Image of Wills Memorial Building

How the University Deals With Criminal Behaviour

Committing a criminal offence is “misconduct” under the University’s Student Disciplinary Regulations. If you are accused of misconduct, we strongly recommend speak to a Just Ask adviser: they can talk you through the process, advise you on your options and accompany you to any meetings or committees you have to attend.

Don’t forget that, under the student agreement between you and the University, you must disclose any “unspent” convictions or cautions (and, in the case of some courses – such as social work – “spent” convictions as well) you have, both in your application and during your studies. A conviction becomes “spent” when a specified time has passed since your punishment finished. Nacro have a guide to the relevant time periods. If you are convicted of a crime (or receive a caution) during your studies at Bristol you therefore need to disclose this to the University.

If you are accused of misconduct, and that misconduct (if proven) would also be a criminal offence, the University has discretion whether or not to report you to the police. If they do, or you are otherwise reported to the police, the University may defer dealing with your case internally until the police (and/or the courts) have finished dealing with your case. While you are awaiting trial, or under police investigation, the University may suspend you if they consider that any of the University’s members or property require protection. The terms of your suspension (such as being restricted from certain premises or activities), and the reasons behind it, will be notified to you. Unless the University considers that the matter is urgent, you are entitled to make representations to the University arguing why you should not be suspended. The Just Ask advisers can help you if you wish to make representations.

If you are found guilty of misconduct, the University can impose a range of penalties upon you: from an absolute discharge (which means that although you are guilty of misconduct, the University doesn’t consider that you are blameworthy) to expelling you from University.