General Regulation I - Definitions
In the General Regulations of the University, the following expressions shall have the meaning assigned below, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) "College" includes all the Colleges maintained by Council, the recognised Colleges, and Licensed Halls of Residence.
(b) "College Regulations" means the rules made by College authorities for the conduct of students.
(c) "University Regulations" includes the General Regulations of the University and regulations made under the authority of these regulations.
(d) "The General Regulations of the University" means the rules laid down by Senate and Council for the conduct of members of the University under the authority accorded to those bodies by the Statutes of the University. Please refer to the disclaimer available at www.durham.ac.uk/gateways/handbooks/ for information on the circumstances in which these regulations may be altered. They are published in the University Calendar Volume I available on the web via www.durham.ac.uk/university.calendar/volumei/.
(e) “Codes of Practice” and the University’s Learning and Teaching Handbook provide guidance on specific areas of the University. If there is any conflict or disagreement between what is stipulated in General Regulations and the advice given in the Codes of Practice or the University’s Learning and Teaching Handbook, the stipulations within General Regulations take precedence.
(f) "Programme". A degree or other programme is a set of modules or courses satisfying the requirements for a particular named degree or other qualification.
(g) “Authorised University Officer (AUO)” means
The Head of the relevant Faculty and Deputies to the Head of the relevant Faculty
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience)
The Principals or Masters of Colleges
The Heads of Academic, Administrative or Service Departments or Schools
The Chairs of Boards of Examiners
The Chief Information Officer
The Chief Operating Officer (Registrar)
The Academic Registrar
The Deputy Academic Registrar
The Director of Estates and Buildings
Any member of University staff expressly authorised to act as AUO by one of the above.
(h) “Head of the Relevant Faculty” and their Deputies. The current Heads of Faculty are:
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts & Humanities) Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science) Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Social Sciences & Health)
(i) "The University Statutes" means the Statutes of the University of Durham scheduled to the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act 1963 as subsequently amended. The University Statutes are published in the University Calendar.
(j) "The University" includes all of the University estates and in addition recognised Colleges, Licensed Halls of Residence, and Durham Students' Union premises.
(k) "Head of College" means the Master or Principal of a maintained College, a recognised College, or a Licensed Hall of Residence.
(l) "Student" means any person admitted to the University under Section II of the General Regulations and any other person registered as a member of the University for the purpose of full-time, part-time or occasional study, including those paying a Continuation Fee.
(m) "Required to withdraw". A student who is required to withdraw from the University ceases to be a member of the University from the date of the withdrawal. From that date the student may not reside in the University or have access to any of its facilities, academic, social or sporting. Nor may a student enter for any further examinations without the special permission of the Senate.
(n) "Member of the University" includes all members of the staff of the University and of the Recognised Colleges and Licensed Halls of Residence, and all students.
(o) "The Office of the Independent Adjudicator" (OIA) is the independent body to whom students may complain in accordance with their procedures. Information about the OIA and the procedure for submitting complaints can be obtained from the Academic Support Office, the Durham Students' Union website or from the OIA website: www.oiahe.org.uk
General Regulation II - Admission
(1) Admission to study at Durham University must be in accordance with the University’s Admissions Regulations.
Please refer to the University’s regulations for Admission and Matriculation, and the University’s Notification of Academic and Personal details for Admission and Matriculation and Registration Purposes Regulation all of which are published in Volume II of the University Calendar.
General Regulation III - Residence
(1) All undergraduate students, postgraduate students and all students engaged in periods of full-time study for one or more terms, must be members of a College. Information about the University's Colleges is available at www.durham.ac.uk/colleges/”.
(2) Students shall be members of a College at the primary site of their learning and teaching.
(3) Student members of the University registered for full-time programmes of study shall reside within College, or Licensed Hall of Residence, or within College managed accommodation, or otherwise within a reasonable distance of the University+.
(4) Exceptions to (3) above may be granted by the Chair of the relevant Faculty Education Committee following the submission of a concession request endorsed by the student’s Department and College.
(5) Students may only, and for exceptional reasons, change College membership during a programme of study with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) or his or her designate(s).
(6) A student who leaves their residential licence agreement during the course of a term, may be required to pay an early termination charge as specified in that agreement. See also General Regulation IX B Payment of Fees and Charges.
(7) Where the University terminates an application prior to the programme start date or requires a student to withdraw under the terms of its Notification of Academic and Personal details for Admission, Matriculation and Registration Purposes Regulation, the University may retain any fees paid on or on behalf of the applicant.
+ Or other approved location of study as defined in the programme regulations.
General Regulation IV - Discipline
(a) Durham University reserves the right to investigate allegations of student misconduct which occurs within or without the University and discipline students by imposing reasonable sanctions where, in its view a student’s conduct adversely affects the University community, its proper functioning or its activities.
(b) Any registered student of the University agrees to be subject to misconduct rules and disciplinary processes and, where misconduct is substantiated, be bound by the conclusions and any reasonable sanctions imposed by the University which may include expulsion (permanent withdrawal) in the most serious of cases. Where students fail to follow or fulfil any disciplinary sanctions imposed on them, they may be subject to further disciplinary processes.
(c) To effectively safeguard its community and the integrity of its academic judgements, the University may require the expulsion of a student against whom serious or repeated misconduct allegations are substantiated.
(d) In cases where misconduct is substantiated and where the sanction is not expulsion, the University will put in place fair and reasonable sanctions and, where appropriate, with a restorative approach.
(e) Where an allegation of student misconduct may also be a breach of criminal law, the University reserves the right to report this to the Police. University disciplinary processes are not an alternative to investigation by the police. Where an allegation of student misconduct is under investigation by the Police, the University would normally stay any internal investigation until the conclusion of Police or legal action. (Please also refer to the University’s Code of Practice on Notification of Misconduct to the Police and Internal Action in Volume 1 of the University Calendar)
(f) In cases where serious misconduct allegations are raised and internal complaint or disciplinary investigations are pending or Police or legal action is ongoing, in accordance with General Regulations VI Suspension, the University may suspend a student from all or parts of the University pending the conclusion of the investigation of the allegation under the appropriate internal process or Police or legal action.
(g) Students under investigation for misconduct or subject to orders or sanctions following a misconduct investigation are expected to comply with the Code of Practice on Student Behaviour in Appeals and Complaints Matters.
(h) Students who are accused of or under investigation by the University for misconduct may seek advice and guidance from any of the following:
- the appropriate College Student Support Office;
- appropriate academic staff (as set out in the Departmental handbook);
- the Student Conduct Office (non-academic misconduct) or Curriculum, Learning & Assessment Service (academic misconduct);
- the Students' Union (advocacy as well as procedural support).
Staff and students are also advised to consult the University’s guidance on student discipline available via the web on www.dur.ac.uk/academicsupport.office/appeals/.
(i) In any meeting with University staff under this regulation, students have the right to be accompanied. The University does not permit legal representation at any misconduct meetings.
(j) In all cases considered under this regulation, an allegation of misconduct will be assessed on the balance of probabilities.
(k) All parties are expected to comply with reasonable deadlines set by the University and advise the University about any difficulties they may face during the investigation in meeting any deadlines. Where students fail to respond or engage with a misconduct investigation in a timely fashion, the University may proceed to reach conclusions in the absence of the student.
(l) Where, for good reason, either party is unable to keep to the time limits as set, all parties will be kept regularly informed of progress. Students should inform the University where they do not consider any extensions to time limits reasonable.
(2) Definitions and Terms
(a) Misconduct, for the purpose of the University’s General Regulations, is any act or omission, within or without the University, which disrupts, frustrates or interferes with the proper functioning or activities of the University or of those who work or study in the University, or otherwise damages the fabric of the University or its reputation. Non-exhaustive lists of examples of misconduct are provided in the relevant regulations, procedures and code of practices.
(b) Authorised University Officers (AUOs) are University staff expressly authorised to act on allegations of student misconduct and may delegate their authority to another member of staff on a general or case-by-case basis. AUOs are identified in General Regulations I – Definitions and include anyone delegated responsibility by an AUO.
