Student Misconduct Procedure
The Student Misconduct Procedure (formerly the Student Disciplinary Procedure) is designed to allow the University to deal with allegations relating to student discipline or behaviour. It cannot, and does not, seek to replace other civil or criminal processes which should be used where more appropriate.
The Student Misconduct Procedure can look at a broad range of activities, including misuse of social media, academic misconduct, aggressive behaviour and misuse of University property (see Procedure for a fuller list). Some University policies, such as the ICT Acceptable Use Policy, may escalate cases to the Misconduct Procedure where relevant.
If you have been invited to meet for an informal discussion (preliminary interview) under the procedure, it means there have been concerns raised about your conduct. The communication inviting you to the meeting should clearly set out what these concerns are. At this stage the University is invoking the procedure, but no formal action is currently being taken.
Find the Student Misconduct Procedure document in our Student-Facing Policies and Procedures repository.
Action (including suspension) pending a hearing
Where allegations are considered most serious, particularly, but not exclusively, those relating to aggravated, aggressive and violent acts, the University may, on reviewing the risks to all parties, decide to take action pending a hearing. This is a precautionary measure and does not assume that misconduct has occurred.
This form of action is flexible, and where practicable the University will seek to minimize the disruption to the studies of the student against whom the concern is raised. However in some instances this is not possible.
The Procedure allows for a student to request a review of suspension pending a hearing where there is evidence of significantly altered circumstances. You will need to submit the request, along with the relevant evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org (see relevant section of the Procedure for further details).
How cases are considered
Many concerns are dealt with informally, however where the matter is considered serious, the case may enter a formal stage. The most serious cases will be referred to a University Student Misconduct Panel; this Panel will take an independent view on whether there is evidence the misconduct occurred, and if it did to impose an appropriate sanction.
Where a case is not considered most serious, then it may be referred to a School level hearing (Summary Hearing) with the Dean of School (or nominee).
A University Student Misconduct Panel can impose a range of sanctions from a written undertaking to be of good behaviour, up to expulsion from the University (details in the Procedure). A School level hearing has a more restricted range of sanctions, excluding suspension, removal of credit and expulsion.
You will have received a letter advising of the date and time of the hearing and the detailed nature of the allegation. You will have the opportunity to submit a written response and also to attend the hearing, currently via video conference, to address any allegation.
The hearing will be with the Dean of School/Director of Professional Service (or nominee), plus one other member of staff who will take a record of the hearing.
The sanctions that can be applied are:
A written undertaking from you for future good conduct, this may include an agreement not to contact named individuals, a written reflection, an action plan:
A first written warning;
A final written warning;
A fine and/or Compensation;
Performance of unpaid services.
University Student Misconduct Panel
This will occur where any alleged misconduct is deemed to be most serious and the matter has been referred by the Dean of School/Director of Professional Services for consideration. The Student Misconduct Panel comprises two academic members of staff (one who serves as Chair) and a nominee of the Students’ Union. A member of staff who acts as Secretary to the meeting but does not take part in the deliberative process will also be present.
The Dean of School/Director of Professional and Administrative Services or nominee will speak to the alleged misconduct whilst you or your representative will be able to speak in response. As in the case of a Summary Hearing the outcome is decided on the balance of probabilities. The sanctions available to the Student Misconduct Panel include those available to a Summary Hearing, plus:
Suspension (up to 12 months);
Withdrawal of academic credit or award;
For serious cases of academic misconduct referred to a Student Misconduct Panel via the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedure (AMP), the Panel also has recourse to the range of academic sanctions within that Procedure.
You should be aware that, where there has been a finding against you or an ongoing consideration of an allegation against them under a University procedure such as Academic Misconduct, Code of Conduct, Fitness to Practise or Student Misconduct, then you may not be eligible to participate in some activities, such as studying or working abroad or professional placements. Restrictions may also be imposed by the Students’ Union and individual partner institutions and as such details of restrictions will depend on the programme of study and the proposed partner institution. If you have concerns about this, you are advised to contact your School.
You have the right to appeal against a decision taken at Summary hearing, or by a Student Misconduct Panel, as long as the appeal is submitted on one of the three grounds set out in the Procedure and within the timescale allowed. Third parties cannot challenge decisions made through this Procedure.
You will need to complete an appeal form and send this via email to email@example.com. The timescale to submit your appeal is 10 working days from the date of the email confirming the outcome of your original hearing.
There are no further stages in the University Procedure; however, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) provides an independent scheme for the review of student complaints. Further information can be found on their website.
The University will seek to resolve all matters promptly. Where investigators need to speak to a range of people, such as those at external placements, this can add to the time it takes.
Cases involving matters being considered by police, criminal or civil procedures, including professional body procedures, may be put on hold until those external proceedings are completed or the University is given permission to proceed. This can extend the whole process significantly.
Raising a concern
Depending on the nature of the concern, if you wish to raise a concern about the behaviour of another student you can raise it with Report & Support, your Personal Tutor, the Wellbeing team or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will not normally take forward anonymous reports, unless corroborating evidence can be provided. The University may withhold personal information about individuals involved in a case from other parties, if, and when, it is considered appropriate and does not have a negative effect on the intention to ensure ‘natural justice’.
Individual independent advice to students is available from the Students’ Union’s Advice Centre. Depending on the nature of the concerns raised you may also be able to get further information from the Investigator within the School, your Personal Tutor or Programme Leader.
The Quality and Enhancement Office can advise you on general enquires about the procedure by emailing email@example.com.