Academic Services

Support for study

The Support for Study policy is a supportive way of assisting the small number of students whose behaviour gives cause for concern. It offers an alternative to disciplinary action when a student’s behaviour may be affected by health conditions or disabilities.

Support for study process

Stage 1 - Emerging concerns

When initial or moderate concerns arise about a student’s health, wellbeing, behaviour and the impact this is having on their academic engagement or on staff or other students, these should be dealt with locally (that is through discussion with the student) by the appropriate member of staff (for example Personal Tutor, Supervisor or Student Support Team). This is broadly in line with current practice.

Stage 2 - Ongoing, repeated or more serious concerns

Where actions taken under Stage 1 do not resolve the issue (or where concerns are more acute and/or reappear at a later date), the case should be referred to the Support for Study Panel in the student’s College. This is a small, pastoral committee convened by the Dean of Students in each College, together with a Senior Tutor (or similar) and an appropriate head of a central support service (for example, Director of the Counselling Service.)

The Panel will seek to discuss the continuing issues with the student in a supportive manner and identify mutually agreed steps that can be taken to support the student and improve the situation.

The Panel’s primary aim is the welfare of students but it also aims to support the work of Personal Tutors, Student Support Officers and other staff involved in the pastoral care of students. It provides a formal referral point for staff who are unable to resolve issues at stage 1, or where student behaviour is of such concern that an immediate referral is required.

Students will normally be referred to the Panel by the Head of School, a Senior Tutor, Head of Graduate School or equivalent. If you wish to refer a student to the College Panel, please speak to one of these individuals in the first instance. You will need to provide information on the case, the cause for concern and the support that has been provided to date.

Cases may also be referred to this Panel from the Board of Examiners and Special Circumstances Committees, or (under the Code of Student Conduct) by Conduct Investigators or Discipline Officers investigating allegations of misconduct.

If you have more questions about the Support for Study Panel in your College, please contact:

  • CAHSS: Dr Jeremy Crang, Dean of Students
  • CMVM: Dr Geoff Pearson, Dean of Students
  • CSE: Dr Antony Maciocia, Dean of Students

Further action

Where there are urgent or persistent concerns about behaviour, it may be necessary to refer the case to the Head of School for investigation under the Code of Student Conduct and referral to the Student Discipline Committee. The Committee’s powers were revised in 2014/15 to give them the power to request medical evidence from a student and a new penalty has been approved, namely suspension from study for a fixed period of time.

More information

Support for Study policy

Flowchart setting out the steps involved in the Support for Study process.


For further information on the policy contact:

Jean Grier

Research and Projects Officer for the Vice Principals

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University Secretary's Group

Contact details



Old College
South Bridge

Post Code