(c) The terms ‘expulsion’, or ‘exclusion’ and ‘suspension’ feature in these regulations. They are defined as follows:
(i.) ‘Expulsion’ is a compulsory, permanent sanction to require a student to withdraw from the University. A student who is expelled ceases to be a member of the University from the date of the expulsion. From that date, the student may not reside in University accommodation or have access to any of its facilities (academic, social or sporting) or premises nor may the student enter for any further examinations without the special permission of the Senate. An expelled student remains eligible to receive confirmation from the University of any confirmed marks, awards or certificates that are not related to misconduct or decisions reached in relation to misconduct which have been completed prior to expulsion;
(ii) “Exclusion” is a permanent or time-limited sanction imposed as the outcome of a discipline procedure which allows the student to remain a member of the University. The sanction(s) may include any or all of the following:
- That the student should cease to be a member of the University in residence (for a maximum period of one year). Also known as “rustication”;
- That the student may not make use of any or all of the academic, residential, social or sporting facilities provided by the University, but may be permitted to sit University examinations;
- That the student may not remain in accommodation in College and may be forbidden, whilst a student, to use all or specified facilities of the College but remains a member of the College and is expected to fulfil all their academic commitments;
- That the student should have no contact of any kind with a named person or persons.
(iii.) “Suspension” is not a sanction; it is a temporary measure taken in a variety of circumstances which includes as a response to an allegation of misconduct. It is not punitive and protects the student and other members of the University whilst investigations are carried out. Suspension is not judgmental.
(a) In registering as a student with the University, students agree, for the duration of their registration, to be bound by rules regarding student conduct specified in the regulations, procedures and code of practices specified in Volume I and Volume II of the University Calendar.
(b) The regulation applies to all registered students where, in the reasonable view of the University, the alleged misconduct:
(i.) was committed on the physical premises or in technology provided by the University or as part of activities organised or sanctioned by the University;
(ii.) poses serious risks or disruptions to the University or members of its community.
(c) Application of this regulation under 3 (b) shall be made by the responsible AUO in consultation as necessary with other senior University staff or AUOs.
(d) If conflict arises, the General Regulations of the University specified in Volume I of the Calendar will take precedence over any other regulation, procedure, code of practice, policy, or guideline published by the University or by third parties recognised by the University.
(e) Where students eligible for a Durham University award are following a programme of study validated by the University but delivered by a partner organisation and are, for the duration of their programme, registered with the validation partner organisation, they will come under the jurisdiction of the regulations for student discipline of the organisation concerned. General Regulation IV – Discipline does not therefore apply to such students.
(f) In cases where a student may be subject to or simultaneously raise additional matters informally or formally under any other University regulation, procedure or code of practice, the University will write to the student to inform them of the appropriate process, processes or order of processes which will be used. The University may give precedence to the investigation of an allegation of student misconduct.
(g) Except in the case of an investigation of academic misconduct, the University may decide not to continue to investigate allegations of misconduct in relation to a former student who has graduated or permanently withdrawn from the University.
(h) An annual report will be made to Senate on the operation of this regulation. Where appropriate the annual report will contain recommendations for improving practice in the University.
Detailed procedures for Academic and Non-Academic Misconduct can be found in the following documents:
(i) Academic Misconduct Procedure
(ii) Non-Academic Misconduct Procedure
(4) Types of Misconduct Offence
(a) There are two types of misconduct offence:
(i) “Major” offences involve allegations of student misconduct that either does or has the potential to seriously affect or cause serious damage to the University, its academic reputation or to its staff and students. In addition:
- “Major” offences may also include instances where student misconduct is frequent or repeated or the student fails to comply with disciplinary decisions or sanctions previously reached at lower levels or fails to comply with the terms of a suspension;
- “Major” offences shall be referred to the Senate Discipline Committee as, where a “major” offence allegation is proved, the student may be expelled;
- Examples of “major” offences are listed in section 6 (a);
- Examples of sanctions are listed in section 8.
(ii) “Non-major” offences involve allegations of student misconduct which, whilst serious in nature, do not seriously affect or cause serious damage to the University, its academic reputation or its staff or students. In addition:
- “Non-major” offences are processed at a department (academic or support) or college level and any appropriate sanctions imposed may not include expulsion;
- Where a student fails to comply with a “non-major” offence decision or sanction or engages in frequent or repeated instances of misconduct, the student’s misconduct may be referred to Senate Discipline Committee as an allegation of a “major” offence;
- Examples of sanctions are listed in section 8.
(b) The relevant Authorised University Officer will determine, as set out below, whether allegations of misconduct are investigated as “major” or “non-major” offences. Students do not have the right to challenge this decision.
(5) Decision whether a Misconduct Offence may be a "Major" or "Non-Major" Offence
(a) Upon receipt of an allegation of student misconduct, an AUO or their delegated representative will determine whether the alleged misconduct should be investigated locally as an allegation of a “non-major” offence or instead be referred to the Senate Discipline Committee as an allegation of a “major” offence.
(b) The AUO will make the decision based on:
- the nature of the misconduct;
- the examples of “major” offences listed in section 6 below;
- the evidence of the alleged misconduct;
- any statement of the student and/or any mitigation known to be present in the case.
(c) Where an AUO considers the misconduct could be “major,” the Secretary to Senate Discipline Committee must be contacted after which the AUO will send the Secretary a brief report of the nature of the misconduct and provide reference to examples of “major” offence(s) which may apply and any evidence collected. The Chair or a Deputy Chair of Senate Discipline Committee, will in turn decide whether:
(i) to refer the misconduct allegation to a Senate Discipline Committee hearing for consideration as a “major” offence;
(ii) to refer the misconduct allegation back to the AUO to be treated as a “non-major” offence;
(iii) to recommend (where appropriate) that formal disciplinary action should not take place.
(6) "Major" Offences
(a) The following list of examples of “major” offences is non-exhaustive and should be viewed in light of the definition of misconduct and “major” offences in this regulation.
(i) Falsification or serious misuse of University records, including degree or diploma certificates [Allegations involving fraudulent information or non-disclosure of material information for admissions or matriculation and registration purposes are normally considered under the University’s Notification of Academic and Personal details for Admission, Matriculation and Registration Purposes (University Calendar Volume II)];
(ii) False pretenses or impersonation of others, within or without the University, in connection with academic attainments or financial awards;
(iii) Theft, fraud, misapplication of, or gross negligence in connection with, funds or property of any kind;
(iv) Serious instances of disorderly conduct causing serious damage to or on University property or premises or seriously affecting good order;
(v) Conduct, which, by whatever means, seriously disrupts or prejudices the work of other members or employees of the University or the carrying out of University business;
(vi) Breaches of regulation, procedure, or code of practice of the University where the breaches are referred to Senate Discipline Committee as allegations of “major” offences;
(vii) Failure to comply with a sanction or ruling under a “non-major” offence procedure;
(viii) Conduct which brings the University into serious disrepute, by causing serious reputational damage;
(ix) Conduct which endangers, or is calculated to endanger, the health and safety of another member of the University;
(x) Serious offence or offences in connection with degree, diploma or certificate examinations as defined in General Regulations VIII – Examinations and which may also include falsification of results or evidence, use of unethical research methods, collusion, or impersonation;
(xi) Offences against the criminal law, where these offences seriously affect or have the potential to seriously affect the interests of the University or members of its community.
(b) Senate Discipline Committee hearing procedure:
(i) Where the Chair or a Deputy Chair of Senate Discipline Committee refers a “major” offence allegation to a hearing the student will be informed of the decision within 5 days together with information about the hearing process, their rights and responsibilities, and sources of support for responding to the allegation;
(ii) Information is also available for staff and students at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/academicsupport.office/appeals/;
(iii) At the conclusion of the Senate discipline procedure, the student should be informed of their right to appeal the decision to Council Student Appeals Committee under section 9 of this regulation.
