Definition of Terms used in the Code of Student Conduct


Academic Penalty Applied in cases of plagiarism or other academic offences (such as exam misconduct). Marks may be reduced or grade H given. Credit may be refused. Consideration will also be given to resubmission opportunities; in some cases a resubmission or resit will not be allowed.
Allegation A claim or accusation that a student has done something wrong and has breached the university Code of Student Conduct. This is usually initiated by Schools, staff, other students or members of the public) and needs further investigation through student conduct processes.
Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour Can be applied to any member of the University community including its students, or anyone communicating with the University. The Code defines unacceptable behaviour and if there are concerns about a pattern of behaviour which is aggressive, unreasonable, or disruptive the individual will be asked to modify their behaviour. Contact can be restricted or ended.
Code of Student Conduct The procedure used in cases of academic and non-academic misconduct.
The Code of Student Conduct is available at:
Community Service A penalty that can be applied to students who have committed misconduct. The community service can be up to 24 hours and is usually delivered in sets of 2 hours.
Condition A restriction or requirement which is imposed on a student as a result of conduct proceedings – for example, limited access to University facilities, or restriction on contact with a named person.
Conduct Appeal A student who is unhappy with the outcome of the conduct process has the right to appeal against the outcome. The student may appeal in writing within 10 working days of the date of the letter advising of the decision.
Criminal Offence/Allegation When the student is accused of breaking the law. Criminal offences will be reported to the police and the police may report an allegation to the University.
Declaration of Originality Form A document stating that students confirm they are submitting their own work, correctly referenced. The form is completed with coursework and signed by the student.
Discrimination Intolerance, hatred or inequality against any person on grounds such as age, disability, gender, gender identity, political & religious beliefs, race, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or socio- economic background. 
Expel/Expulsion  A penalty, usually for a severe offence, which means the student has no right to continue his/her studies or use any University facilities. The student will not be able to return in future, or to receive any award. 
External Adjudication If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of his/her case, after exhausting University appeal procedures, he/she has the right to complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), which provides external adjudication. 
Fitness to Practise If a student found to have breached the Code of Student Conduct is studying a professional degree, the matter may also be sent for consideration by a Fitness to Practise Committee. That Committee will decide whether the student is fit to enter their chosen profession. 
Fitness to Study Procedure Applies to any registered student of the University, who might face challenges which affect their studies and their wider participation in University life (for example, illness or mental health issues). This procedure is designed to support such students while ensuring that the wider student and staff University community is also able to carry on with its normal activities. 
Full Hearing  A meeting of the full Senate Student Conduct Committee, or Senate Student Conduct Appeals Committee. The full hearing consists of the Convener and five members, and the student attends. 
Harassment Unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. It might take place in person, by email/ text message, or social media.
Investigation  The gathering of evidence related to the allegation, and the interviews with the students and any victim. 

Behaviour that falls short of the standard of behaviour expected of a student of the University. For example:

  • Plagiarism
  • Bringing prohibited materials to an exam
  • Behaving in a violent, threatening or offensive way
  • Harassing behaviour
  • Discrimination
  • IT misuse
  • Drug-related offences 
Penalty  If it is concluded that a student has breached the Code, a penalty appropriate to the offence committed will be imposed. Possible penalties are grade reduction, fines, suspension, expulsion, community service etc. 
Plagiarism The submission or presentation of work, in any form, which is not the student’s own, without acknowledgement of the sources. Plagiarism includes inappropriate collaboration with others and self- plagiarism (using work that has already been submitted by the student for assessment at any University or for any other academic award).
Plagiarism Statement  Defines what plagiarism is, and what procedures the University follows in dealing with it.
Preliminary Disposal  The route by which a decision is made relating to the referral of a case, or the outcome of an appeal, without the need for a full hearing. 
Previous Breaches Previous offences which are registered by the School or Senate and which are kept in the student’s record. 
Reprimand/Severe Reprimand  A reprimand/severe reprimand or written warning that a student has committed a breach of the Code. The student is advised that any other misconduct will be treated as a repeat offence, and will have more serious consequences through the conduct procedures. 
Referral The process of sending a case of misconduct from one stage to another. For example, the School can refer the case to the Senate Assessors for Student Conduct, who can in turn refer it to the Senate Student Conduct Committee.
Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) provides independent adjudication. Students may submit a complaint about the University to SPSO if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of a conduct investigation, or a conduct appeal.
Senate Assessors for Student Conduct Members of the University Senate who are appointed to deal with allegations of student misconduct and appeals against penalties imposed at School level. Students are interviewed by two Senate Assessors at Level 1. Senate Assessors also deal with appeals against School decisions.
Senate Student Conduct Appeals Committee The Committee appointed by Senate to deal with appeals against the Senate Student Conduct Committee.
Senate Student Conduct Committee The Committee appointed by Senate to deal with very serious cases of misconduct and appeals against the Senate Assessors for Student Conduct.
Suspension A penalty whereby the student is temporarily barred from entry to the University. The length of suspension varies with the seriousness of the offence. While suspended, the student cannot attend classes, submit work for assessment, sit exams or use any University facilities.
Verbal Warning When a student is told verbally that their behaviour is unacceptable.
Wronged Person A person who is a victim of any sort of unacceptable behaviour or other form of misconduct.