Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct (.pdf) sets out the standards of behaviour that the University expects and the action that will be taken where behaviour falls below these standards. The Code forms part of a range of measures the University has in place to safeguard and promote a safe culture across the University community and to enable our students to realise their full potential in a safe, healthy and inclusive environment.

The Student Conduct Regulations describe the actions which are considered to be unacceptable behaviour. They are presented in full in Appendix 1 with examples of the types of penalties that may be imposed as a result of a breach.

In accepting a place at the University all students agree to comply with the University’s regulations, policies and procedures which include the Code of Student Conduct. You should familiarise yourself fully with the Code of Student Conduct.

If you witness or experience behaviour that does not uphold our values, you are expected to speak out and the University will listen and take action.

Report an incident

If you are the victim of, or witness to, an incident that you feel is a breach of the Code, you should report the incident by completing an incident report form. You can also report via ‘Report + Support’ including anonymously. 

You are encouraged to contact Students’ Union Advice if you need help to complete the form.

The University’s conduct procedures are not intended to replace criminal proceedings and if the allegation you have made may also constitute an offence under criminal law, you are expected to report the matter to the Police.


You have the right to receive the support and advice of the University’s and Students’ Union’s support services at all stages of the procedures described in the Code, whether an allegation has been made against you, or you have reported an allegation, or are a witness.

All students involved in procedures under this Code have the right to be accompanied by a fellow student, a member of staff or a representative of SU Advice or the Students’ Union at any meetings conducted as part of the Code. Whoever accompanies you must not be involved in the case. As the Code of Student Conduct is not a criminal process, legal representatives are not permitted to be present at any stage of the conduct process.

Reasonable Adjustments

If you have a disability or an ongoing medical condition, and you are having difficulties in taking part in these procedures, then we can also consider making individual arrangements for you. To find out if this is available for you, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service via the Student Services Hub.

Students' Union (SU) Advice

SU Advice is a confidential, independent and impartial service that is not part of the University.

They will provide a named advisor who will meet with you and support and guide you throughout the process, and can help you prepare for meetings with the Conduct Investigator and/or with the Conduct Committee, and attend with you if you choose. They will also provide you with advice and support following the conclusion of a case, including, where applicable, information about whether you may have grounds for appeal, and support relating to any ongoing impact of any penalty imposed. They will aim to ensure that procedures are followed and that all students involved are given a fair opportunity to present their case.

At the point at which the Conduct Investigator initiates an investigation, they will provide the name and e-mail address of the student(s) involved in the investigation to SU Advice who will make contact. No details of the case will be shared. You are strongly encouraged to respond to this initial contact and make use of this service at all stages of the process.

Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service

All students involved in procedures under this Code can obtain confidential advice and assistance from the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS).

If you are involved in an allegation that falls under the University’s Zero Tolerance Policy that may result in a breach of Regulations A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6, at the point at which the Conduct Investigator initiates an investigation, they will provide the name and e-mail address of the student(s) involved in the investigation to a member of SWIS who will make contact with you. No details of the case will be shared. You are strongly encouraged to respond to this contact and make the most of this service at all stages of the process.

Residence Life

Residence Life are a team of full time staff and part time student staff. Every student living in campus accommodation is allocated to a specific Residents’ Assistant (RA) who will be living on campus in University accommodation. The RAs are returning students trained to offer support, advice and signposting.

After an incident has been reported

The incident report form will be passed to the Conduct Investigator for review. All allegations are considered seriously and action will always be taken where it is possible to do so.

Before the investigation begins, an assessment of risk will be undertaken through a formal risk assessment process. This enables decisions to be taken about any temporary orders that may need to be put in place to safeguard students while an investigation is underway. Precautionary measures that could be put in place include non-contact orders between those involved in a complaint or, where this is warranted by the circumstance of a complaint, the temporary exclusion from some or all parts of our campuses of students about whom complaints have been made. Such measures are not used as a penalty and are put in place to safeguard the interests of the members of our community, including those involved in the complaint.

Any party involved in a case may be subject to a temporary order while an investigation is underway. A temporary order may involve a non-contact order, for example between the reported student and complainant, or full or partial exclusion from the University. A partial exclusion may involve exclusion from a University campus at certain times of day, or exclusion from certain specified areas, such as accommodation. The precise terms of the exclusion are determined through the assessment of risk. More information on temporary orders is provided in Appendix 3 of the Code of Student Conduct (.pdf) 

The Conduct Investigator may decide to issue an informal warning; use the Early Resolution Procedure; or carry out a formal investigation. 

