Students

Good Citizen Guide

Guidelines on how our University community can act responsibly to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Download our Good Citizen Guide  

Our responsibility as a community

Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions remain in place in the UK and we each have an ongoing responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus, including variants of concern that could cause another wave. Please follow guidelines designed to meet that obligation both on and off campus.

If you are new to Scotland, then it’s important to realise that the Covid-19 rules in Scotland are different to the rules in the rest of the UK, and of course internationally. We all need to know the rules that apply across Scotland or we might find ourselves breaking the law or being in breach of University regulations – this includes our Code of Student Conduct.

If you need further advice about what the expectations are regarding Covid-19 safety measures, you can check the guidance on the University’s web pages or contact us.

The Covid-19 guidelines in Scotland

Information about the current rules in Scotland, including any local restrictions, can be found here:

Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions 

Localised restrictions in Scotland 

In line with Scottish Government guidance, you should:

  • Wear a face covering where required to do so
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines
  • Download the Protect Scotland app, which identifies people who may be at risk from Covid-19 because they have been in close contact with someone who has the virus 
  • Self-isolate and get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms

Guidelines on face coverings

Guidelines on obtaining a Covid-19 test

University expectations

When you come to study at the University of Edinburgh, you are choosing to join a community of students and staff who care about our University and about each other. Nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing of our community. We will always act decisively to protect this.

If we all stick to guidelines, then we will have played our part in helping to keep the University and the wider community safe and well. That is our expectation.

What do I do if someone else does not comply with Covid-19 Guidelines?

If you feel someone has acted in a way that places others at risk, or they appear to be intentionally disobeying the rules, you can approach your Student Support Team or Graduate School or the Residence Life Team in University-managed accommodation. You can also report this using the Complaints Handling Procedure.  If you need help out of hours please contact Security. 

What happens if someone is reported for not following the Covid-19 guidelines?

We will remind people about the rules and may need to issue a warning. We will consider whether the situation requires further action in line with the Code of Student Conduct but our approach begins by sharing information and working collaboratively with students on how to maintain a safe community.

Contacting your Student Support Team 

Contacting Residence Life 

How is Student Misconduct handled?

All students are subject to the Code of Student Conduct. This sets out expectations which include behaviour on campus, online and off campus where the safety, interests or reputation of the University, its students and others are concerned. The Code also sets out the procedure for investigating and taking disciplinary action where there is an allegation that an individual student has breached these expectations.

If a student intentionally or repeatedly fails to comply with Covid-19 safety measures, they may be in breach of the Code and could face an investigation and possible disciplinary action.

The Code outlines (at Section 12) the kinds of behaviour which would be considered unacceptable within the University community. These include:

  • behaving in a way likely to cause injury or to impair safety;
  • failing to comply with any University rule, regulation or policy.

The University regards compliance with statutory guidelines relating to Covid-19 as essential to maintaining safety; as such, we are likely to treat breaches of these guidelines under sections 12.7, 12.9, 12.14, 12.15, 12.20 of the Code.

What are the Penalties for misconduct?

Following an investigation, if a student is found to have committed a breach of the Code of Student Conduct by breaching Covid-19 guidelines, this will be considered by a Student Discipline Officer or by the Student Discipline Committee.

Indicative guidance on the types of penalties likely to be imposed for different categories of offence is provided in the following table.

The content of the table is not binding on the University: in each case, the Student Discipline Officer or Student Discipline Committee can impose any of the penalties permitted within the Code (sections 60 and 84, respectively), as appropriate to the circumstances. University penalties may be imposed in addition to any sanctions that may be imposed by the police.

Offences also involving breaches of other aspects of the Code of Student Conduct, for example threatening or abusive behaviour, damage to property, or any form of violence, are likely to lead to the application of the most severe penalties.

Examples of penalties that may be given:

Category of offence Indicative penalties
  • Failure to wear face-covering, as required;
  • failure to observe signs in place on campus (e.g. one-way systems);
  • Formal reprimand;
  • Fine of up to £50
  • failure to comply with a reasonable request in relation to Covid-19 guidelines
  • Formal reprimand;
  • Fine of up to £150;
  • Probation for up to 3 months;
  • Suspension of specified privileges for up to 3 months (e.g. access to certain facilities)
Failure to comply with a requirement to self-isolate or quarantine
  • Probation for up to 3 months;
  • Suspension of specified privileges for up to 3 months (e.g. access to certain facilities);
  • Termination of occupancy in student accommodation
Hosting or facilitating a gathering indoors or outdoors against current restrictions
  • Formal reprimand;
  • Fine of up to £150;
  • Probation for up to 3 months;
  • Suspension of specified privileges for up to 3 months (e.g. access to certain facilities);
  • Termination of occupancy in student accommodation
  • Coughing or spitting at another individual (or threatening to do so);
  • making physical contact with another individual (or threatening to do so)
  • Suspension of specified privileges for up to 12 months (e.g. access to certain facilities);
  • Full suspension from studies at the University for up to 12 months;
  • Termination of occupancy in student accommodation;
  • Permanent exclusion from the University
  • Persistent or repeated breach of any Covid-19 restrictions;
  • multiple breaches of Covid-19 restrictions
  • Suspension of specified privileges for up to 12 months (e.g. access to certain facilities);
  • Full suspension from studies at the University for up to 12 months;
  • Termination of occupancy in student accommodation;
  • Permanent exclusion from the University

Advice for students

If you are subject to action under the Code of Student Conduct, you should contact the Advice Place, which is run by Edinburgh University Students’ Association. Staff at the Advice Place are independent professionals who are experienced in the University’s student conduct process.

The Advice Place