Can I be disciplined for something that happened off-campus?
Yes, students can be disciplined for offences that take place off-campus, including causing disruption to neighbours, making excessive noise, drinking alcohol in a prohibited area, and anti-social or offensive behaviour. This list is not exhaustive - Other examples of off campus misconduct can be found here.
What is a Committee of Discipline?
A Committee of Discipline, made up on University staff and a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer, considers allegations of serious misconduct, or allegations of misconduct by students who already have a disciplinary record. The Committee of Discipline also considers appeals against the decision of a Disciplinary Officer. If you are invited to a Committee of Discipline you can expect to answer questions about your alleged misconduct, or to present your appeal against a Disciplinary Officer’s decision.
Do I have to engage with the disciplinary process?
Students who refuse to engage with the disciplinary process may be considered to be in contempt of the University’s disciplinary procedures and may be subject to an additional penalty. Therefore, it’s important that you seek advice and support to fully engage with the disciplinary process.
What are the possible outcomes of a disciplinary investigation?
The possible outcomes of a disciplinary investigation vary according to the stage and severity of the offence.
The standard penalties for various types of offence are outlined through this link. Note that these are not maximum penalties – more serious offences may carry more severe penalties.
Where alcohol has played a part in a disciplinary offence, a student may be given the choice to offset all or part of their penalty by attending the Alcohol Education Initiative, which aims to raise students’ awareness of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.
For more information on the disciplinary process, click here.
Can I appeal against a disciplinary decision?
In most cases, you have the right to appeal against a Disciplinary Officer’s decision, provided you have grounds to do so. The Disciplinary Officer’s decision letter will outline your appeal rights.
You may be able to appeal against the decision of a Committee of Discipline. If your case was referred to the Committee by a Disciplinary Officer and you are unhappy with the Committee’s decision, you may appeal to a Student Discipline Appeals Committee.
It is important to be aware that, upon appeal, your case will be reconsidered and the outcome may be more or less severe than the penalty already imposed, or remain unchanged.
If your case was before the Committee because you appealed against the decision of a Disciplinary Officer, there is no further right of appeal. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome of your appeal you may make a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman within six months of the decision of the Committee of Discipline. The Ombudsman will then make a decision as to whether they can consider your complaint.
Will a disciplinary offence affect my academic progress?
The impact on your academic progress will depend on the outcome of the disciplinary process.
A written warning will stay on your student transcript until graduation and may be considered if further offences come to light during the period of study. In the most serious cases, the outcome of disciplinary proceedings could be suspension or expulsion from the University.
There may be Fitness to Practice implications on some professional courses such as medicine, dentistry, nursing and midwifery, psychology, teaching, social work, pharmacy, professional legal training, and health and leisure.
No matter the outcome, the disciplinary process itself can be stressful and it is important that you seek help from SU Advice, the Student Wellbeing Service and other support services to help you to continue to focus on your studies.