University Calendar 2008/9
Section IV : General Regulations
Student Discipline

ARCHIVE 2002/3
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ARCHIVE 2005/6
ARCHIVE 2006/7
ARCHIVE 2007/8
General Principles
  1. The University requires all students to observe the terms of these regulations. For the purposes of the regulations, the term 'student' encompasses all registered students of the University. This includes those in nominal registration and those studying off-campus on work placements or field trips or in other institutions of higher education, or in any other such circumstances as may from time to time occur. It does not include those students registered in another institution for an award of the University under accreditation, validation, franchise or other collaborative arrangements.

  2. The essence of misconduct under the regulations is improper interference, in the broadest sense, with the proper functioning or activities of the University or those who work or study in the University, or action which otherwise damages the institution.

  3. The following behaviour shall be treated as a breach of the regulations likely to result in disciplinary action being taken.

    1. Behaviour which constitutes a breach of the criminal law.

    2. Unauthorised use of, or damage to, University property.

    3. Breach of the terms of the University's Codes of Practice on Free Speech, Harassment, Equal Opportunities and such other Codes as the Senate may from time to time designate.

    4. Conduct which brings the University of Southampton into disrepute.

    5. Improper interference with the smooth running and activities of the University.

    6. Any action which constitutes a breach of the rules or regulations of the Library, the Students Union, Information Systems Services or the Halls of Residence, and any other such regulations as the University may from to time approve. Such breaches shall be dealt with in the manner which those regulations or rules may from time to time specify, or by action under these regulations where the Chair of the Committee of Discipline considers that appropriate.

  4. The behaviour described in (2) and (3) above shall constitute a breach of these regulations if it took place on University property or premises or elsewhere if the student was involved in a University activity, was representing the University, or was present at that place by virtue of his or her status as a student of the University; also if the behaviour affected other members of the University community, or affected members of the general public in ways which might damage the standing and reputation of the University.
  1. All members of staff have the authority to check disorder or any breach of regulations by students occurring in any part of the University.

  2. The Senate shall, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, appoint a Chair of the Committee of Discipline who shall serve for a term of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment. A Deputy Chair from another Faculty shall be appointed in the same way, and shall act for the Chair in cases involving a student from the Chair's own Faculty.

  3. The Vice-Chancellor shall delegate to the Chair of the Committee of Discipline ('the Chair') those powers ascribed to the office of Vice-Chancellor in the Statutes of the University [Section 5(3)] and authority for disciplinary matters as described in Statutes (Section 34). The Chair shall report to the Vice-Chancellor on every use of those powers. In cases involving an offence which the Chair considers to be of a serious nature where the penalty involves either suspension or expulsion, the Vice-Chancellor shall be consulted before a final decision is taken.

  4. Breaches of the regulations requiring action beyond that described in (1) shall be reported to the relevant Head of School who, after consulting the Dean of the Faculty, shall if thought necessary report the case to the Chair. Alternatively, the Head of School may deal with the matter through an informal reprimand. The Chair shall also have the discretion to take suitable action on any cases of breaches of the regulations which come directly to his or her notice.

  5. Where a complaint of a breach in the regulations has been made to the Chair, the Chair may rule that the complaint should not be the subject of further action under these regulations.

  6. If the Chair considers it to be appropriate, the Committee of Discipline will be convened to consider the case.

  7. If, however, the facts of the case are not in dispute and the nature of the offence makes it appropriate to be dealt with on the Chair's authority, the Chair may decide that the matter does not warrant reference to the Committee of Discipline.  In such a case, the student will be informed accordingly (in writing) but will be informed at the same time of his/her right to asked nonetheless that the matter come before the Committee. Otherwise the Chair may deal with the case and may, after due consideration, reprimand, fine or exclude the student from any University class or from all or any parts of the University for up to three months and/or require the student to make appropriate restituion to the parties affect by his/her behaviour. All penalties imposed by the Chair under this regulation shall be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and to Senate at its next meeting.

  8. In its consideration of a case referred to it, the Committee of Discipline shall follow the procedures set out below.

    1. The student shall be informed in writing in good time of the charge made against him/her, the time, date and place of the meeting, and that he/she is required to be present but that the Committee will reserve the right to proceed in his/her absence.

    2. The student shall be informed of his/her right to submit written evidence, to bring witnesses and an adviser to the hearing, and that both the student and the adviser may cross-examine witnesses at the hearing. The names of the adviser and any witnesses shall be notified to the Secretary of hte Committee in writing in advance of the meeting. The adviser may not be a legally-qualified person acting in a paid capacity.

    3. The student shall be informed as soon as possible and in writing of the Committee's decision on the case. At the same time, the student shall be told that he/she has the right to appeal to Council against the decision.

    4. Any member of the Committee of Discipline involved in making a charge or giving evidence shall be excluded from membership of the Committee for that particular case.

  9. The Committee of Discipline has the power to reprimand a student, to impose a fine, to exclude the student from the Unviersity or a part or parts thereof for a suitable period, to require the student to make apology and restitution to parties affected by the offence, and to recommend to Senate the student's expulsion from the University. All penalties imposed by the Committee shall be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and to the Senate at its next meeting. They will be notified to the student, the complainant, the relevant Dean and Head of School, and to the student's tutor.

