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Code of Conduct/Disciplinary

Code of Conduct/Disciplinary 

As a University of Plymouth student, you are expected to abide by the code of conduct, which is a framework to help students understand the behaviour that is expected of them. 

You can find details of the code at:  

The University has a standalone policy in relation to sexual violence and misconduct

Should you not meet the standards expected in the code of conduct, there a possibility that disciplinary action could be instigated.   

What is classed as misconduct? 

There are many behaviours that could be classed as acts of misconduct. Examples the advice team have seen over the years include, but are not limited to: 

  • Inappropriate use of social media 

  • Misuse of drugs 

  • Discriminatory behaviour 

  • Sexual harassment 

The full list of what can be considered misconduct is detailed from page 9 of the policy, which you can see here.

How is misconduct reported? 

Allegations of misconduct can made by another student, by a staff member, or by a third party which could be a member of the public, the police, medical services etc. 

What happens then? 

Once a complaint has been received, meetings will normally be held with the complainant and the responding student (separately), as well as any witnesses, to ascertain more information. This is often called an investigation meeting.  

We can support you in preparation for and during investigation meetings, so if you are advised that there has been an allegation made against you, please contact us as soon as possible!  

What’s next?  

  • It may be determined that there is no case to answer, or the case could be resolved informally.  

  • It could be determined that there has been minor misconduct and an appropriate penalty is issued 

  • It could be decided that the allegation constitutes major misconduct, in which case you will be asked to attend a major misconduct panel. 

Again, we can offer support. Whether this is talking you through the minor misconduct penalty, advising of your right of appeal, or helping you prepare for and supporting you at a major misconduct panel.  

The key thing is, do not wait to seek support! Particularly with misconduct panels, the more time we have to work with you, the more we can help you to effectively prepare!  


But what if……. 

What if you’ve also supported the student making an allegation against me?  

We are aware that on occasion conflicts of interest will arise. If a reporting student has received support from a UPSU adviser, we will ensure that a different adviser will support the responding student. 

On the rare occasion where multiple parties are involved, if we are unable to support, we will advise you of this, and whenever possible, offer suggestions of where you may be able to obtain alternative support.  

What if you don’t believe me?  

As an advice team, our role is not to judge or to form opinions of whether an act of misconduct has or hasn’t occurred. Our role is to support students, without prejudice, to the best of our ability.  

In return, if you contact us for support, we ask that you are open and honest with us, as we need all relevant information in order to offer accurate advice and support you through the code of conduct process. 

What if you tell the university what I tell you? 

UPSU advice are confidential and are independent from Plymouth University. We will not share information without your consent except in the following circumstances:   

  • There is a danger to you or others 

  • When not doing so would break the law 

  • When the Advice Team discover that it is advising both parties to a dispute and needs to disclose the fact in order to avoid a conflict of interest 

Therefore, you can talk openly with us, so that we may offer the best support in your situation. 



Last updated: April 2024