Division of General Counsel, Governance and Compliance

Student Discipline information for staff

If you work at Sussex, see guidance for Student Discipline cases.


Regulation 2: Student Discipline [PDF 120KB] states: “Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner which demonstrates respect for the University, its staff, fellow students and the wider community”. It sets out procedures which ensure fairness, clarity and transparency for both the student and others involved in the process.

Students are expected to comply with the Regulation so that the University community is one in which we can live and work with one another in an environment of dignity and respect. This applies to all students, including Visiting and Exchange students and those on a Study abroad year.

This Regulation relates to inappropriate behaviour on the part of students which is ‘non-academic’ misconduct. There is a separate process for dealing with academic misconduct.

Staff misconduct is dealt with under a separate procedure by the Human Resources department.

The nature of certain incidents means they may be disclosed to staff or other departments within the University. For example, more serious allegations may be notified to a Head of School.

Once the case has been investigated and decided, any finding of disciplinary misconduct could be reported to a Head of School. Otherwise, information will usually only be disclosed if it is necessary to comply with legal obligations (such as requirements on the University as a landlord to report certain offences) or to meet obligations to relevant organisations such as accreditation or professional bodies.

View a disciplinary procedure overview diagram.

Information for students

You can show students:

Glossary of terms

Approved Persons List

A pool of senior managers and academic staff nominated by the Vice-Chancellor to investigate or decide disciplinary cases.


During an investigation, the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance may put conditions on a student, for example, not to contact witnesses or not to use certain facilities.

Conditions Notice

Notification to the student of a decision by the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance to impose conditions on them.

Disciplinary Misconduct

Any conduct which causes actual or potential distress or harm to others; causes actual or potential damage to the property of the University or others; disrupts the normal functioning or operation of the University; or impedes or interferes with the pursuance of work or study of those working or studying at the University.

Exclusion / exclude

The student is prohibited from using University facilities and/or entering University grounds or premises.


A decision that there has been disciplinary misconduct by a student.

Good Behaviour Period

The Student Disciplinary Panel can decide to suspend a sanction subject to the student’s future good behaviour for a period of time.

Grounds of Appeal

There are three grounds on which a student can appeal a decision by the Investigating Officer or the Student Disciplinary Panel:

a)      There was a material procedural irregularity which may have affected the outcome;

b)      There is evidence which was not considered by the decision maker which may have affected the outcome and which the student could not reasonably have been expected to have submitted at the time; or

c)      That the decision is not one which, given the evidence, could be reasonably sustained.


Conduct by a student which may constitute disciplinary misconduct.

Incident Report

A report of conduct by a student that may amount to disciplinary misconduct.

Initial Review

Any precautionary suspension and/or exclusion will be reviewed by the Vice-Chancellor within one month of the date of the latter of the Suspension/Exclusion Notice or the Preliminary Suspension/Exclusion Notice.

Investigating Officer

A member of staff appointed by the Director of Planning, Governance and Compliance to investigate the incident.

Letter of Notification

The letter sent by the Investigating Officer, usually within 10 working days of receipt of the report of the incident, which details the incident, sets out the allegations being considered and a summary of the information gathered by the   Investigating Officer; notifies the student of which disciplinary route will be taken; and details the next steps.

Major Route

Where the incident involves more serious misconduct or where the individual has been involved in previous cases of misconduct, the case will be dealt with under the major route, and decided by the Student Disciplinary Panel.

Minor Route

The less serious incidents will be dealt with under the minor route and the case will be decided by the Investigating Officer.


The Office of the Independent Adjudicator is the independent body for reviewing complaints by students. A student can refer the case to the OIA after the internal processes have been concluded.

Outcome Letter

The letter notifying the student of the Investigating Officer's decision and the reasons for the decision, and setting out any right of appeal.

Precautionary action

A decision to impose a condition, or to exclude or suspend a student.

Preliminary Suspension / Exclusion Notice

Notification of the Vice-Chancellor’s decision to suspend and/or exclude the student, where the student did not have an opportunity to make representations before the decision was made.


A person from the Approved Persons List appointed by the Registrar and Secretary to present the case to the Student Disciplinary Panel.

Regulation 2

The University’s Regulation dealing with student discipline.

Registrar and Secretary Report

A report prepared by the Registrar and Secretary which summarises any further enquiries they have made.


The disciplinary penalties that may be applied if a finding is made.

Student Disciplinary Appeal Committee

The Committee that considers any appeal of a decision by the Student Disciplinary Panel and consists of the Chair of Council or one of the Vice-Chairs as Chair of the   Committee, a senior member of staff from the Approved Persons List and an elected full-time officer of the Students’ Union.

Student Disciplinary Panel

The Panel which decides cases in the major disciplinary route. The panel consists of a member of the Senior Management Group (as Chair), a senior member of staff from the Approved Persons List, and an elected full-time officer of the Students’ Union.

Suspension / suspend

The student is prohibited from participating in the academic activities of the University and the student's registration on his/her course of studies is put on hold.

Suspension/Exclusion Notice

Notification of the Vice-Chancellor’s decision to suspend and/or exclude the student as a precautionary action.


Student Discipline is overseen by the Office for Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulations.

Email student-discipline@sussex.ac.uk.