(7) "Non-Major" Offences
(a) An AUO (or their nominee) may reach decisions relating to allegations of “non-major” misconduct which occur in an area of the University for which they have responsibility or in accordance with a regulation, procedure, or code of practice they operate.
(b) Where University regulations, procedures or codes of practice specify processes for breaches of rules, the misconduct allegation will normally be dealt with by the responsible AUO, as set out in that relevant regulation, procedure or code of practice.
(c) Where a misconduct allegation may relate to breaches of rules specified by more than one regulation, procedure or code of practice, the AUO to whom the misconduct allegation is reported will contact the appropriate other AUOs to determine the process or processes which are appropriate to follow in the circumstances. In certain cases it may be appropriate for a joint investigation to take place. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. fitness to practice procedures) more than one process may take place in relation to a misconduct allegation. The student will be kept informed of the process.
(d) Whilst misconduct allegations which are considered by the AUO to be “non-major” may be processed and concluded in accordance with the specified regulation, procedure or code of practice, the procedure followed should generally adhere to the following broad principles to ensure that the process is fair and transparent to all involved:
- that the student accused and those ruling on the offence receive written notification of the offence and the process to be followed to investigate the offence;
- that following notification, the student accused should have the right to be accompanied by a member of the University community at any meeting they attend to investigate the offence;
- that the AUO should have at least one other member of the University community present to hear the case, one of whom shall act as a note-taker at meetings to investigate the offence;
- that before a conclusion is reached and appropriate sanctions implemented the student should be given the opportunity of make written or oral statements to defend themselves against the allegation, or where they wish to admit the offence to account for the misconduct and submit mitigation;
- that where the student was given reasonable notice to attend a meeting to investigate the offence and fails to attend without good reasons, the AUO may proceed to reach conclusions and sanctions as appropriate in the absence of the student;
- that the AUO also has the right to postpone, continue or adjourn the case at his/her discretion;
- that the AUO should provide the student with a brief written, reasoned decision summarizing the facts found and the considerations which led him/her to reach the decision;
- the student should be informed of their right to appeal the decision under section 9 of this regulation.
(a) The limits of these sanctions may be reviewed periodically by authority of the Senate and Council.
Sanctions for “major” offences
(b) The sanction for a “major” offence is expulsion from the University.
(c) Where, in the reasonable view of SDC, expulsion is an inappropriate sanction a lesser sanction may be imposed.
(d) In addition to expulsion or where a lesser sanction is imposed, SDC may require sanctions from the following list or any other sanctions which it may consider reasonable in light of the nature of the case:
- a written reprimand;
- a financial sanction;
- a requirement to make good the cost in whole or in part of any damage caused and/or repay/make good any financial loss to the University;
- a requirement to make an appointment for counselling or medical treatment;
- a requirement to undertake community service;
- an order of exclusion for a specified period of time;
- restrictions to access to the University or College or part thereof or activities organised or sanctioned by the University;
- in the case of an academic offence, informing the Board of Examiners that marks awarded for an entire module or modules or components of a module or modules be reduced or restricted to zero and that there should be no opportunity for the student to resit a module, modules or components thereof ;
- informing the Board of Examiners/or Examiners of a thesis of cancellation of all marks without the opportunity to resit;
- reduction of degree classification to be awarded or award of a lesser qualification without the opportunity to resit.
(e) In exceptional circumstances, SDC may recommend to Senate under Statute 23 that a former student’s degree should be revoked;
Sanctions for “non-major” offences
(f) The AUO or responsible person or body stipulated in the respective regulation, procedure or code of practice may impose appropriate sanctions from the range set out in the regulation, procedure or code of practice, or as appropriate from the range of sanctions listed below:
- a written reprimand or rescinding of privileges for a period not exceeding one term;
- a financial sanction;
- a requirement to make good the cost in whole or in part of any damage caused and/or repay/make good any financial loss to the University;
- a requirement to make an appointment for counselling or medical treatment;
- a requirement to undertake community service;
- restrictions to access to the University or College or part thereof or activities organised or sanctioned by the University;
- any or all of these or any other sanction (other than expulsion) as deemed reasonable by the bodies above.
(9) Rights of Appeal
Appeal against a decision under the “Non-Major” Offence procedure
(a) A student may appeal an AUO’s “non-major” offence decision by writing to the Secretary of Senate Discipline Committee within 14 days of notification of the “non-major” offence decision. Students are able to appeal on the following grounds only and should provide supporting evidence where appropriate:
(i) Evidence that the AUO did not follow appropriate procedure in investigating the allegation and that this had a material effect on the AUO’s decision, making it unsound;
(ii) Substantial and relevant new information which the student was unable to provide previously for a good reason and that this had a material effect on the AUO’s decision, making it unsound.
(b) The “non-major” offence appeal process will not re-investigate the disciplinary offence.
(c) Action to implement the AUO’s decision may be delayed in part or in full until the appeal is considered.
(d) Within three weeks of the student’s appeal being received it shall normally be considered by the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Senate Discipline Committee or their nominee.
(e) If the Chair or Deputy Chair decide to dismiss the appeal the student is required to comply with any decisions or sanctions put in place by the original AUO.
(f) If the Chair or Deputy Chair decide the appeal is upheld for one or more reasons, they may decide either:
(i) To refer the case back to the original AUO or the original decision making body for a rehearing in light of new evidence or in a procedurally correct manner;
(ii) Annul, amend, confirm or reduce the imposed sanctions.
(g) Except in cases where further action is to be undertaken, the decision of the Chair or Deputy Chair is final and the Secretary of Senate Discipline Committee shall inform the student of the decision and the right to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and the deadline for submitting a complaint.
Appeal against a decision under the “Major” Offence procedure
(h) A student may appeal a Senate Discipline Committee “major” offence decision to Council Student Appeals Committee (CSAC) by writing to the Secretary of CSAC within 14 days of notification of SDC’s “major” offence decision. Students are able to appeal on the following grounds only and should provide supporting evidence where appropriate:
(i) Evidence that Senate Discipline Committee did not follow appropriate procedure in investigating the allegation and that this had a material effect on its decision, making it unsound;
(ii) Substantial and relevant new information which the student was unable to provide previously for a good reason and that this had a material effect on the Senate Discipline Committee’s decision, making it unsound.
(i) The “major” offence appeal process will not re-investigate the disciplinary offence.
(j) Within six weeks of the appeal being received by the CSAC Secretary, it shall be forwarded to the Chair of CSAC together with all the information considered as part of the Senate Discipline Committee hearing.
(k) In reaching a decision on whether the student has demonstrated the grounds for appeal, the CSAC Chair may consult as appropriate.
(l) Where the CSAC Chair considers the student has demonstrated their case and the decision made by SDC was unsound for one or more reasons, they may decide to either:
(i) Refer the case and any new information back to a newly constituted Senate Discipline Committee hearing, comprised of members who are without prior involvement in the case (or, alternatively, back to the original decision-making body or Officer, as appropriate);
(ii) Annul, amend, confirm or reduce the imposed sanctions.
(m) If the CSAC Chair, after considering the student’s appeal and supporting information relating to the case, decides that the student has not demonstrated their grounds for appeal, the student’s appeal will be dismissed.
(n) In all cases, the student will be informed of the decision and provided with a brief written decision summarising the reasons for the decision. The student will also be informed of the availability to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and the timeline for doing so.
General Regulation V - Academic Progress
(1) All students engaged in full or part-time study (excluding those registered on a Continuation Fee basis) are required to fulfil their academic commitments.
(a) To that end undergraduate and taught postgraduate students shall, as required by the regulations governing the degree or other programme or module for which they are registered:
(i) attend courses of instruction in the University in each of the subjects required to the satisfaction of the Heads of Departments or Schools responsible for those subjects;
(ii) fulfil all academic obligations, including registration and those obligations defined (in the relevant module outline as published in either the Faculty Handbook or Postgraduate Module catalogue as appropriate) as being required to demonstrate academic progress in the modules for which they are registered to a standard satisfactory to the Heads of Departments or Schools responsible for the subjects.
