An Oxford graduate has won a round in his £1million legal battle over his failure to get a first from Oxford University.

Faiz Siddiqui alleges the 'appallingly bad' teaching he received on the Indian special subject part of his modern history course resulted in him only getting an upper second degree when he took his finals in June 2000.

He blamed the situation on a number of members of staff being absent on sabbatical leave at the same time, and says there was a failure to remedy the issue.

He also alleged the university mishandled medical information about him being submitted to the examiners, although Oxford University said this was taken into account.

Mr Siddiqui, 38, says he would have had a career as an international commercial lawyer if he had gained the top qualification at the end of his time at Brasenose College.

He claims his anxiety, depression and insomnia have been significantly exacerbated by the wrongs he claims to have suffered.

Oxford University, which says his case has no merit and was brought outside the legal time limit, asked Mr Justice Kerr to strike it out at this early stage.

But, in London on Monday, the High Court judge allowed the action to proceed to be fully argued.

He said it was agreed resources were stretched to teach the course, and part of Mr Siddiqui's claim has a real prospect of success.

Mr Siddiqui did not have an overwhelmingly strong case in relation to his medical issues but this too passed the legal test of whether it had a real chance of success, the judge said.

While the university was right about the number of years that had passed, so that memories had dimmed and Mr Siddiqui's exam scripts were unavailable, Mr Siddiqui had a real chance of persuading a judge the case was not time-barred or it would be just for it to proceed in any event.

Directing that the claim should be tried as soon as possible, he said: "For those reasons I am satisfied the university has a case to answer."