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When you become a student at Strathclyde, you become bound by University guidance that seeks to ensure that all members of our community acts in a way which ensures that respect is demonstrated for fellow students, staff, and property of the University, that is sensitive to the wide range of cultural diversity that we are comprised of and celebrate, that contributes to participation in learning and educational success, and does not harm the reputation of the University.

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Breaches of the Student Disciplinary Procedure can be academic (such as plagiarism) or non-academic (such as inappropriate sexual behaviours) in nature can result in investigations by the University which can have a significant impact on your Strathclyde journey. The Advice Hub can support you with any Strathclyde disciplinary procedure that you may find yourself faced with.

What should I know about student disciplines?

Although the Student Disciplinary Procedure is the main document that guides student conduct at Strathclyde, it’s also important to familiarise yourself with specific regulations related to the use of University Accommodation and the Library, for example. Strath Union also has a separate set of guidelines detailing our behaviour standards and a procedure for handling breaches of this. You may also be studying a course that has professional standards that you are expected to abide by, such as SSSC for social work studies, GTCS for teaching students, and GPhC for pharmacy students, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with any guidelines, policies, and procedures that may concern you.

The Student Disciplinary Procedure is broken into two stages: Stage 1 (minor offences) and Stage 2 (major offences).

Stage 1 minor offences are dealt with by trained Disciplinary Officers at a level local to where the alleged offence has been committed. So, for example, if you are accused of collusion or plagiarism, your academic department or school will consider the matter. The sort of things that can be dealt with at stage 1 include: cases of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism which are considered minor infringements or that take place in your first or second year of study, recklessly or maliciously damaging University property, and first-time breaches of conduct detailed in the Dignity and Respect policy.

Outcomes can be issued at stage 1 and can range from reprimands to small fines to requirements to resubmit academic work; the only outcomes that cannot be issued at stage 1 are those which would impact on a student’s progression or completion of their studies.

Stage 2 major offences are cases which have been escalated to the University’s Senate office following a stage 1 investigation. This usually happens where the stage 1 Disciplinary Officer considers the case to be a major offence and therefore outside the realm of their authority or where the appropriate outcome would have a detrimental impact on a student’s ability to complete or progress with their studies.

Examples of stage 2 cases may be repeats of behaviours or actions previously handled at stage 1, major academic dishonesty (for example, if you are alleged to have plagiarised in your final dissertation or project, this may impact your ability to graduate with an Honours degree and must be dealt with at stage 2), incidences of harassment to another student or member of staff, or behaviour which is deemed to bring the University into disrepute.

The sort of outcomes that can be issued at stage 1 also include things like reprimands and small fines, but can also – depending on the severity of the case – be as serious as expulsion from the University.

What is the process for student disciplines?

If you are being investigated for a stage 1 disciplinary matter, you will be contacted by the Disciplinary Officer to inform you of the case. You will be given a date for a meeting with them with a minimum of 5 working days’ notice and should be issued with the following information:

  • The details of the alleged offence;
  • The relevant evidence related to the allegation;
  • The penalties and outcomes that may apply if the allegation is admitted or found proven;
  • A request for you to submit a written statement regarding the allegation;
  • The information on the meeting;
  • A copy of the Student Discipline Procedure.

At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to admit to or deny the allegation. You will be asked questions by the Officer to help them understand what might have happened and your perspective on the allegation to help them come to an outcome. It’s important that you are as honest as possible with them; in our experience, even if you have breached the procedure and know that you have, being honest and reflective about this and how you can prevent it happening again in the future is much more likely to result in a less severe penalty. Following the meeting, you will receive an outcome in writing telling you the decision taken by the Officer, any relevant next steps, and any actions you might need to take.

If your case is escalated to stage 2 because it is considered to be a major offence then it will be investigated by a Senate Discipline Committee. At this stage you will again be invited to a hearing to discuss the matter and will be given at least 10 working days’ notice of this. You will again receive information on the alleged offence, evidence, possible penalties and outcomes, and your rights to call witnesses, submit evidence, and be accompanied by a supporter or representative.

Similarly to stage 1, at the hearing you will be able to speak about the allegation, what happened from your perspective, and you will be asked questions by the panel members. A representative from the stage 1 discipline is also often invited to attend for the panel to question – all members of the stage 2 panel are impartial and have not been involved in the case up to that point. You will be informed of the decision of the panel on the same day as the hearing after they have discussed the matter (you will not be allowed to remain in the room for their discussions) and then you will receive a written notification of the outcome following this.

How can the Advice Hub help me with student disciplines?

Our advisers have lots of experience with supporting students through stage 1 and 2 discipline procedures which can be stressful and upsetting. We can help you with preparing your written statements by talking through what’s happened and presenting your understanding of the facts of the case as clearly as possible. We can also help you understand what can be a confusing procedure and talk you through possible outcomes.

Sometimes lots of students are referred to us for support with stage 1 cases at the same time where there’s been multiple allegations of collusion and plagiarism in particular, so due to staffing levels we can’t always guarantee that we will be able to attend stage 1 hearings with you, but we will advise you fully on the process. We will always endeavour to ensure that you can be supported at stage 2 hearings by an adviser.

Useful resources

Student Discipline Procedure

Library Regulations

Accommodation Rights and Responsibilities

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