Student misconduct - university by university

Queen's University
Queen's University

Here are brief details on universities who responded to requests for information about student and staff misbehaviour at universities during the academic years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.


Ulster - There was an annual decrease in students who received action such as a formal reprimand, warning or penalty - down from 298 in 2014/15, to 209 the following year, and 204 the year after that. There were six cases of staff misconduct in three years, with one case of negligent behaviour resulting in dismissal.

Queen's University Belfast - The data showed no major increases or decreases, except for a spike in conditional discharges and fines in 2016/17, and a sharp reduction in the number of students on an alcohol education initiative.


Stirling - There was a year-on-year increase in academic misconduct (up from 174 to 253 to 284). A spike in antisocial behaviour in 2014/15 meant figures for breaches of the student code of discipline went from 59 in 2014/15 down to 10 the following year, and 19 for 2016/17.

Aberdeen - There were fluctuating numbers for breaches of the university's academic and non-academic codes of discipline. Together, there were 119 in 2014/15, dropping to 93 the following year, and 105 the year after that. Non-academic misconduct included "repeated mess", "climbing on (a) roof", and "exposing genitals".

University of the West of Scotland - There was a spike in reports of plagiarism in 2016/17, with 26 incidents investigated compared with seven and three the previous two years. Overall academic misconduct also spiked in that year.

St Andrews - Annual decreases in the number of academic misconduct cases saw the figure go from 198 in 2014/15 to 137 in 2015/16 and 110 the following year. The majority of investigations each year were due to plagiarism.

Glasgow - Staff incidents decreased every year, from 40 in 2014/15, to the year after 34, and 25 for the last year. Incidents included misuse of IT and social media, inappropriate behaviour, and poor timekeeping. Student incidents increased, particularly exam misconduct - which increased every year. The university also issued fines of nearly £25,000 over the three years for incidents such as causing fires and smoking in accommodation.

Queen Margaret Edinburgh - Only a handful of student incidents over the three-year-period - 28 in total.

Edinburgh Napier - Plagiarism investigations increased every year. The total number of academic misconduct incidents increased between 2014/15 and 2015/16 (up from 407 to 438), and then dropped the following year to 411.

Heriot-Watt - Incomplete data shows there was a rise in academic misconduct from 2014/15 to 2015/16, up from 165 to 252. There was no data for the third year. Non-academic misconduct dropped, from 166 to 94, then rose to 99 for the following year. In addition, nearly 300 fines were handed out over the three years.

Glasgow Caledonian - Suspected plagiarism increased to 167 in 2016/17 from 99 and 96 the previous two years. Disciplinary matters for students also increased to 52 from 45 and 34 the previous two years.

Abertay - Academic misconduct and non-academic misconduct both increased, with the combined totals up from 11 in 2014/15, to 32 the following year, and 34 the year after.

University of the Highlands and Islands - Scant details showed there were 20 cases of plagiarism in 2014/15, 12 the following year, and 14 the year after that. No other detail was available.

Glasgow School of Art - Academic misconduct increased every year, from five in 2014/15, to six the following year, and eight cases in 2016/17. Redacted data means it cannot be disclosed how many teachers were involved in disciplinary cases, although the number is less than five.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Heavily redacted data means it is impossible to know the true figure, but the indication is that staff breaches increased between 2014/15 (seven) and 2015/16 (10), and again the following year (11). Plagiarism went up from 10 to 25 then down to nine in 2016/17.


Cardiff - A total of 72 cases involving students - the numbers have dropped between 2014/15 and 2016/17. Most related to student behaviour rather than academic misconduct. There were also 73 staff-related incidents.

Cardiff Metropolitan - Rise in student incidents between 2014/15 and 2015/16 and then slight drop in 2016/17. Some 631 cases overall - including a number of criminal-related matters such as voyeurism, internet grooming and supply of drugs. Two staff cases over the three-year period.

Glyndwr - Some 90 cases involving students over the three academic years. These cases include one involving racist remarks, assault, threatening behaviour and the promotion of terrorist literature, while others involved violence and damaging university property with a weapon.