(b) Postgraduate students are required to engage in research and/or advanced study to a standard satisfactory to their supervisory team or Course Director.
(c) A student who, because of illness or other good cause, is unable to fulfil his/her academic commitments may, as a matter of grace, be regarded as having met his/her academic commitments by concession. Normally such a concession will not be granted on more than one occasion in a single academic year, and it will normally be for no more than five weeks. Additionally, concessions for 'grace periods' must specify the alternative summative assessment arrangements which replace any standard summative assessment requirements for any modules which cannot be fulfilled during the 'grace period'. Whenever possible the student will be required to make up the work missed in his or her own time.
(a) If satisfied that a student appears, after appropriate departmental warnings have been issued, to have failed to fulfil his/her academic commitments as defined in 1 above, the Head of Department or School responsible for the commitment in question shall request the designated officer to formally issue an Academic Progress Notice (APN) letter to the student. The designated officer should normally be the Head of the Faculty or a deputy to the Head of the Faculty. The designated officer must not be a member of the Board of Studies or the Board of School which made the original request for an Academic Progress Notice to be issued, and in the case of a student studying a Liberal Arts or Natural Sciences programme the designated officer must not be the member of University staff responsible for the management of the programme. If a Deputy to the Head of the Faculty is unable to serve the Head of Faculty shall appoint an alternative designated officer to act.
(b) The request shall specify the grounds for requesting that an APN letter be issued and the academic requirements of Boards of Studies or Boards of School which must be satisfied according to a stated timetable within a period of not less than four weeks, or by the end of the remainder of the student’s period of study, if shorter. In the case of undergraduate students the period of four weeks shall be in term time and may extend over two terms, but may not include the pre-examination period of the Easter Term. In the case of postgraduate students the period of four weeks may not extend beyond four weeks prior to the deadline for the submission of the dissertation. The APN letter shall state that unjustified failure to satisfy the specified academic requirements may result in the student being required to withdraw from the University.
(c) The APN letter shall also specify that prior to the end of the penultimate week of the APN period the student must make any and all relevant information of mitigating circumstances known to the relevant Heads of Departments or Schools (or in the case of students studying a Liberal Arts or Natural Sciences programme the Programme Director). The student may also make an appointment to see the designated officer to offer such information to him or her.
(d) In the case of undergraduate students, copies of the APN letter shall be sent to the Heads of Departments or Schools concerned with that student, to the Director of the degree or other programme when appropriate and to the College Support Office of that student. In the case of postgraduate students, copies of the APN letter shall be sent to the Heads of all Departments or Schools concerned, the Supervisor or Course Director, to the Head of the Faculty concerned and to the College Support Office concerned (if applicable).
(a) At the end of the specified APN period the designated officer shall on the basis of the reports from the Boards of Studies or the Boards of School decide either:
(i) That the student's performance has improved sufficiently to have fulfilled the conditions of the APN. or
(ii) That the student has not met the conditions of the APN and therefore should be asked to withdraw.
In exceptional circumstances, the designated officer may decide to extend the period of the APN for a specified period (normally not more than four weeks). An APN may not normally be extended on more than one occasion before a decision is made as to whether to require the student to withdraw from the University. This decision should normally be taken within two weeks and normally during term time in the case of an undergraduate student.
(b) A decision to require a student to withdraw must be made not later than the first week of the Easter Term (for undergraduates) and four weeks before the submission date for the dissertation (for postgraduates). After this, the student’s progress will be determined on the basis of the outcomes of his/her examinations and assessed coursework.
(c) The student shall be informed of the decision in writing; with copies sent as in 2(d) above. Where a student is being required to withdraw from the University, the letter shall also give information on appeal procedures.
(4) A student may appeal to the relevant Faculty against a decision of a designated Officer taken under the Regulations for Academic Appeals: see General Regulation VII below
General Regulation VI - Suspension
A suspension is not a sanction; it is a temporary measure taken in response to an allegation of misconduct. It is not punitive and protects the student and other members of the University whilst investigations are carried out.
Suspension is not judgmental.
By comparison, exclusion and expulsion are sanctions imposed as the outcome of a discipline procedure as specified in General Regulations IV – Discipline.
(2) Cases in which Suspension can be Considered
Suspension can therefore be considered as appropriate in the following cases:
(a) where a student has been accused of a “major” or “non-major” offence as set out in General Regulations IV - Discipline; or the student’s matriculation and registration is being investigated under the terms of the University’s Notification of Academic and Personal details for Admission, Matriculation and Registration Purposes Regulation;
(b) where a police investigation is pending into an allegation that the student has committed an offence or offences against the criminal law which affect or have the potential to affect the interests of the University or have the potential to seriously affect the health and safety of staff or students. (Please also refer to the University’s Code of Practice on Notification of Misconduct to the Police and Internal Action in Volume 1 of the University Calendar);
(c) where a student may be suffering from health difficulties and causing serious disruption to others or severely damaging their own academic prospects;
(d) as a short term emergency measure whilst investigations are carried out.
In all cases where the terms of a suspension might involve removing the student from college accommodation, the Collegiate Office must be contacted as soon as possible for advice on how to proceed.
In all cases where the terms of a suspension might prevent a student from sufficiently engaging with their academic programme, the Academic Registrar, and the student’s Head of College and Head of Department should be informed. The Head of Department should provide an academic judgement on how and to what extent, if any, a student's academic commitments can be fulfilled during suspension or through support provided following the end of a suspension. The academic judgement will take into account the nature of the student's academic programme, academic commitments and academic progress.
(3) Jurisdiction Over Suspension
(a) Following consultation with the Chair or a Deputy Chair of Senate Discipline Committee, and the student’s Department and College, the Academic Registrar or delegated nominee may suspend a student from the entire University pending completion of a police investigation, criminal proceedings, an internal complaint or disciplinary investigation.
(b) Following consultation with the Academic Registrar or delegated nominee and the student’s College and Department and other relevant University officers, an Authorised University Officer (AUO) may suspend a student from the University on health grounds for a period of up to twelve months.
(c) As an emergency measure and following consultation with a student’s Head of Department and Head of College, any AUO may suspend a student from the entire or specified parts of the University for up to 14 days, where the AUO is of the reasonable view that it is urgent and necessary to take such action. Emergency suspension may be considered where the AUO determines that the alleged misconduct poses a serious risk to the health, safety, welfare or property of the student or others.
(d) Any AUO may suspend a student for a period of up to 28 days from any part of the University or any University or College facilities or activities for which that AUO has responsibility.
Any suspension under 3 (a)-(d) may include a requirement that the student have no contact of any kind with a named person or persons.
Failure to comply with the terms of a suspension may lead to reconsideration or expansion of the terms of suspension or be considered as an allegation of misconduct and referred separately for investigation under General Regulations IV – Discipline.
(4) Review of Suspension
(a) In the case of a suspension on 3 (a) the Academic Registrar, or delegated nominee, must give the student written notification of the suspension including the reasons for the suspension, sources of support and any additional information relevant to the suspension or its terms. The student should be notified of the right to appeal the suspension. The suspension will be reviewed as appropriate, by the Academic Registrar or delegated nominee in light of substantial developments affecting the reasons for suspension.
(b) In the case of a suspension on 3 (b), the Academic Registrar, or delegated nominee, must give the student written notification of the suspension including the reasons for the suspension, duration of suspension (up to 12 months), sources of support and any additional information relevant to the suspension or its terms. The student should be notified of the right to appeal the suspension. The Academic Registrar, or delegated nominee, will initiate the suspension review process one month before the suspension ends. Before permitting the student to re-register with the University the Academic Registrar, or delegated nominee, will require a satisfactory report confirming that the student is aware of support and monitoring arrangements in place with relevant College, Departmental, administrative support services and external agencies as appropriate.
