Becoming a UCD student means that you have joined a diverse and vibrant university community. As a member of this community it is important that you are respectful in your interactions with others and that you uphold the high standards of personal responsibility and academic integrity that is expected of all students.
The University sets out its values in the UCD Strategy and outlines its commitments and expectations regarding standards of conduct in the Student Charter, Student Code and the UCD Dignity and Respect Policy. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these documents as they help to ensure a fair and positive learning and working environment for everyone at UCD.
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The Student Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of all students. It provides examples of behaviour and conduct that contravenes these standards and includes the procedures used to respond to reported breaches of the Student Code. Students are encouraged to read the Student Code carefully to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and rights as a UCD Student.
UCD is committed to the promotion of an environment for work and study which upholds the dignity and respect of all its members and which supports the right to study and/or work in an environment which is free from any form of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The University’s Dignity and Respect Policy provides definitions and examples of behaviour that is considered to be bullying or harassment.
There are supports available for students and staff experiencing bullying or harassment and there are a range of both informal and formal options available for those seeking resolution. Information about supports and options for resolution including a formal complaint process is available via the Dignity and Respect pages of the Equality and Diversity and Inclusion website.
Academic Integrity is the practice of honesty and ethics in scholarship. Learning how to express original ideas, appropriately cite the ideas of others and working independently are important skills that will benefit students beyond their academic careers. Students are expected to engage in their studies with honesty at all times. Maintaining academic integrity requires students to abide by Examination Regulations and acknowledge all sources of information accordance with the Plagiarism Policy.
Visit the Library website for information on referencing and citation and other resources on academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.
The Student Discipline Procedure is established on the principles of natural justice and is outlined in full in the Student Code.
When a report of an alleged breach of the Student Code is received a communication is normally sent to advise the student of the allegation against them with an invitation to meet with the Registrar (or a nominee) to discuss the matter. This is known as a Preliminary Hearing. At the conclusion of this meeting the Registrar (or a nominee) will decide on an appropriate course of action. There are a range of outcomes available to the Registrar at this stage of the procedure which include:
- dismissal of the alleged breach
- issue a reprimand or warning
- impose a fine, or,
- refer the report to a Student Disciplinary Committee.
Decisions will be made based on all the information available, including the student’s response to the report and the nature of the alleged breach. Decisions will be communicated at the meeting and again in writing after the meeting. Students who are unhappy with the decision at this stage may decide to appeal to a Student Disciplinary Committee within 10 working days.
Student Disciplinary Committee Hearing
If the outcome at the Preliminary Hearing stage is to refer the matter to a Student Disciplinary Committee a meeting will be convened within 10 working days or as soon as is practicable. The Committee will comprise three members of academic staff from the Student Conduct Panel 2018/19 - 2020/21. The Committee members and the student will receive copies of all the relevant documentation relating to the matter, including a summary of the Preliminary Hearing meeting in advance of the Student Disciplinary Committee Hearing. Having considered the submitted material and having heard from the student and any invited witnesses the Committee will deliberate privately before reaching a decision.
Outcome of the Student Disciplinary Committee
At the conclusion of the meeting the Committee will decide on an appropriate outcome and will communicate the decision to the student both at the meeting and afterwards in writing. Decisions will be based on all the information available including the nature of the breach and any relevant extenuating circumstances. Where it is decided that there has been a breach of the Student Code the Committee will select a penalty. There is a broad range of penalties available to the committee which may be applied separately or in combination. See the Student Code for the complete list of penalties.
Students may decide that they wish to appeal the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee. Grounds for the appeal must be submitted in writing within 10 working days. Appeals are heard by a Disciplinary Appeals Committee. The Disciplinary Appeals Committee may decide to allow the appeal, reject the appeal or decrease or increase the penalty or vary the nature of the penalty imposed by the Student Disciplinary Committee.
Each programme has a dedicated Student Adviser who can offer support, information and advice.
Access contact details and information on a range of student issues.
UCD Chaplains are available for support, guidance and advice.