Swansea - Overall increase in cases over three years. Includes an increase in academic misconduct cases. 1,576 incidents involving students in total, covering attendance, academic misconduct, exam breaches and others.

Wales, Trinity Saint David - A total of 87 cases involving students, numbers dropped slightly over three years. Incidences included threats, bullying and sexual harassment. In one case "appropriate advice" and a fine was given for "hacking student emails".


Anglia Ruskin - Slight increase in academic offences resulting in expulsions, and a decrease in non-academic misconduct. Staff misconduct has plateaued although the three dismissals in 2016/17 was the highest in the three-year-period.

Aston - Collusion up on the previous year, but plagiarism down - despite it being the most common investigation.

Bath - Drug-related incidents were down on the previous year, but up on two years ago, threats also down on previous year. Health and safety-related incidents up. Staff disciplinaries - at 17 - were highest in 2016/17 than previous two years.

Bath Spa - Non-academic misconduct on the rise, and academic misconduct doubled between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

Birkbeck College - Annual increase in student code of discipline breaches, academic assessment offences peaked in 2015/16.

Birmingham - General increase in plagiarism breaches, up from 21 in 2014/15 to 29 in 2016/17. Annual decrease in staff cases concluding with an action.

Birmingham City - Increase in collusion, major decrease in plagiarism. Also an increase in bullying/harassment, up from under-five to six in 2016/17.

University College Birmingham - Increase in breaches of student behavioural code, from 13 to 17 to 22 in 2016/17. Two staff warnings, both in 2016/17.

Bishop Grosseteste - Increase in student plagiarism allegations, from 10 to 12 to 14. Also an unspecified increase in collusion, sexual misconduct on the previous years, although the institution could not specify how much due to low numbers.

Bournemouth - Large increases in academic misconduct, from 71 to 98 to 150 in 2016/17. Behavioural breaches consistent at 15 allegations a year.

Bradford - Twelve students going through the disciplinary process. Increase in staff allegations from seven to 20 in 2016/17, including staff dismissed for being late, theft, and turning security cameras away from an incident.

Brighton - Annual decrease in academic misconduct, an average of 10 staff allegations per year.

Bristol - The data showed no real trends regarding student misconduct - fluctuating between 35 and 53 incidents over the three years, although incidents involving five students or less were not included due to the potential to identify those involved, meaning the true figure is likely to be higher.

Brunel - Student misconduct went up from 44 to 88 and down to 70 in 2016/17.

Buckinghamshire - Annual decrease in unacceptable behaviour, from 36 to 26 to 11, and decrease in accommodation-related incidents from 80 to 64 to 54.

Cambridge - The university said academic and non-academic misconduct was dealt with using the university's disciplinary procedures. There were only seven incidents in total for student misconduct considered by the discipline committee. There were 31 staff investigations, according to the university's own data, decreasing each year.

Canterbury Christ Church - Slight increase in academic misconduct, from five to 10 in two years, and a leap from 235 incidents of plagiarism in 2014/15, to 323 in 2015/16, and 372 in 2016/17.

Central Lancashire - No overall trends, the most common case of student misconduct in 2014/15 was relating to breaches of social media policy.

Chester - An annual decrease in academic malpractice year on year, from 605 to 538 to 507. The university said it had been using plagiarism detection software TurnItIn for all text-based assessments from September 2014. There was no data available for non-academic misconduct.

Chichester - No trends, student incidents go from 24 to 26 to seven in 2016/17.

City, London - No real trends, 28 students over four calendar years.

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama - Data provided for two years showed there were more students investigated in 2016 (eight) than the previous year (one).

Courtauld Institute of Art - Only one case, involving a staff member, since records began in 2017. No records are retained relating to unacceptable behaviour of students.

Cranfield - Plagiarism and collusion both down in 2016/17 compared with the previous year.

University of the Creative Arts - A slight increase in plagiarism on the previous year, and the first incidents of sexual harassment (two) reported in the last academic year.