(c) In the case of a suspension on 3 (c) or 3 (d), the AUO must give the student, the student’s Head of Department and the Head of College (or delegated nominees) written notification of the suspension including the reasons for the suspension, identify the parts or activities of the University from which the student is suspended and the duration of the suspension (up to 28 days). The student should also be notified of the right to request the suspension be reviewed by the AUO and request that the suspension be lifted or the terms amended. The AUO will respond within 7 days and confirm to the student, Head of Department and the Head of College whether the suspension is to be lifted, amended or remain in place. During the period of suspension the AUO may arrange a case meeting of relevant University staff to determine whether additional action or a suspension under 3 (a) or 3 (b) should be considered.
(5) Appeal of Suspension
(a) In the case of a suspension on 3 (c) or 3 (d), there is only a right to request a review as specified in section 4 (c) and no right to appeal. Following a review decision by the AUO, students may consider whether to make a complaint in accordance with the University’s Complaint Procedure for Students.
(b) A student suspended in accordance with 3 (a) or 3 (b) above may appeal to the Chair of Council Student Appeals Committee (CSAC). The student should appeal in writing to the Secretary of CSAC within 14 days of the date of the suspension.
(c) Students may appeal a suspension decision on 3 (a) or 3 (b) on the following grounds and should provide supporting evidence where appropriate:
(i) Evidence that the suspension procedure was not followed appropriately and why this had a material effect on the decision to suspend making it unsound;
(ii) Substantial and relevant new information which the student was unable to provide previously for a good reason and why this had a material effect on the decision to suspend making it unsound.
(d) Within 21 days of the appeal being received by the CSAC Secretary, it shall be considered by the Chair of CSAC or a Deputy Chair together with all the information considered as part of the suspension procedure. The CSAC Chair may consult as appropriate.
(e) If the CSAC Chair considers the student has demonstrated their grounds and therefore the decision to suspend was unsound, the appeal will be upheld and referred back for reconsideration of the suspension in accordance with correct procedure or in light of the new information.
(f) If the CSAC Chair considers the student has not demonstrated their grounds, the appeal will be dismissed.
(g) In all cases, the student will be informed of the decision and provided with a brief written decision summarising the reasons for the decision. The student will be informed of the availability to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and the timeline for doing so.
General Regulation VII - Academic Appeals
An academic appeal is a request from a Durham University student for formal review of an academic decision affecting that student.1
An academic appeal investigation has a limited scope. Effectively the investigation amounts to a check as to whether the decision appealed was reached:
(a) in accordance with correct University procedures; and
(b) in the light of relevant information.
Matters of academic judgement cannot be appealed. The University defines “academic judgement” as the professional and scholarly knowledge and expertise which members of Durham University staff and the external examiners draw upon in reaching an academic decision.
Academic judgement therefore includes, but is not restricted to, decisions about the severity of impact of mitigating circumstances on academic performance, decisions about the academic standard attained by students, marks and grades to be awarded for individual pieces of work or modules, and degrees and degree classifications to be awarded, or not.
In view of its limited scope, there are two primary circumstances in which an academic appeal may be appropriate:
(a) that there might have been a serious error in the way in which the original decision was made;
(b) that there exists or existed circumstances affecting the student’s performance of which, for good reason, the Board of Examiners or Committee or University Officer might not have been aware when the original decision was made.
(3) Possible Remedies
If the appeal is upheld it will normally be sent back for reconsideration by the body that made the original decision. This does not necessarily mean that the original decision will be reversed or altered. Normally marks for work will only be changed if there was an error in recording or processing them.
The University’s Academic Appeal Regulations are based on the following principles:
(a) that staff and students are expected to act fairly and reasonably;
(b) that, where a complaint is shown to be frivolous, vexatious or motivated by malice, it will not be investigated and disciplinary action may be taken against the student in accordance with the “Code of Practice on Student Behaviour in Appeals and Complaints.”;
(c) that staff must not investigate cases in which any potential conflict of interest might arise. Where practicable, senior staff should avoid becoming involved in the early stages of an academic appeal because it may compromise their ability to be involved at a later stage;
(d) that students must abide by University General Regulations and Student Codes of Practice published in the University Calendar and available on the University’s web site at http://www.dur.ac.uk/university.calendar/volumei/ ;
(e) that the University will treat academic appeals seriously and will deal with them without disadvantage or recrimination unless misconduct by the student is uncovered in the course of investigating the academic appeal.;
(f) that staff and students will be expected to comply with deadlines. Time limits for appeals will be extended only in exceptional circumstances, such as when the student did not receive timely notification of the decision for reasons outside his or her control;
(g) that, before submitting a formal appeal, students should attempt to resolve the matter informally where feasible. Where the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal approach, they should submit a formal appeal, using the relevant academic appeal proforma. The relevant forms and information about sources of support are available on the University’s web site via www.durham.ac.uk/academicsupport.office/appeals;
(h) that the University expects students (as the person best able to communicate any issues of dissatisfaction or adverse effects) to raise academic appeals with the University and will only accept academic appeals raised by third parties on a student’s behalf in exceptional cases. In any meeting with University staff under this policy, students have the right to be accompanied by a current member of the University community or a Students’ Union representative.
(i) that complete confidentiality cannot be always guaranteed if effective action is to be taken on an academic appeal. Therefore students are asked to sign a disclaimer on the University’s appeal proformas authorising the investigating authority to consult others and share information on a need to know basis. Staff dealing with appeals must, however, ensure that information disclosed by the student appealing is only disclosed to third parties on a need to know basis. Normally no information is disclosed to anyone outside the University, including the student’s parents, without the express permission of the student;
(j) that students seeking help in using this procedure should seek advice from any of the following on a confidential basis:
the appropriate College Student Support Office;
appropriate academic staff (as set out in the Departmental handbook);
the Academic Support Office;
the Students' Union (advocacy as well as procedural support).
Where complete confidentiality is requested by a student, this might limit the extent to which an academic appeal can be investigated. Authoritative advice on the appeals regulations or complaints procedure is contained in the regulations. The Academic Support Office may be contacted for advice on the appeals process. To ensure that an independent investigation is undertaken, the Officer investigating the appeal or complaint should not be asked for advice in advance of the notification of the decision;
(k) that, where an academic appeal is upheld, the remedy will be implemented within a reasonable timescale;
(l) that in addition to the Academic Appeals regulations the University has established the following other procedures for students to use if they consider they have personally been discriminated against or unjustly treated:
the Complaints Procedure for Students (for complaints about academic support or service delivery);
the Respect at Study: Policy, Code of Practice and Procedures for Students to make a Complaint about Harassment (for allegations of harassment (including racial, sexual, bullying or harassment because of a disability) between fellow students or by a student against a member of staff);
the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy (for allegations of sexual violence between fellow students or by a student against a member of staff);
- the Code of Practice for Durham Students Union and the Code of Practice for Common Rooms;
the Code of Practice on Freedom of Expression;
the Public Interest Disclosure (‘WhistleBlowing’) Policy (to report financial or procedural malpractice in good faith);
(m) that in cases where a student raises matters informally or formally which may apply to the academic appeal procedure and another procedure simultaneously, the University will write to the student to inform them of the appropriate process, processes or order of processes which will be used for consideration of the matters they raised. Students are not permitted to initiate more than one formal procedure simultaneously for the same or related matters.
(n) that Academic Appeals are monitored by the University annually because they provide important evidence about how effectively the University’s student procedures have operated in practice. The University Senate therefore receives an annual report containing an anonymised analysis of formal complaints and appeals including a breakdown by gender, age, ethnicity and disability based on information supplied at registration. Where appropriate the report will contain recommendations for improving practice in the University.
(5) Decisions That Can Be Appealed
Students may use these regulations to appeal against the following decisions:
(a) a confirmed decision of a Board of Examiners or the Examiners of a higher degree.
(b) a decision of a University Committee or a University officer on any academic matter affecting the student appealing (eg a decision regarding Academic Progress).
