Guidelines for students accused of sexual violence

These guidelines are intended to provide initial information and advice, and to help you to think about the support you need and how to access it.

Do I need a lawyer?

If you are facing a police investigation or have been charged with a crime, you should seek advice from a lawyer as soon as possible.

If you need help in identifying and appointing a lawyer, the Students’ Association Advice Place can provide help with this.

Contact the Advice Place

What do I need to tell the University?

University regulations require you to tell the University if you have been charged by the police with or convicted of a number of offences, including ones which result in actual bodily harm and offences listed in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

It is possible that the University will be aware of the current situation from other sources, for example, a complaint about you may have been raised with the University. Nonetheless, you should still tell the University as soon as possible if you are charged by the police.

What will the University do?

If there is no police investigation

If the University receives a complaint about your behaviour but the matter is not being investigated by the police, then the University’s own conduct procedures will apply.

Determining a breach of conduct

All students are expected to comply with the Code of Student Conduct.

If the University receives an allegation that a student has breached the Code of Student Conduct, it will normally investigate that allegation.

It will start from the premise that students who are alleged to have committed misconduct are innocent until proven guilty.

It will therefore appoint a member of staff to investigate the allegations and decide whether there has been misconduct.

If found guilty of misconduct

Students subsequently found guilty of misconduct may face a range of penalties with respect to the University (not the law).

Learn more about the Code of Student Conduct and investigation process