corrections are brutal but legal action will take a long time and jeopardise your pass. Dealing with it internally and/or doing the corrections will be far easier even if it is unfair.

On the topic of corrections and I may be wrong, if you address the examiners issues they cannot fail you for new issues. I.e. if you merge chapters and the combined chapter then doesn't make sense, I don't think they can fail you for that. As long as you do everything they request, you will most likely pass and be done with the entire process in a few months.



I read your original post and I'm confused as to why you're upset. It does not sound like the reviewers did anything wrong apart from leaving the camera on. Granted, you mentioned the reviewers said something that could be considered 'racist' but you did not say what they said so it's hard to evaluate. Apart from that, what exactly are you upset about? Major Changes is a Pass. You've passed your PhD! Now get on and make the changes asap. If you genuinely don't believe the changes are achievable simply ask for more time. You should be 100% focused on doing the changes, not thinking about taking legal action.



I mean I'm more struck by the fact that the examiners mocked this student, laughed at them and said inappropriate comments about their country? Anyone would be upset at this. How unprofessional and gross of the reviewers. By saying the reviewers did nothing wrong apart from leaving the camera on, are you suggesting it's ok or normal for reviewers to slag off students in this professional setting?

It's also not our place to 'evaluate' whether what they experienced was racism or not and I don't think we should expect a transcript of these hurtful remarks in order to believe Phd20sb.

Oh and they also said the major corrections report does not even match what was discussed in the viva outcome... I'd be annoyed about that too!


We are being asked by the student to provide feedback on their rights and to comment on possible legal action. I don't think its unreasonable to ask/question/evaluate what the reviewers said in order to provide advice. It is our 'place' because the student has asked us to 'place' us in her/his shoes and to provide advice on what they should do.

Yes, it's terrible and entirely unprofessional that the student was mocked, laughed at and inappropriate things were said about their country, but it's not illegal to be a douche bag, in fact, many academics are douche bags! I think the student has every right to be annoyed and upset, but 'being annoyed' is entirely different from taking legal action and it's important that this student understands the implications/ramifications of taking legal action. My advice is to do the changes and get it over and done with.

Avatar for rewt

@cucaracha, I completely agree with you that this is a disgrace and completely unprofessional. However, I have personally noticed from this forum that once lawyers get involved the complaints process grinds to a complete halt and can take months if not years. An internal solution would be preferable (if somewhat unlikely) than a long drawn out process. Doing the corrections is an even safer solution to end this torrid affair. Although you mention requiring a transcript of the remarks, but if you can clip the racist remarks and give it a tasty headline like "Racist lecturer at X university tries to fail PhD student based on race", it may be very helpful.


Phd20sb should absolutely seek advice from their Students Union, supervisors and any other points of support before deciding to take legal action. Going through the uni's complaints procedure should be the first port of call. Make a noise about what has happened. Are your supervisors supportive, Phd20sb?

I'm just shocked at the suggestions that they should passively and quietly accept what's happened because there are lots of douchebag academics/it's safer to just get on with the unfair corrections/the examiners did nothing wrong/it's not illegal. In fact, it's literally a Hate Crime to be racist. Decent unis will also have policies against staff slagging off students in this way... it's completely justified to make noise and seek an apology here.

Maybe I just have a stronger sense of injustice than you lot lol, but I would hate to be in an academic culture where we encourage each other to stay silent and just get on with it rather than speaking out.


At first I thought that you are the internal examiner 🤔
I am extremely upset because they were not professional and I cant reveal what did they say,
I said it is undoable because it does not make sense and it is purely subjective so I can rewrite the chapter 100 times and they will still feel that it is not clear enough because they simply do not want me to pass!!


What I am really worried about is that even after I do the corrections they will still fail me as the internal had some issues with me and the video she was discussing me not my viva or thesis.
One of the comments that she added later suggests that I rewrite the literature review because it is not really clear!! I am convinced that no matter how hard I try she will still simply same not clear,
I am really shocked by this system and how unfair it is


Major Changes is still a pass though, at least in most cases. I would seek advice from your Student Union.

Avatar for rewt

Quote From Phd20sb:
I said it is undoable because it does not make sense and it is purely subjective so I can rewrite the chapter 100 times and they will still feel that it is not clear enough because they simply do not want me to pass!!

They cannot do that. If you were to submit corrections and you state in the note to examiners that you did X, Y, Z to make it more clear they can't fail you for not doing it properly. You passed your viva, so they can't reassess the content.

Also, if you are worried about the internal examiner you can request that the external examiner assess the corrections. Most universities only require one of the examiners review the corrections and if you request that your external review them you can avoid your internal completely.