Cumbria - Overall academic misconduct fluctuated slightly between 70 and 77 cases over the three years, with several students fined at least £50 for behavioural issues including smoking cannabis and keeping a pet in halls.

De Montford - There was a small fluctuation in both the number of cases on academic misconduct and behavioural misconduct, the former being highest at 342 cases in 2014/15 and lowest at 294 the following year, the latter being highest at 76 in 2015/16 and lowest at 59 the previous year.

Derby - Slight increase in student unacceptable behaviour from six in 2014/15 to 10 in 2016/17. Data was largely redacted so further analysis is difficult. Student misconduct included substance abuse, use of inappropriate imagery in a further education setting, and fraud. Staff were investigated for inappropriate relationship and unprofessional comments to a colleague.

Durham University - No real trends. Misconduct and behavioural issues decreased in 2016/17 compared with the previous year, while staff misconduct spiked in the year before last. One teacher was dismissed in 2017 for bullying.

East Anglia - Year-on-year increase in non-academic misconduct, and an annual increase in plagiarism. Some were fined at least £100 for incidents such as going on the roof, disorderly behaviour, cannabis possession, tampering with a smoke detector, and swimming in the university broad.

East London - No overall trends, but at least 500 cases of academic misconduct for the three years. There were three times as may exam breaches (82) in 2015/16 than either of the other two years.

Edge Hill - Student misconduct spiked in 2015/16, including for anti-social behaviour, bullying/harassment, violence and plagiarism. Ten staff incidents in three years, resulting in four dismissals - including for aggression, harassment, a breakdown of trust, and bullying.

Essex - There were 1,756 cases of academic misconduct across the three years, plus 689 breaches of student conduct in residential accommodation, and 686 relating to student conduct. Overall, there was an increase in non-academic misconduct between 2016/17 compared with the previous year. There were more staff dismissals (eight) in 2016/17 than the previous two years (four) together.

Exeter - There was an annual increase in academic misconduct, while non-academic misconduct in 2016/17 was higher than the previous year. There were 2,203 student incidents, the data showed.

Falmouth - Plagiarism rose from 24 to 36 between 2014/15 and 2015/16, but dropped again to 26 the following year.

Goldsmiths - Data available for 2016/17 only showed there were 218 incidents of academic misconduct reported that year.

Greenwich - There were 46 cases of student misconduct examined over the three years, plus approximately 2,900 cases of plagiarism examined.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama - A spike in incidents in 2015/16 (50) compared with the years either side (14 and 16).

Harper Adams - A total of 318 misconduct cases involving students. In many cases this involved poor academic practice on the part of the student, or academic misconduct.

Hertfordshire - Almost 1,000 student cases (990) in total, the highest being in 2016/17. Offences ranged from cheating and plagiarism to possession or use of illegal substances and smoking in non-smoking areas.

Heythrop College - A total of 24 cases involving misconduct by students. All related to plagiarism. The number of cases fell every year between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

Huddersfield - Just over 100 student incidents (101) over the three-year period. This includes cases of assault, criminal damage and sexual misconduct.

Hull - Data shows there were 55 incidents of misconduct by students between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

Imperial College, London - A total of 121 cases involving students, with plagiarism at its highest in 2014/15. Offences included cheating in exams, plagiarism and drugs.

Keele - There were 376 cases involving students, with 199 in 2016/17 - more than the previous two years combined. In addition, there were 14 misconduct cases involving staff.

Kings College London - An increase in allegations of minor plagiarism - up from at least 145, to 167, and at least 171. Redacted data means comparisons each year are not easily available.

Kingston - The university had 461 cases of suspected academic misconduct, involving both staff and students. This includes cases where the student involved was found not guilty. There were also 132 cases of non-academic misconduct. Seven staff were investigated for various offences but only one was dismissed.

Lancaster - A total of 947 cases involving students. The numbers have dropped from 474 in 2014/15 to 231 in 2016/17. Across the three years, many offences related to misconduct in halls.