If the Conduct Investigator decides to carry out a formal investigation they will normally arrange a series of formal meetings to discuss the allegation with the person or persons who made the allegation and anyone else who was involved.

Attending a meeting with the Conduct Investigator

It is important that you attend any meetings that are arranged as part of your conduct case, including when they clash with a teaching event or other University commitment. Through avoiding delays, such as the rescheduling of meetings, the University hopes to minimise the impact of the case on the students involved. In arranging meetings, the Conduct Investigator will take into account periods of time when your availability may be limited.

If you are unable to attend, you must inform the Student Progress Team at immediately and agree an alternative.

If you do not agree an alternative time in advance or fail to attend meetings and/or engage with these procedures, the Conduct Investigator will proceed without you. A decision on whether to proceed will be made based on the circumstances of the case, ensuring the safety of members of the University community, and the interests of all parties involved.

What you will be told

During an investigation, the Conduct Investigator will keep those involved regularly informed of progress in relation to the case. The frequency and nature of the communication will depend on the circumstances of the case and your role in it.

You should contact the Student Progress Team at if you have any questions about the status of your case.

The complainant will be notified when the case has concluded, what information was considered, informed whether the case was substantiated and advised of any relevant penalties which have a direct impact on you. You will also be informed of your right to appeal. Due to the rules around confidentiality further information cannot be provided.

If an allegation is made against you, you will be notified of the outcome, the rationale for the decision and where applicable any potential consequences of a penalty being applied. You will have the opportunity to seek clarification from the Conduct Investigator if you are unclear about any aspect of the outcome, but this would not alter the decision. You will be informed of your right to appeal.

Criminal proceedings and convictions

The University’s conduct procedures are not intended to replace criminal proceedings and if the allegation you have made may also constitute an offence under criminal law, you are expected to report the matter to the Police. Where the allegation constitutes a breach of this Code, the University will initiate procedures to consider the allegation in accordance with the Code. Where this Code is initiated alongside criminal proceedings, it will be kept under regular review and may be suspended if there is a clear reason to do so. Further details are set out in Appendix 2 of the Code.

You are required to notify the Academic Registrar immediately by e-mailing the Student Progress Team at if you receive a formal police caution or if you are convicted in a court of law for any relevant criminal offence irrespective of whether the allegation is also being considered under the Code of Student Conduct.

Further guidance on what constitutes a relevant criminal offence can be found in Appendix 7 of the Code.

Appealing a decision

The Code of Student Conduct (.pdf) outlines the accepted grounds for appeal and the process that will be followed once an appeal has been submitted.

Completed appeal forms should be submitted to the Student Progress Team at within ten working days of the date on the letter containing the outcome of the conduct proceedings.


Volunteering opportunities

Student Conduct Committee Members are representatives from the University’s staff and student community whose role is to serve on Student Conduct Committees, contribute to the decision to determine whether there has been a breach of University regulations and if so, what penalty should be imposed. They work with other panel members and the Senior Student Progress Manager to monitor and review practice, scrutinise data, analyse trends and make recommendations for service improvements and procedural changes.

We are currently recruiting staff and student committee members.

Student applications

Staff applications

If you would like to know more about the Committee, please read section 8 of the Code of Student Conduct which provides detailed information. You may also find Appendix 6 of the Code (Order of Proceedings useful for understanding the process).

The University will take steps to ensure that Student Conduct Panels represent the diversity of the University community, including, but not limited to, gender identity, sexual orientation and ethnicity. All Panel members undertake mandatory training to support them with their role, and are expected to maintain their knowledge through practice and through their work with other panel members.

To apply, please complete the application form and send to Rebecca Funnell.

If you have any questions, please contact

Our commitment to transparency

We are committed to providing transparency on the allegations made and action taken on reports of alleged breaches of our Code of Student Conduct.

Our termly and annual reports provide an overview of conduct cases and assurances of the action taken in accordance with our Code. They are presented for scrutiny within the University’s committee structure and the Conduct of Student Conduct Steering Group.

We will be publishing our reports here soon.

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Contact us
Student Progress Team University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