(6) Grounds for Appeal
The grounds for appeal are limited to:
(a) that you were adversely affected by illness or other relevant factors, of which you were previously unaware or which for a good cause you were unable to disclose to the Examiners or other decision-making body or Officer
(b) that you have evidence that parts of the relevant documented procedure were not applied correctly or your marks were not calculated correctly and this procedural defect was significant enough to have materially affected the decision, making it unsound
(c) that the Board of Examiners or other decision making body or Officer took a decision which was not reasonable in all the circumstances.
(7) Formal Appeal Stage 1: Faculty Appeal2
(a) A student must appeal within 21 days of the date of the notification of the decision to be appealed4, by completing a University Faculty Appeals pro forma5, which should be sent to the relevant Faculty Office (in the case of an undergraduate appeal) or to the Academic Support Office (in the case of a postgraduate appeal).
(b) The student must state the grounds for appeal, giving detailed reasons to support his or her case.
(c) The Head or a Deputy to the Head of the relevant Faculty6 shall be responsible for considering the appeal
(d) Where he or she considers it appropriate, the Head of Faculty or deputy to the Head of Faculty6 may treat an appeal as if it were an application for a concession.
(e) Within 42 days of the University Faculty Appeals pro forma being received, the Head of Faculty or deputy to the Head of Faculty6 shall:
(i) consult the following and receive written information from those consulted:
(A) the Designated Officer and the Head of the Student’s Department if the appeal is about a decision under General Regulation V (Academic Progress)
(B) the Chair of the Board of Examiners if the appeal is about an Examination Board decision
(C) or the internal examiner or Internal Adviser to examiners if the appeal from a postgraduate research degree student);
(D) or the Chair of the Committee if the appeal is about a committee decision.
(E) in all applicable cases: the Head of the student’s College.
(ii) may consult other members of University staff if he or she deems it appropriate in particular cases
(iii) produce a brief report on the case setting out his/her decision on the case
(iv) notify the outcome of the appeal to the student, the Head of Department or School, the student’s Supervisor or Course Director (if the student is a postgraduate), the Academic Support Office, and the Head of the student’s College and provide the student with a copy of his/her Faculty Appeal file containing the documentation considered.
(f) The Faculty Appeal will have one of the following outcomes:
(i) if the Head of Faculty or a deputy to the Head of Faculty has concluded that the appeal is allowed, that it shall either:
(A) be forwarded to the Secretary to Senate Academic Appeals Committee for the Chair/Deputy Chair of the Senate Academic Appeals Committee, for consideration under Regulation 8(c)
(B) be referred back to the original decision-making body for reconsideration.
(C) be treated as an application for a concession, in which case the appeal process may be concluded without an appeal investigation taking place.
(ii) the Head of Faculty or deputy to the Head of Faculty concludes that the appeal is dismissed as unjustified.
(g) If the student is dissatisfied with the decision to dismiss the appeal, or the decision reached by the original body on reconsidering the case, or the concession offered, he or she may appeal to Senate Academic Appeals Committee within 14 days of notification of the decision in question.
(8) Formal Appeal Stage 2: Appeals to the Senate Academic Appeals Committee2
(a) An appeal to the Senate Academic Appeals Committee (SAAC) must be made within 14 days of the date of the notification of the Faculty Appeal decision, using a University Senate Academic Appeals Committee proforma, available on the web at www.durham.ac.uk/academicsupport.office/appeals/ or via the Academic Support Office, or via the student’s College or Department.
(b) The grounds for appeal are either:
(i) that you (the appellant) have evidence that parts of the relevant documented procedure were not applied correctly at the Faculty Appeal stage and this procedural defect was significant enough to have materially affected the decision, making it unsound;
(ii) that there is substantial and relevant new information that was previously unknown to you, or which for a valid reason you were unable to disclose at the Faculty appeals stage and that the information is significant enough to have materially affected the Faculty Appeal decision, making it unsound.
(c) Within 28 days of the University SAAC pro forma being received by the Secretary to Senate Academic Appeals Committee, it shall be
(i) copied to the student’s Department and College for information
(ii) considered by the SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair, in consultation with the Head or deputy to the Head of a Faculty other than the Faculty to which the student belongs (HF/DHF) , and in the light of the documentation considered at the Faculty appeal stage.
(d) If the SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair is ineligible or unavailable to act in respect of an individual case, the Vice-Chancellor and Warden, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor 7 Provost or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor shall designate a senior member of the University to serve as SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair for that particular case.
(e) The SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair and the Head of Faculty or deputy to the Head of Faculty may consult as they deem appropriate.
(f) If the appeal is disallowed, the Secretary to Senate Academic Appeals Committee shall inform the student of the decision in writing, and enclose a copy of the student’s SAAC file and provide a completion of procedures letter. The student shall also be told that he/she may take the matter to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIAHE) in accordance with their procedures.
(g) If the OIAHE rules that the appeal should be considered by the SAAC, the Committee must meet in accordance with these procedures, chaired by a senior member of University staff, normally a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, who has not been previously consulted about or involved in the matter.
(h) If SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair and HF/DHF allow the appeal it shall be forwarded to the SAAC for an oral hearing, unless in view of the particular circumstances of the case, the Chair/Deputy Chair considers that appropriate action might be taken to deal with the situation.
(i) If the SAAC Chair/Deputy Chair and HF/DHF consider the alternative action has not dealt with the situation in an appropriate way, the appeal will then be forwarded to the SAAC for an oral hearing and the student will be notified of this decision in writing.
(j) If the Chair/Deputy Chair and HF/DHF believe that the alternative action has dealt with the situation appropriately the appeal will have concluded. The University will issue a Completion of Procedures letter advising the student that if he or she remains dissatisfied it is possible to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator in accordance with their procedures.
(k) When the "appropriate action" taken by the Chair/Deputy Chair is to refer the appeal back to a Board of Examiners, the HF/DHF shall attend the meeting of the Board of Examiners in an advisory capacity.
(l) A guideline for complaints to the OIAHE7 will be issued with the University’s Completion of Procedure letters.
(9) Meetings of the SAAC
(a) A meeting of the SAAC is normally held within 28 days of the decision that the appeal be considered by the Committee and the student shall receive at least two weeks' notice of the meeting.
(b) With the exception of the Chair/Deputy Chair of the Committee, any member of the SAAC who has already been involved in the matter shall not sit on the Committee.
(c) At the hearing the student shall have the right to:
(i) present his/her case in person, accompanied either by a member of staff of his/her choice (if willing) or by another registered Durham student of his/her choice (if willing) or by a member of staff from the Durham Students' Union (if willing);
(ii) nominate a proxy, who should be a member of the University community, to attend and present the case on the student’s behalf (if willing), if the student is unable for a valid reason to attend in person. The meeting may proceed in the absence of the student or proxy provided that the Chair/Deputy Chair of the Committee considers it reasonable to do so.
(d) The Committee shall have the power to call and seek evidence from whomsoever it judges appropriate.
(e) Normally, those attending the Committee would include, as appropriate, the Head of the student’s College and the Head of the student’s Department, the Chair of the relevant Board of Examiners, or, in the case of a postgraduate research student, the relevant internal examiner or supervisor or adviser.
(f) A member of the University attending may be accompanied by a member of staff of his/her choice (if willing).
(g) At the hearing the student or his or her proxy shall be the first to speak to the SAAC. Anyone who is present to accompany one of the participants in the appeal may speak to the Committee only with the permission of the Chair//Deputy Chair.
(h) All members of the SAAC considering the appeal, the appellant, or his or her proxy and those having the right to attend, shall receive papers relevant to the case.
Note: The Committee shall not itself reach an independent academic judgement on the quality of academic work in any cases of appeal against decisions of examiners, but may request the appointment of fresh or additional examiners if a further opinion on the quality of a particular piece of work or works is deemed necessary.
(i) Having considered the evidence and taken such advice as may be appropriate, the SAAC shall issue a written judgement, normally within 10 days.
(j) If the SAAC decides to allow an appeal, it shall refer the matter back to an appropriate body within the University for further consideration and action.
