Academic Services

Code of Student Conduct

What is covered by the Code of Student Conduct and how the University investigates conduct cases.

The Code of Student Conduct sets out how students are expected to behave and the procedures the University uses to address allegations of unacceptable behaviour by students.

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 Code of Student Conduct applies to all students of the University.

Student conduct cases where investigation began on or after 1 August 2019 :


Student conduct cases where investigation began before 1 August 2019:

Reporting 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 Support Team or Graduate School.

Complaints Handling Procedure

Precautionary action

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. The University will carry out a risk assessment to determine whether it is appropriate to take precautionary action and, if so, what action to take. 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.

Investigation under the Code of Student Conduct

In the event that it is appropriate to initiate an investigation, the University will appoint a member of staff to investigate the case. The Conduct Investigator will make contact with the person who has reported the allegation. The Investigator will also provide the student who is alleged to have breached the Code with details of the allegation, and who has reported it, in order for them to respond. The investigation may also involve speaking to any other witnesses, and considering other available evidence.

Student conduct investigations can be complex: in some cases it can take around two to three months to complete an investigation. At the end of the investigation, the Investigator will decide whether, on the balance of probabilities, there is evidence that a student has breached the Code of Student Conduct.

Disciplinary action

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.

Right of appeal

A student who has received a penalty under the Code of Student Conduct has the right to appeal the decision of the Student Discipline Officer or the Student Discipline Committee. Students must appeal within ten working days of the decision being issued. Appeals are submitted to the Secretary of the University's Appeal Committee and must be made on specific grounds. These are detailed in the Code of Student Conduct, Appeals section. Students are encouraged to get in touch with The Advice Place who can provide support and independent advice on appeals.

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 professional staff who are experienced in the University’s student conduct process.

The Advice Place

Allegations of sexual violence

The University has produced specific guidance for students regarding support available to students who report sexual harassment or assault.

Guidance for students

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.


IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism

Dignity and Respect Policy

University Statement on Freedom of Expression


Please send any initial enquiries to the team email address:

Contact details for individual members of the conduct team are below. 

Kathryn Nicol

Head of Academic Policy and Regulation

Contact details

Ailsa Taylor

Academic Policy Officer

Contact details

Roshni Hume

Academic Policy Officer

Contact details

Philippa Ward

Academic Policy Officer

Contact details

Amy Farmer

Academic Policy Officer

Contact details