Leeds - Staff only due to time restrictions. There were 35 incidents in total including attending work under the influence of alcohol. Another received a verbal warning for offensive remarks of a racist nature on social media. Another received a written warning over allegations of unprofessional behaviour towards colleagues and students (verbal outbursts, rude emails to students, inaccurate emails to colleagues).

Leeds College of Art - The college recorded nine cases involving students, covering both further and higher education.

Leeds Beckett - A total of 1,823 incidents where students admitted, or were found to have breached, university regulations, and spiked in 2015/16. Cases covered issues such as cheating, collusion and plagiarism.

Leeds Trinity - A total of 33 incidents across three years for behaviour, and 250 for academic misconduct. This includes a year-on-year rise in academic/professional misconduct. One member of staff breached misconduct, for an allegation of sexual harassment, and resigned.

Leicester - Some 20 misconduct cases, rising year on year. These relate only to cases referred to a student discipline panel or authorised officer for investigation and where the case was upheld and a penalty imposed. It does not include figures for cases which were considered but it was concluded that misconduct had not occurred or no further action was taken.

Lincoln - No overall trends - 106 cases of academic misconduct across three years, and 34 across that time of behavioural issues including bullying, racial abuse, and malicious communications. There were seven cases of staff misconduct in 2016/17, more than any other year.

Liverpool - Incidents of plagiarism investigated remained static (404, 399, 404) but examination misconduct investigations soared from 50, 51 cases to 173 in 2016/17. Some 3,070 incidents investigated involving students, and 50 involving staff over three calendar years of data.

Liverpool Hope - Incidents of student misbehaviour have decreased annually, from 110 to 84 to 82. Academic misconduct is also at its lowest figure in three years in 2016/17.

Liverpool John Moores - Incomplete data means it is hard to draw any real conclusions from the student misbehaviour section, with at least 34 incidents in 2014/15, 45 the following year and 42 the year after. There is a clearer picture for proven cases of academic misconduct: up from 31 to 57 to 137 more recently. There are 14 recorded disciplinary cases against staff.

London School of Economics and Political Science - There were no real trends, with 165 incidents across student behaviour, exam misconduct and plagiarism. There were 12 incidents regarding staff.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Data available for two years only shows an increase in student irregularities (from 18 to 21, for 2015/16 and 2016/17), and an increase in copyright infringements in that time from one to four.

London Metropolitan - Only staff data, with 11 incidents over three academic years. Eight of these resulted in dismissal, for incidents such as misconduct, poor performance, repeated lateness, and rude and inappropriate behaviour.

London South Bank - Calendar year figures from 2014 onwards showed an annual increase in academic misconduct investigations (225, 245, 307), and proven allegations (138, 180, 188). There was a slight decrease in other behaviour, with details for two years.

Loughborough - The university's data showed an annual increase in academic misconduct. Student disciplinary cases were also at their highest in 2016/17. In addition, some 29 staff were subject to disciplinary action during the three-year period.

Manchester - There was a marked annual increase in the number of disciplinary hearings for students within residential services, up from 118 to 250 to 319. Other student breaches for disciplinary incidents, including aggression, racism and absence, were generally steady - 65 in 2014/15, 59 the next year and 63 the year after.

Manchester Metropolitan - A spike in accommodation-related misconduct in 2015/16 (924), compared with 260 the previous year and 825 the following. A small rise in behavioural misconduct - from three to six to 17. Only four incidents involving staff in three years.

Middlesex - There has been a year-on-year increase in breaches of the student code of discipline - from 52 to 55 to 66. Academic misconduct cases fluctuated from 373 in 2015, to 439 and 367.

National Film and Television School - There was one such breach by a member of staff in that period. This instance was in the 2016/17 academic year. The grounds for the breach was unprofessional conduct towards female members of staff by a male member of staff. It formed part of the judgment for imposing a disciplinary sanction of a written warning. No student incidents.

Newman - Four staff cases in three years, but a spike in students receiving disciplinary action (91 in 2016/17 is the highest for the three years, up from 66 and 58) was driven largely by an increase in plagiarism cases.

Northampton - An annual increase in both academic misconduct (from 653 to 909 to 1,008), and student disciplinary cases (from 11 to 30 to 36). Staff data is redacted due to low numbers.