(k) The University will issue a Completion of Procedure letter notifying the student of SAAC’s and hence the University’s final decision on their case and of the right to complain to the OIAHE in accordance with their procedures.
(l) The SAAC shall submit a report to Senate if an important point of principle is to be determined, or in individual cases as the SAAC judges appropriate.
1 These procedures do not apply to:
(a) MB BS Phase 1 appellants who are appealing against a decision of the Student Health and Conduct Committee of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In such cases, the appeals regulations of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne will apply.
(b) Appeals against results obtained at another Institution (eg Erasmus programme) that count towards a University of Durham degree. [Appeals about the translation of the other Institution’s marks or grades into University of Durham terms should be made through the University of Durham appeals systems.]
(i) Any student appellant wishing to appeal against the grades awarded by the other institution shall pursue this through the appeals procedure of that Institution.
(ii) Any such appeals must have been made to the other institution. The Chair of the Board of Examiners for the programme on which the student is registered should be informed in writing by 31 October in the final year of study (or such earlier time as may be specified in the procedures of the other Institution) that such an appeal has been initiated.
(iii) The other Institution shall retain the examination papers and notes of oral examinations of Durham students until three months after the date on which they are expected to graduate in Durham.
2 The University reserves the right to stay the academic appeals process pending completion of legal or other proceedings which may be relevant to the appeal.
4 or 21 days from the date of dispatch from the University of documentation requested under the terms of the Data Protection Act. Any such Subject Access request must be made within 14 days of the date of notification of the decision to be appealed against. [The University will send the subject access documentation via a recorded delivery service.]
5 The University Appeals Proformas are available on the web via www.durham.ac.uk/academicsupport.office/appeals.
6 Or other senior member of the Faculty nominated by the Head of Faculty or deputy to the Head of Faculty.
7 The Guideline is available on the web via www.oiahe.org.uk
General Regulation VIII - Examinations and Assessment
(1) Principles and Scope
(a) Registered students of the University agree to be subject to the University examinations and assessment regulations, rules and processes. These regulations, rules and processes apply to all University examinations and assessments irrespective of their location.
(b) The University will determine the appropriate assessment methods to be completed by students. Assessment methods for a module or programme apply to all students undertaking that module or programme, unless an approved concession has been granted to vary the assessment or exempt the student from it.
(c) Students must not engage in any practice to gain unfair academic advantage or breach any assessment rules. If, in the view of an examiner, invigilator or the University Examination Officer a student has potentially committed an assessment irregularity, plagiarised, falsified results or engaged in behaviour that may prejudice the performance of other candidates or the integrity of the assessment, this will be treated as misconduct and will be subject to General Regulation IV – Discipline and may result in expulsion.
(2) Definitions and Terms
(a) Assessment is used by the University to measure student performance against the intended learning outcomes for the module and programme. Assessment methods used by the university include;
- oral assessment and presentation
- practical skills assessment
- written assessment, including essay, dissertation, portfolio, report etc
- written examination.
(b) The University Examinations Officer is the person responsible for the administrative arrangements involved in the examination and assessment process of the University, or their representative.
(c) A University Examination Invigilator is the person responsible for administering an examination at a venue on behalf of the University Examinations Officer, and for ensuring students adhere to the University examination rules.
(d) An examiner is the person or persons responsible for setting and/or marking the assessed work.
(e) Boards of Examiners are responsible, on behalf of and to Senate, for all academic aspects of the examination and assessment process for the modules and programmes for which they are responsible.
(f) Plagiarism is the copying or paraphrasing of other people's work or ideas without full acknowledgment, which amounts to the presentation of someone else’s work or ideas as one's own. Plagiarism will be penalised. It includes the following:
(i) Collusion, which occurs when students work together in an unauthorised way to develop a submission for an assessment where such input is not permitted. Collusion does not depend on a fee being paid for the work.
(ii) Contract Cheating, which occurs when a student submits work for assessment where they have used one or more of a range of services provided by a third party. The third party contract with the student can include payment or other favours, but this is not always the case. 'Services' may include essays or other types of assignments, conducting research, impersonation in exams and other forms of unfair assistance for completing assessed work. 'Third parties' include web-based companies or auction sites (essay mills), sharing websites (including essay banks), or an individual such as a lecturer, colleague, friend or relative. This applies in any case where the third party makes a contribution to the work of the student, such that there is reasonable doubt as to whose work the assessment represents
(iii) Multiple submission, which is defined as inappropriate submission of the same or substantially the same work of one's own for summative assessment in connection with an academic award.
(g) A concession is an exception, granted by the University, to permit a student to be exempt from or to vary the University rules and processes for assessment. The granting of a concession of any type is subject to the processes outlined in the Learning and Teaching Handbook and Core Regulations.
(a) The University examination rules and procedures are detailed in the Learning and Teaching Handbook. Students must observe all such rules, and the instructions provided by the Invigilator and University Examinations Officer.
(b) Any invigilator or other official entrusted with the duty of superintendence in a University examination may immediately suspend or dismiss from an examination a student suspected of misconduct, and such action shall be reported immediately to the Examinations Officer who will follow the procedures for dealing with an Examination Irregularity, as outlined in the Learning and Teaching Handbook.
(a) In formal examinations and all assessed work prescribed in module outlines and programme regulations, candidates should take care to acknowledge the work and opinions of others and avoid any appearance of representing them as their own.
(b) Where suspected by an examiner, plagiarism will be investigated in accordance with procedures outlined within the Learning and Teaching Handbook.
(c) Any student work may be uploaded to a plagiarism detection system, at the discretion of the Department concerned if plagiarism is suspected. The system may also be used routinely to screen work for plagiarised text: for this purpose students are required to sign a declaration at registration authorising the uploading of their work onto the system.
(d) Plagiarism will be penalised and, in extreme cases, may be classed as a dishonest practice under 6(a)(x) of General Regulation IV – Discipline and may lead to expulsion. The facilitation of plagiarism through publication may also be classed as a dishonest practice under General Regulation IV – Discipline and may lead to expulsion (see also General Regulation X – Intellectual Property Rights).
General Regulation IX - (A) Conferment of degrees, diplomas and licences; wearing of academic dress (B) Payment of Fees and Charges
Students are required to pay all charges owing to the University by the due date. Students will not normally be awarded their degrees or other qualifications whilst they have a tuition fee debt owing to the University.
General Regulation IX A: Conferment of degrees, diplomas and licences; wearing of academic dress
(1) No students are entitled to describe themselves as holding a degree of the University until it has been conferred upon them in Congregation either in person or in absentia.
(2) Where a degree, diploma or licence is conferred upon any person who is reported under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor and Warden, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor as being in default in regard to the payment of his or her tuition fees to the University, the proof of degree, diploma or licence shall normally be withheld until such time as these obligations have been met.
(3) Undergraduate diplomas and certificates of the University shall be deemed to have been conferred on the date of issue of the official pass list announcing the award and their holders may describe themselves as possessing the relevant qualification from that date.
(4) Students shall wear academic dress at Congregation and as prescribed by notice from the Vice-Chancellor and Warden or from the Head of College to which the student belongs.
General Regulation IX B: Payment of Fees and Charges
(1) Tuition fee debts may not be carried from one term to the next within an academic year without the written agreement of the Head of College.
(2) No degree or other qualification shall normally be conferred upon a student while he/she has a tuition fee debt owing to the University. Results will be published to undergraduates and postgraduates with tuition fee debts to the University but such students will not normally have their degrees conferred until the debt has been cleared.
(3) Tuition fees are charged termly and are due 30 days from the start of the Michaelmas Term and 14 days from the start of the Epiphany and Easter Terms. Any other arrangement is at the discretion of the Head of College concerned and/or the Chief Financial Officer (Treasurer) of the University and/or their delegates.
(4) A student who fails to pay tuition fees owing to the University by the date may incur an administrative charge and will be reminded in writing to settle the debt on a maximum of three further occasions at 14 day intervals until the end of term. If the debt has not been paid by the end of the term the student may be required to withdraw from the University.
