Academic Services

Code of Student Conduct

How the University manages unacceptable behaviour by students

The University is committed to fostering a positive culture for working and studying for all students, where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, free from violence, harassment, bullying and discrimination.

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 unacceptable behaviour in a fair and consistent manner, following the procedures set out in the Code of Student Conduct.

The Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct ("the Code") applies to all students of the University. 

Student conduct cases where investigation began on or after 16 January 2023:


Student conduct cases where investigation began before 16 January 2023:


Notes of the key changes in the 16 January 2023 Code


High level overview of the student conduct process

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 

The University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) website provides information for staff and students on current University equality, diversity and inclusion policies. The University ‘Respect at Edinburgh’ website provides information and guidance including the University Dignity and Respect Policy, and University Statement on Freedom of Expression.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Respect at Edinburgh

Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

The University has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of Islamophobia. Further information on University EDI policies and positions can be found by following the link below.

EDI policies and positions

If staff receive a report of unacceptable behaviour by a student

Staff can use the information below to signpost students, staff and members of the public to the appropriate reporting route and sources of support.

Staff can contact the Student Conduct team at any time to discuss a concern: 

Frontline resolution

In some cases it may be possible to resolve an issue locally, without requiring a formal conduct process. If this is not possible or appropriate, staff who receive a report of unacceptable behaviour should follow the guidance below. If you are unsure whether frontline resolution is appropriate, you can contact the Student Conduct team. 

Reporting routes

Information for students on how to request an investigation under the Code of Student Conduct:

Requesting an investigation

Members of the public are encouraged to report allegations of student misconduct through the University complaints handling procedure:

Complaint handling procedure

If a member of staff wishes to report an allegation of student misconduct, they may report this to their Head of School, Head of College or Head of the relevant Service or Support Group, or their respective nominee). This person will then decide whether to pass the report to the Student Conduct team at

Reports involving gender based violence

If a report from a student concerns gender based violence, please see the guidance below:

Supporting students who report gender based violence

Reports of misconduct that could constitute a crime

The University can investigate misconduct that could constitute a crime, provided that the alleged behaviour would plausibly be a breach of the Code if proven.

A student can report an issue to the police and the University at the same time – the University is unlikely to investigate a matter at the same time that it is being considered by the police or in the criminal justice system, but the University may, on the basis of a risk assessment, take precautionary action during the police or criminal process.

Students or staff affected by alleged student misconduct are entitled to decide whether they wish to make a report to the police, or to request an investigation by the University. Students and staff can access University support services regardless of whether they decide to make a report to the police, or request a University investigation,  but the action that the University can take may be more limited. 

Any decision to make a police report without the consent of the person who has been affected by the alleged misconduct should only be made by senior University staff such as the University Secretary, and would only occur if this was deemed necessary to mitigate serious risk to the University community.

Staff should make students aware that they cannot offer complete confidentiality.  

Students accused of a crime

Under the Degree Regulations, students are required to inform the University if they are charged with or convicted of a relevant crime.

Declaring criminal charges and convictions

Advice for students who have been accused of a crime is on the Students' Association Advice Place website:

Accused of a crime

Screening reports of student misconduct

All reports of student misconduct are screened for action under the Code. The criteria for screening, set out in the Code (section 38), are:

a) The report relates to an allegation which, if proven, could plausibly be regarded as a potential breach of the Code; and

b) The information provided suggests that there is a realistic prospect that sufficient evidence will be available to determine whether or not the alleged incident has occurred.

Screening is normally carried out by the Student Conduct team, on behalf of the Deputy Secretary Students.

Supporting students in the conduct process

All students involved in a conduct investigation, whether they are reporting parties or respondents (students being investigated for alleged misconduct) can access University support services. The links below provide detailed guidance and links to support, and staff can use this information to help them support students.

Guidance for students who have raised a student conduct issue:

Requesting an investigation

Guidance for students who have been or may be reported for alleged misconduct:

Being investigated

Other sources of guidance and support for all students

Student Advisors and School Student Support Teams

The Equally Safe Team

The Advice Place

University health and wellbeing services

Student Discipline Officers

Conduct statistics