Norwich University of the Arts - Student misconduct went from seven incidents in 2014/15 to six the following year, and 12 the year after.

Nottingham - Annual increases in academic misconduct (483 to 517 to 631), and code of discipline for students breaches (from 224 to 340 to 380). Staff disciplinary procedures also went up from 2015/16 (43) to 2016/17 (66).

Nottingham Trent - Increase in incidents taking place on campus and in halls, up from 242 to 287 to 332. Allegations of academic misconduct remain fairly stable (325, 337, 334), although number of cases upheld went from 229 to 272 then down to 264.

Open - An annual decrease in the total number of academic services incidents, from 1,266 to 995 to 656. Student misconduct also down, from 85 to 39 to 20. Staff incidents fluctuate between 15 and 10 and 16.

Oxford Brookes - An annual increase in student incidents, from 523 to 582 to 679, the vast majority of incidents being for plagiarism or collusion. There were a total of 10 staff incidents during the time frame.

Plymouth College of Art - Five cases involving staff during the last three years, and 14 involving students - up from three, to six, then down to five. All incidents refer to plagiarism and behaviour such as drunkenness.

Plymouth Marjon - An annual decrease in the number of student cases investigated - from 32 two years running, then down to 17. Of those, substantiated cases also fell from 30 to 24 to 14.

Portsmouth - There was a diminishing number of student misconduct incidents, from 581 to 365 to 353. Within that number, scholarship offences - such as plagiarism, plagiarism by collaboration, poor scholarship, falsifying evidence - saw an annual increase, although fire safety offences were almost eliminated (from 174 to 53 to eight). There was an increase in staff sanctions - up from at least four to at least eight over the three-year period.

Queen Mary, University of London - An annual increase in student assessment offences, up from 154 to 208 to 259.

Ravensbourne - A spike in academic misconduct, and student disciplinary outcomes. Academic misconduct went up from three, to three, to 21, while student disciplinary went up from one, to two, to 14. This was largely fuelled by misconduct on overseas visit.

Reading - Redacted data gives only an indication of the number of incidents of student misconduct, with proven cases up from nine, to 21, and then down to 11. There were three incidents of non-academic misconduct in 2014/15, rising to five the following year, and five the following year.

Roehampton - Data showed an annual decrease in the number of students investigated for academic misconduct - down from 262 in 2014/15 to 130 in 2015/16. Data was largely not held for the year 2016/17.

Rose Bruford - Only two years' data available, with four student breaches of the code of conduct in 2014/15, and 14 the following year. Plagiarism and bullying both increased.

Royal Academy of Music - There were only 14 incidents involving students, from one in 2014/15, rising to 10 the following year, then down to three. Almost all were for plagiarism.

Royal Agricultural - There was a decrease in the number of student cases, from 19, up to 20, and down to 12 for the last academic year. There were 20 cases of unacceptable behaviour by staff, the majority (13) coming in 2015/16.

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - There were a handful of cases for the last academic year (seven), the only year with data.

Royal College of Art - Just a handful of incidents across the years, involving four students and two staff.

Royal College of Music - There was an annual increase in plagiarism, up from 12 to 15 to 33. Only one staff breach in three years.

Royal Holloway - Accusations of incidents such as plagiarism and collusion increased every year, from 48 to 62 to 85. The number of students investigated for incidents such as noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and fraud rose every year, from 14 to 39 to 47.

Royal Northern College of Music - There were 50 cases involving students, including plagiarism, collusion and cheating. There were also two allegations of sexual misconduct.

Royal Veterinary College - Two incidents involving students over three years, along with eight involving staff. This includes an investigation into the misuse of social media by seven employees, which resulted in formal written warnings being issued to all.

St Mary's, Twickenham - Academic misconduct incidents rose annually, from 78 to 89 to 147. Within that, the number of accusations to have found there was academic misconduct also increased - from 67 to 70 to 127. Other behavioural incidents fluctuated - from 40 to 53 to 65.