The SU Sabbatical Officers are available to offer assistance and support to students.
Student Counselling Service is provided by professionally qualified psychologists and counsellors.
Alleged incidents of student misconduct and breaches of the Student Code may be reported to Student Engagement, Conduct, Complaints and Appeals (SECCA). Reports will be reviewed and normally students will be invited to attend a preliminary hearing to discuss the allegation. Some cases may be dealt with at this stage in the process. The Registrar (or nominee) will decide whether to refer the matter to a Student Disciplinary Committee Hearing. Decisions and outcomes are communicated to relevant staff members who reported the alleged breach.
If the alleged breach relates to academic misconduct you may wish to consult with the Head of School or the School Head of Teaching and Learning. For example, in cases of alleged plagiarism it would be appropriate for the matter to be dealt with under the school’s plagiarism protocol in the first instance.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to discuss a student conduct related issue or if you have any queries about the Student Code and the student disciplinary process.
Q1. DOES THE UCD STUDENT CODE APPLY WHEN I AM OFF CAMPUS?
The Student Code applies to all students’ conduct whether on or off the University’s premises, including university-related activities and activities where students are representing the University (including activities with University clubs or societies). The University may also decide to investigate reported student behaviour that may adversely affect the University’s reputation, whether committed on or off campus.
Q2. ARE ALL STUDENT CONDUCT ISSUES DEALT WITH UNDER THE STUDENT DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE?
No, there are some areas of the University that have authority to deal with some categories of poor student conduct at a local level. For example, schools have their own protocols for dealing with alleged cases of plagiarism; UCD Clubs and Societies have procedures for addressing the conduct of its members. UCD Residences and the UCD Library also operate regulations and procedures relating to student conduct. Where incidents are deemed to be of a serious nature all areas reserve the right to refer cases to to be dealt with under the University’s student conduct procedures.
Q3. DO I HAVE TO ATTEND A PRELIMINARY HEARING MEETING?
It is important that you attend meetings about your student conduct case. This provides you with the opportunity to discuss the situation and present any information you may have relating to the incident. Your responses will be taken into consideration by the Registrar (or nominee) when deciding on an appropriate outcome. If you are a UCD student registered to an oversees programme your preliminary hearing may be conducted as a paper-based process or via phone or Skype.
Q4: CAN I BRING SOMEONE TO THE STUDENT DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE HEARING?
Yes, it is recommended that you ask someone to accompany you to the hearing. We recommend that you contact your Student Adviser or one of the Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers in advance. They are experienced at attending such hearings and have a good understanding of the procedures. They can guide you through the process and explain what to expect at the Student Disciplinary Committee Hearing.
Q5. HOW WILL DECISIONS ABOUT MY CASE BE COMMUNICATED?
Normally at both the Preliminary Hearing and the Student Disciplinary Committee Hearing stage of the process you will be advised of any decisions at the end of the meeting. In all cases you will receive a letter confirming the decision and any related requirements or conditions.
Q6. CAN I REVIEW THE EVIDENCE AGAINST ME BEFORE MY HEARING?
Yes, all documentation that will be submitted to the Student Disciplinary Committee relating to your case will also be circulated to you by email in advance of the hearing.
Q7. WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES IF I BREACH THE UCD STUDENT CODE?
If you are found to have breached the Student Code a penalty will be applied from the options below. The penalty selected will depend on the nature of the breach and related circumstances. Penalties may be applied in combination.
- Letter of apology to be issued by the student.
- Reprimands are issued in writing and remain on student conduct records. They are not included on the student’s academic record/transcript.
Fines may be issued.
- Exclusion from an examination: Repeat/Resit attempts are capped.
- Exclusion from facilities.
- Payment for damage or loss caused.
- Suspension / Suspended Suspension for a specified period of time.
- Expulsion: permanent exclusion from the University.
Q8. WILL MY DISCIPLINARY BREACH END UP ON MY TRANSCRIPT?
No, the breach and any related penalty will not be detailed on your transcript as a disciplinary matter.