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This guidance should be read in conjunction with the Conduct Regulations. Where there is any doubt, the Regulations take precedence over this guidance.

Most allegations of student misconduct will be investigated by either Accommodation Services (misconduct in accommodation) or Community Engagement (off campus misconduct). However, Schools may be required to deal with allegations of student misconduct which arise within the School, on placement or on a fieldtrip.

The Appeals and Complaints Team (appeals@qub.ac.uk) is happy to provide additional advice and guidance on a case-by-case basis.  

Allegations of misconduct by a student should be referred to the Head of School, who will be the Disciplinary Officer (see 2.1.6). The Head of School will appoint an Investigating Officer within the School to carry out an investigation.

  • Investigation

    The Investigating Officer will initiate an investigation, normally within five working days and will examine any written evidence provided by the complainant and any other relevant evidence. The Investigating Officer will interview the student and a record of the meeting will be retained. It is advisable for another member of staff to attend the meeting to take notes.

    Notice to the student

    • the student should be given at least five working days’ written notice of the date, time and venue of the meeting
    • the student should be advised of their right to be accompanied
    • the student should be informed of the disciplinary offence they are facing and given sufficient details of the allegations for the student to understand the case against them
    • the student should be informed of any precautionary suspension (see below) or limitations on their studies or access to University facilities or services

     

    The Investigating Officer will then prepare a written report for consideration by the Disciplinary Officer, setting out all the evidence and making a preliminary recommendation.

  • Disciplinary Officer Offences

    i. Smoking or vaping in a non-designated area (outside).

    ii. Drinking alcohol in a prohibited area.

    iii. Smoking or vaping in a prohibited area (inside).

    iv. Burning incense or candles on University premises without appropriate authorisation.

    v. Minor anti-social disturbance including off-campus noise disturbance.

    vi. Causing minor harm, or threatening to cause minor harm, to another person (eg slap, push).

    vii. Minor vandalism or malicious damage to property.

    viii. Failure, without reasonable cause, to produce accurate identification upon demand to authorised persons, who should identify themselves.

    ix. Disruption of, or interference with, the activities of the University, whether on University premises or elsewhere.

    x. Obstruction of, or improper interference with, the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the University or any authorised visitor to the University.

    xi. Behaviour which interferes with the legitimate freedom of speech, ideas, actions or enquiry of any other student or member of staff.

    xii. Indecent misconduct (minor).

    xiii. Failure to comply with a penalty previously imposed under these regulations for a minor offence.

    xiv. Contempt of the University’s Discipline procedures by failing to co-operate with the University’s discipline authorities.

    xv. Breach of University Regulations or Policy and Procedures, e.g. the Student Social Media Policy, Student Visa requirements.

  • Disciplinary Officer Decision

    If the facts are not disputed and the allegations are of a minor nature, the Disciplinary Officer may deal with the case summarily without interviewing the student. The Disciplinary Officer may dismiss the case or find that a disciplinary offence has been committed and impose a penalty from the list below (see Penalties available to Disciplinary Officer section below).

    If the Disciplinary Officer finds that there is no case to answer, they may dismiss the case. If the Disciplinary Officer deems that there is a prima facie case to answer, the student may be interviewed by the Disciplinary Officer.

    If the allegations are of a serious nature or the student has a disciplinary record, the Disciplinary Officer may, in consultation with Academic Affairs, refer the case to a Committee of Discipline.

    The Disciplinary Officer should advise the student of their decision within eight working days. If there is a delay, the student should be notified of the delay.

    There is no appeal against a Disciplinary Officer’s decision to refer a student’s case to a Committee of Discipline.

  • Disciplinary Officer Hearing

    A member of staff from the School will act as Secretary and will attend the meeting and take minutes which will be retained.

    The student will be required to attend the meeting and will be given at least five working day’s written notice of the date, time and venue of the hearing. The communication will also:

    • set out the disciplinary offence the student is facing
    • state the issues to be considered at the hearing, giving sufficient detail to enable the student to understand the case against them
    • state the findings of the investigation
    • inform the student of their right to be accompanied
    • advise the student that they should submit any further documentary evidence they intend to rely on or give the names of any witnesses they intend to call to the Secretary two working days before the hearing
    • set out the procedure to be followed at the hearing (see below)
    • advise the student that failure to attend may result in the case being considered (and a possible penalty imposed) in their absence.

    The student will be given copies of all the documentation considered by the Disciplinary Officer, including a copy of the Investigating Officer’s report and a copy of the Conduct Regulations.

  • Procedure for a Disciplinary Officer Hearing

    The Investigating Officer will attend the meeting to present the case against the student.

    A member of staff from the School will also attend to take minutes.

    The Disciplinary Officer will:

    • will introduce all present, stating their roles, and confirm the names of any witnesses who have been called
    • explain to the student the purpose of the hearing and that they have delegated powers to take decisions on behalf of the University
    • set out the disciplinary offences the student is facing and the options and sanctions available to the Disciplinary Officer
    • advise the student that they are expected to be truthful and honest and that, if the University is made aware that any statement made by the student is found to be untrue or any supporting evidence has been falsified or fabricated, that would be a reason for further disciplinary action
    • advise the student that they are not permitted to record the meeting, and any unauthorised recording of the meeting could lead to further action under the Conduct Regulations.

     

    Following this, the case against the student will be made by the Investigating Officer. The student may then put their case and may ask questions for clarification. The Disciplinary Officer may question the Investigating Officer, the student and any witnesses.

    The Investigating Officer will be invited to sum up and the student will be invited to sum up.

    When the Disciplinary Officer is satisfied that all relevant information has been submitted everyone, except the Secretary will leave and the Disciplinary Officer will make their decision.

  • Penalties available to a Disciplinary Officer

    Having considered the allegation(s) of misconduct, the Disciplinary Officer may dispose of the case using one or any combination of the following;

    i. Dismiss the case.

    ii. Find that a disciplinary offence has been committed but that advice and warning should be given to the student. A record of the advice and warning will be retained on their student record.

    iii. Conditional discharge – that no further action be taken provided the student fulfils the conditions laid down by the Disciplinary Officer.

    iv. A written warning which will stay on the Student Transcript until graduation.

    v. A fine, up to a maximum of £250 per offence. Payment for any loss or damage that resulted directly or indirectly from the student’s misconduct.

    vi. Referral of the case to the Committee of Discipline, in consultation with Academic Affairs.

    vii. Referral of the case to Academic Affairs for the University Fitness to Practise procedure to be invoked.

    viii. Exclusion involving a selective restriction on, or access to the University, or prohibition on exercising the functions and/or duties of any office or committee membership in the University or Students’ Union, the exact details to be specified in writing. (This does not include exclusion from the student’s course).

    ix. Exclusion for a specified period from University accommodation.

  • Outcome of the Disciplinary Hearing

    The Disciplinary Officer will notify the student in writing of their decision within eight working days and will advise the student of their right to appeal to the Committee of Discipline. If there is a delay, the student should be notified of the delay.

  • Committee of Discipline

    The Disciplinary Officer or the Investigating Officer will be required to attend the Committee meeting to explain the decision and to respond to any questions from the Committee.