Code of Student Conduct
The Code of Student Conduct sets out expectations for student behaviour and the procedures the University uses to resolve matters when students' behaviour is unacceptable.
The University expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in their day-to-day activities, including in their dealings with other students, staff and external organisations. The University aims to deal with allegations of misconduct in a fair and consistent manner, following the procedures set out in the Code of Student Conduct.
The guidance below is designed to help staff who receive allegations of student misconduct to address or refer these appropriately.
Staff receiving allegations of student misconduct
The Code of Student Conduct encourages students and members of the public to raise allegations of student misconduct with members of University staff, especially where it may be possible to address these promptly. For more serious or complex allegations, students and members of the public are encouraged to use the University's Complaints Handling Procedure to request an investigation.
Students may also raise allegations and request an investigation via their Student Suport Team or Graduate School. In some cases, staff may directly witness unacceptable behaviour by students.
In some cases, it may be possible for a staff member receiving an allegation of misconduct (or who has witnessed unacceptable behaviour) to resolve the issue promptly at the frontline, where it is safe and appropriate to do so. For example, a staff member may intervene where a student is behaving antisocially in a University building, but the staff member does not feel that it is necessary to involve University Security.
If you are unsure whether it may be appropriate to attempt frontline resolution, please contact Academic Services for advice.
Where allegations are more serious or complex, staff should contact Academic Services to discuss whether it may be necessary to initiate a conduct investigation. Where appropriate, Academic Services will arrange the appointment of a Conduct Investigator to gather evidence and reach a finding in the case.
Where allegations of misconduct raise immediate concerns for the safety and wellbeing of students or staff, the University can take precautionary action to protect the community, whilst the matter is being investigated, without prejudging the outcome of any investigation. Precautionary action can include restricting a student from accessing some (or all) University facilities or participating in University activities, or prohibiting a student from contacting named individuals. Where staff believe it may be necessary for the University to consider taking precautionary action, they should contact Academic Services.
Where a student is found to have breached the Code of Student Conduct, the Conduct Investigator sends a report to either a Student Discipline Officer or the Student Discipline Committee for disciplinary action. Student Discipline Officers can impose penalties upon students in line with those outlined within the Code, for example by applying a reprimand, suspending privileges for a specified period that does not exceed three months, or requiring the student to make an apology to a wronged party. A greater range of penalties can be applied by the Student Discipline Committee, and this includes the option of immediate permanent exclusion from the University with no eligibility for re-admittance on any course or degree programme.
Advice and support for staff
Academic Services provide advice and support to staff who have received, or are investigating, allegations of student misconduct. If you are unsure about what action to take, or where an allegation of misconduct raises concerns regarding the safety or wellbeing of students and staff, our staff can provide support.
Advice for students
Students who are subject to action under the Code of Student Conduct, or wish to complain about the conduct of another student should contact The Advice Place, which is run by Edinburgh University Students’ Association. Staff at the Advice Place are professionals who are experienced in the University’s student conduct process.
Allegations of sexual violence
The University has produced specific guidance for staff and students regarding support available to students who report sexual harassment or assault.
Allegations of antisemitism
At its meeting of 21 July 2020 the University Executive agreed that the University should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism and should use this definition when an allegation of antisemitism is being taken forward under the Code of Student Conduct.
The University will apply the IHRA definition on a case-by-case basis when allegations of antisemitism are being investigated under the Student Code of Conduct.