Salford - Total of 609 cases involving students over the three years, the vast majority of which are for plagiarism. There were also 51 cases of unacceptable behaviour by staff across the period, including for regulation breaches and failure to follow instructions or policies. The number rose each year.

Sheffield - Some 52 cases led to action being taken against university employees. These include cases of inappropriate or unreasonable behaviour, harassment, bullying, theft and verbal abuse. There was no data for students.

Sheffield Hallam - A total of 1,632 cases involving students, and three involving staff. Academic misconduct cases fluctuated between 502 and 591. Student cases included violence and inappropriate behaviour as well as an allegation of inappropriate behaviour by the men's football team during a social event that led to widespread reports on social media (18 students).

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London - A total of 506 student cases, made up of 494 related to academic misconduct and 12 disciplinary. There were also seven cases involving staff, including for abusive behaviour and sexual misconduct.

Southampton Solent - Student incidents increased year on year, from 232 to 248 to 301. This largely comprised annual increases in student academic misconduct. Illegal substance incidents fluctuated - between 49, 12 and 37.

Staffordshire - A total of 49 cases involving students, with gross academic misconduct offences decreasing from 25 in 2014/15 to nine in each of the following years, plus an additional six cases before the university's disciplinary committee. Four staff faced a disciplinary sanction, including one over an accusation of racism.

Suffolk - Some 206 cases over three years involving students - relating to both student discipline and academic misconduct, the latter fluctuating between 55 incidents and 78.

Surrey - There were 301 cases involving students. Incidences include bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct and drug use. Academic misconduct spiked in 2015/16 (97 incidents).

Sussex - There were 649 student discipline cases over the three years. The cases included anti-social behaviour, vandalism, harassment and possession or use of illegal substances. Incidences increased between 2014/15 and 2015/16, and dropped again in 2016/17. In addition, academic misconduct increased year on year - a total of 454 incidents in three years.

Teesside - A total of 637 cases involving students. Rise in student disciplinary cases (small numbers) but fall in academic misconduct over the three years. Also 19 staff-related cases.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance - The number of student cases of academic misconduct fluctuated between 17 and eight. All 35 cases were upheld. Two staff incidents were also reported in the three-year period, one for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a student in a lesson, the other being sexual harassment on an adult. In the former case, the staff member decided not to return to work after the summer break, while the other staff member was dealt with informally.

Warwick - Student incidents increased every year - from at least 275 to at least 299 to at least 398. Noise disturbance counted for the most common complaint each year. The full picture - including that of staff misconduct - cannot be known due to some redacted data.

University College London - Academic misconduct cases went down every year, from 179 in 2014/15, to 148 the year after, and then 140 after that. Plagiarism was also down year on year - from 79 to 64 to 51.

University of the West of England, Bristol - Redacted data means it is not able to see the full picture, but the figures suggest a decrease in the number of student incidents, from at least 116 in 2014/15, up to at least 123 the following year, then down to at least 98. There were eight staff conduct cases in 2014/15, up to 11 in 2015/16. There were less than five the following year.

University of West London - Plagiarism offences fluctuated over the three years, from 225 in 2014/15 down to 136 the following year, and then 275 the year after. Other incidents, such as sexual misconduct, drug offences, behaviour and theft, were in single figures each year.

Westminster - Incidents involving students decreased annually from 14 to 11 to nine, while those involving staff went up from five to nine, then down to six in the last year.

Winchester - Only a handful of student incidents, the highest of which was six in 2014/15.

Wolverhampton - Plagiarism offences were at least 400 a year, with a spike in 2015/16. Collusion incidents increased every year - up from 76 to 112 to 117. Partially redacted data means it is not possible to give the total number of incidents each year, although there were at least 521 in 2014/15, 635 the following year, and 570 the year after.

Worcester - An increase in incidents for the two years available - up from seven in 2015/16 to 24 the following year. Assault, criminal activity and bringing the university into disrepute were all up.

York St John - An annual decrease in the number of students disciplined for academic misconduct - down from 102 to 99 to 52. Redacted information prevents details on staff dismissals being available.