Student Disciplinary Matters

If you have been informed that your university is undertaking disciplinary investigations, you may be asking:

  • What is non-academic misconduct?
  • How do you deal with allegations of misconduct in a university?
  • Will I have to attend a university disciplinary hearing?
  • Could I be suspended, excluded or expelled from university?

What is non-academic misconduct?

Universities will set down expected standards of behaviour for all students within their internal policies. If a university believes that a student is in breach of these standards, they may face investigations and allegations of ‘non-academic misconduct’. Examples of non-academic misconduct include:

  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Behaviour that is considered to bring the university into ‘disrepute’
  • Sexual misconduct

These allegations differ from cases involving academic misconduct which are allegations connected to examinations, coursework and assessments.


The university should undertake a full and fair investigation ensuring that all relevant individuals are spoken to and all evidence obtained. These investigations should be completed within a timely manner.

If you are invited to a meeting or interview to discuss the concerns raised, the detail of these discussions may be relied on by the university at a later date. It is therefore crucial that a careful and evidenced response is provided.

It is also possible that you may be required to attend a hearing in front of a disciplinary committee to provide a full response and answer questions.


There are a wide range of sanctions your university could set down which may include:

  • A warning which will remain on your record
  • Restrictions on facilities (e.g. Students’ Union)
  • Suspension
  • Permanent Exclusion

If you are a student enrolled on a professional course (e.g. medicine), it is possible that the university may initiate fitness to practise proceedings.

Can I appeal?

You should also be provided the opportunity to appeal the penalty imposed by the university. If you have brought an appeal yourself which was unsuccessful, we can help you make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) .

Should I instruct a solicitor?

Allegations of non-academic misconduct can result in serious sanctions; including permanent exclusion. These investigations can result in the loss of years of hard work and substantial fees paid.

Our university disciplinary solicitors can help you:

  • Determine if an offence has been committed
  • Consider any evidence needed to support your case
  • Carefully review the evidence sent by the university (e.g. witness statements)
  • Help draft a full and robust defence to the allegations
  • Attend the disciplinary hearing with you

Our dedicated and experienced university disciplinary solicitors are here to help defend you against any serious allegations you are facing.

Scroll to Top

By making a booking, you agree to the terms and conditions