Rights and Responsibilities

The Students' Union Building and Concourse

Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a student of this University, you have both rights and responsibilities.  A number of formal statements set out what you can expect from the University and what expectations are placed on you.

You will have been offered a place subject to satisfying the academic requirements for admission prescribed by the University and possibly some specific requirements or conditions such as Entry Agreements.  On registration all students are required to give their consent to observe University Regulations.  In addition, some academic departments have additional requirements, for example those delivering professionally accredited degree programmes.

Please read through any handbooks carefully, such as those issued to you by academic departments or Student Services, as they contain extremely important information.

Equality of Opportunity

The University is committed to the elimination of any form of unlawful discrimination and to the promotion of equality of opportunity for all its students and keeps its procedures and policies under regular review to ensure compliance with current legislation.

Students can expect impartial guidance appropriate to their individual needs.  In addition, the University and the Students' Union actively seek to promote an awareness and understanding of the specific needs of our students by ensuring they receive relevant information and guidance.  Both organisations will also seek to promote an awareness of, and will respond effectively and appropriately to, the additional support needs of students, whether the issues are concerning cultural and socio-economic background or individual characteristics such as age, sexuality or disability.

Your Conduct

The University asks for your commitment to behaving responsibly and appropriately while you are a student, taking account of the need to respect others in the University community.  This requirement extends beyond the University campus to student residences and beyond.  Students are seen as ambassadors of the University and are expected to behave accordingly.  The Attributes of a Sheffield Graduate web site sets out the attributes the University believes you should be acquiring during your studies.

The Student Code of Conduct sets out examples of good and bad conduct and how the University responds to misconduct. All students are expected to abide by this code of conduct.

The University takes a very serious view of inappropriate behaviour and the Student Discipline Regulations explain the action which might result in the case of student misconduct.

Copyright and Your Studies

You are expected to comply with UK copyright legislation.  This applies to any copyright materials you may use in the course of your studies, both online and in printed form.  For more information see the University's Copyright Hub.

Your Accommodation

If you are in University-managed accommodation, your residential contract sets out your legal rights and responsibilities.  Further information may be obtained from Accommodation and Commercial Services.

Your Health, Security and Safety

The University is committed to providing you with a safe environment while you are a student.  Sheffield is one of the country's safest cities but you still need to take care with your personal safety and to help prevent accidents.

For safety reasons all students and staff are required to comply with the University´s Health and Safety Codes of Practice, which provide a general framework for safe working in the University.

The University may take disciplinary action against anyone misusing or interfering with health and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers (tampering with fire safety equipment is a criminal offence). It should be remembered that everyone who uses University premises has a legal duty of care to colleagues, to the general public and to the University community.

The University aims to ensure that students understand the health implications of excess alcohol consumption and the connection with issues such as academic progress, finances or crime/misconduct.  Students may seek access to University or local support services for further information. 

Student Complaints Procedure

The University believes that students should be entitled to have access to effective systems for handling any complaints that might arise during the course of their studies, as one way of ensuring the highest possible academic and service standards. You should feel able to make a complaint, secure in the knowledge that it will be fairly investigated.

The Complaints Procedure comprises a number of stages and can be used for complaints about the delivery and quality of services, teaching, tutorial/supervisory provision or any other matters relating to a programme of study or research.

If recourse to the University's internal procedures has not resulted in the resolution of a complaint or appeal to a student's satisfaction, (e.g. the internal procedures have been exhausted), the student may wish to consider pursuing their complaint with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). The OIA provides independent adjudication on the resolution of complaints where an institution's internal procedures have been exhausted. The Students' Union can advise on this external review process.

Unacceptable Behaviour

The University may exceptionally terminate or suspend consideration of a complaint or appeal where it considers that a student's behaviour is unacceptable or disruptive, for example where aggressive or unreasonable demands are made or where repeated representations are made on matters which have already been considered under these procedures.