The Students' Union

The Students' Union or a committee appointed by it for the purpose shall, subject to these regulations, have the power and duty of keeping order in the Students' Union buildings under such rules as the Students' Union may make and the Senate and Council may approve. In the exercise of this power, the Students' Union may reprimand, fine or suspend from the use of those premises for a period not exceeding three months a student found by it to be guilty of misbehaviour. Any suspension or more than one calendar month shall be reported forthwith to the Chair by the President of the Students' Union.

Misconduct that is also a Criminal Offence

The following procedures apply where the alleged breach of these regulations would also constitute an offence under the criminal law if proved in a Court of Law.
  1. Where the offence under the criminal law is consider not to be serious and a criminal prosecution to be unlikely, action under these regulations may continue but will normally be deferred pending any police investigation or prosecution.

  2. In the case of all other offences under the criminal law, no action other than suspension or exclusion (see next section) may be taken under these regulations unless the matter has been reported to the police and either resulted in prosecution or a decision not to prosecute. The Chair may then recommend to the Vice-Chancellor whether disciplinary action under the regulations should continue to be taken.

  3. Where a finding of misbehaviour is made and the student has also been sentenced by a criminal court in respect of the same facts, the court's penalty shall be taken into consideration in determining the penalty.
Suspension and Exclusion Pending a Hearing
  1. A student who is the subject of a complaint of misbehaviour or against whom a criminal charge is pending may be suspended or excluded by the Chair acting on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor pending the disciplinary hearing or the trial.

  2. A full report shall be made to the Vice-Chancellor of any suspension or exclusion under this section.

  3. Definition of Suspension and Exclusion: 'Suspension; includes a total prohibition on attendance at or access to the University and on any participation in University activities. It may be subject to qualification such as permission to attend for the purposes of an examination. 'Exclusion' involves selective restriction on attendance at or access to the University, or prohibition on exercising the functions or duties of any office or committee membership in the University or Students' Union, the exact detail to be specified in writing.

  4. Suspension should only be used where exclusion from specified activities or facilities would be inadequate.

  5. An order of suspension or exclusion may include a requirement that the student should have no contact of any kind with a named person or persons.

  6. The power to suspend or exclude under this provision is to protect the members of the University community in general or a particular member or members, and shall only be used where the Chair is of the opinion that it is urgent and necessary to take such action. Written reasons for the decision shall be recorded and given to the student.

  7. No student shall be suspended or excluded unless the opportunity has been given to make representations in person to the Chair. Where it appears to the Chair that it is not possible for the student to attend in person, written representations shall be acceptable.

  8. In cases of great urgency the Chair shall be empowered to suspend a student with immediate effect provided that the opportunities described above are given as quickly as possible and that the matter is reviewed within five days of the suspension.

  9. A decision to suspend or exclude from academic activities associated with the student's course of study (other than access to the Library) pending a hearing shall be subject to review, at the request of the student, where it has continued for two weeks. Such a review will not involve a hearing or submissions made in person, but the student shall be entitled to submit written representations. The review will be conducted by three members of the Council including at least one academic and one lay member.

  10. The Chair shall review the suspension or exclusion every four weeks in the light of any developments and of any representations made by the student or anyone else on his or her behalf.

  11. This regulation applies to the following Schools: Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences; Medicine; Nursing and Midwifery; Education; Social Work Studies. In cases where allegations are made against a student which call into question his/her fitness to be in contact with members of the public in a professional context, he/she may be suspended from his/her programme of study or the professional or clinical elements of it on the authority of the relevant Head of School or his/her designated deputy. The Head of School will report such suspension within one working day to the Dean, the Chair of the Committee of Discipline and the Director of Student Services. The normal provisions in these regulations for students to make representations, and for their suspension to be reviewed, shall apply.
Recording of Offences

Records of offences under these regulations which have resulted in action by the Head of School or the Chair of the Committee of Discipline shall be kept on student files.


Fines shall be levied within broad guideline which shall be reviewed from time to time and approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

Discipline in Halls of Residence and other Residential Accommodation

The Warden of a Hall of Residence is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for discipline in that Hall and may reprimand, fine or terminate the residence of any student found guilty of breaking the Hall regulations. The Accommodation Officer has similar powers in regard to the residential accommodation under his/her control. In cases dealt with by fine or reprimand, the decision of the Warden or the Accommodation Officer shall be final. In cases involving termination of residence the student may, if he/she feels aggrieved, send an appeal in writing to the Director of Student Services within seven days of notification of such termination stating the grounds of the appeal and the reasons for disagreement with the decision of the Warden or the Accommodation Officer. The Director of Student Services will then arrange for the matter to be considered by an ad hoc committee consisting of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chairman) and an equal number of staff and members of the Students' Union.

The Chair of the Committee of Discipline may take action under the regulations for discipline in any case of serious misbehaviour by a student living in other residential accommodation which is brought to his/her attention.

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Submitted by the Secretariat
Last reviewed: 04-Feb-2008
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