(5) Students whose registration is suspended by concession will not normally be permitted to return to the University if any tuition fee debt has not been settled.
(6) Where the University terminates an applicant’s application prior to the programme start date or requires a student to withdraw following the termination of their registration under the terms of University’s Notification of Academic and Personal details for Admission, Matriculation and Registration Purposes Regulation the University may retain any fees paid by or on behalf of the applicant/student. This provision does not affect the student’s statutory rights under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 to a 14 day cancellation period.
General Regulation X - Intellectual Property Rights
(1) As a general principle the University recognises the student as the owner of any Intellectual Property the student produces while a registered student at the University. Intellectual Property is the term given to the production of original intellectual or creative activity in the course of their academic work, studies or research while a registered student at the University. Intellectual Property Rights are the legal terms that arise from these productions. This principle of recognition may, may however, be subject to variation in the case of collaborative or externally sponsored work, or other exceptional circumstances where ownership has to be shared or granted to the University.
(2) In connection with their academic studies or research, students may become involved in work with commercial potential. The University is committed to encouraging the successful exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights by its students and maximising the value of the Intellectual Property for the benefit of all involved in its creation. To that end, the University will seek to promote the recognition, protection and exploitation of potentially valuable Intellectual Property produced by its students.
(3) The University retains the right to require any student to assign his or her interests in any Intellectual Property Rights arising from the financial exploitation of any work with commercial potential. Assignment will only take place in the event that Intellectual Property is generated. Students who are required to assign Intellectual Property Rights to the University will be entitled to a share in any revenue arising from the commercial exploitation of that Intellectual Property.
(4) Students shall in such circumstances be required, in conjunction with their supervisor, or the member of staff directing their studies to ensure that the Chief Financial Officer (Treasurer) of the University is notified in writing of any Intellectual Property or other result developed or obtained in the course of their academic work which it is considered, by the University, may have commercial significance.
(5) Notification by a student must take place in a timely manner before publication or other disclosure and to withhold publication for a limited period if required to do so by the Council of the University.
(6) It is University policy that all Intellectual Property or other results developed or obtained in the course of a student’s academic work or studies shall be published. The University, however, retains a right to request a delay in publication when it is necessary to secure the Intellectual Property or where the prior permission of a third party, for example an external sponsor, is required.
(7) The University will also assert its rights over a student’s academic work or studies to prevent publication where it deems publication to be unethical and/or likely to promote improper use of the work and/or to bring the University into disrepute, for example by promoting or facilitating plagiarism through the process of publication.
General Regulation XI - Regulations for the use of University IT Facilities
The aim of these regulations is to ensure that Durham University’s IT Facilities can be used safely, lawfully and equitably. Further information and guidance on specific issues covered by these regulations are available at www.durham.ac.uk/infosecurity/policies/itregsstudent/
(1.1) These regulations apply to all Durham University students that connect to or use the IT Facilities (hardware, software, data, network access, third party services, online services or IT credentials) provided or arranged by Durham University. Regulations applicable to members of Durham University’s staff and other individuals and organisations are available at www.durham.ac.uk/infosecurity/policies/itregsstaff/. In the event that you are employed by the University to do any paid work, you will be bound by these regulations when undertaking such work.
(2) Intended Use
(2.1) You may use a University IT Facility provided that:
(a) you are an Authorised User, having been assigned a Durham University User Account or been given, in accordance with University processes, express permission to use University IT Facilities; and
(b) you comply with the IT Regulations set out below.
(2.2) The University IT Facilities are provided for use by authorised users in support of academic work and normal University duties in the course of their employment and education, or for other recognised roles or activities for which access to these Facilities is granted.
(2.3) You must not use the IT Facilities for any unsanctioned commercial activity. Any use of IT Facilities for non-institutional commercial activity requires express written permission from the Chief Operating Officer.
(2.4) Use of the IT Facilities for personal activities is permitted, provided that it does not breach any of these regulations, and does not interfere with the requirements of your course of study.
(2.5) Charges are payable by users for some IT Facilities, such as printing and replacement of lost campus cards. For current charges please see the CIS website.
(3.1) Your use of the University IT Facilities must comply with the law. Ignorance of the law is not considered a valid excuse for any acts in contravention of the law, and it is your responsibility to ensure you are complying with the relevant laws.
(3.2) When accessing Durham University services while in another country you are responsible for familiarising yourself with and adhering to the laws applicable in that country, and must also comply with UK law.
(3.3) You are bound by the Statutes and General Regulations of the University when using the IT Facilities, available at www.durham.ac.uk/university.calendar/volumei/. You should also adhere to the University’s published policies, standards, procedures and guidance relevant to the use of IT Facilities, available at www.durham.ac.uk/cis/policy/.
(3.4) You must abide by the end user terms published by any other organisation whose services you access, including but not limited to Janet and Eduserv. See definitions for further information.
(3.5) You must adhere to the terms and conditions of all service and licence agreements relating to the IT Facilities that you use including websites, software, equipment or any other service used. In the event that you have any questions regarding the terms of any software or third party service provided to authorised users, you should contact the IT Service Desk or the department which provided access to the software or service.
(3.6) When accessing Durham University facilities via Eduroam, you are subject to both the IT Regulations of Durham University and the institution where you are accessing services.
(3.7) Breach of any applicable law or third party regulation will be regarded as a breach of these regulations.
(3.8) The University is under a duty to prevent extremism in accordance with the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. You must not engage in any activity which could incite or promote terrorist activity including, but not limited to, accessing websites or social media content that might be associated with extreme or terrorist organisations and which could attract criminal liability. For procedures relating to research involving such material, see clause 6.5.
(3.9) The University has a responsibility to safeguard children and vulnerable adults who are on its premises or in contact with its staff/students, and it recognises the risks presented by online activity. As such, everyone has a duty to be vigilant and report any behaviour online which would indicate a risk to vulnerable parties. Such behaviour includes, but is not restricted to, accessing or distributing abusive imagery of children. For procedures relating to research involving such material, see clause 6.5.
(4.1) You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard any IT credentials (for example, a username and password, campus card or other tokens for authentication) issued to you. You must not allow anyone else to use your IT credentials. Nobody has the authority to ask you for your password and you must not disclose it to anyone. There may be exceptional circumstances in which shared passwords are required for business continuity reasons. See the Password Standard for further information.
(4.2) You must not attempt to obtain or use anyone else’s credentials.
(4.3) You must not impersonate someone else or actively disguise your identity in order to undertake any wrongful act when using the IT Facilities, or such that activities carried out on University systems cannot be audited.
(4.4) You must not log on to an IT Facility and leave it unattended such that it could be used by another person.
(4.5) In the event that you willfully or negligently allow your IT credentials to be used by another individual, for example by sharing your password or leaving an IT facility logged in and unattended, you may be liable for activity carried out using your account.
(5) Infrastructure and Equipment
(5.1) You must not knowingly do anything to jeopardise the integrity of the IT infrastructure or expose the University to risk, including, but not limited to, doing any of the following without authorisation:
Damaging or reconfiguring equipment;
Deliberately or recklessly introducing malware, for example by browsing websites or downloading or opening files that could reasonably be considered likely to pose a risk of infection;
Attempting to disable or gain unauthorised access to a computer system;
Attempting to disrupt or circumvent IT security measures.
(5.2) You must comply with the University’s Standard for the Use of Non-University-Owned Devices when connecting your own IT device to the University’s wired or wireless networks.
(5.3) You must take appropriate precautions to prevent unauthorised access to and/or theft of IT equipment provided to you by the University. The level of physical security should be appropriate to the type and location of the equipment, its use and the sensitivity of any data stored.
(5.4) You must not attempt to monitor the use of the IT Facilities without explicit authority (see the Monitoring and Interception Policy for further information).
(6.1) You must take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of information, in particular personal or commercially valuable data, of the University. You are responsible for complying with all relevant laws, regulations or commercial contracts that govern the collection, use, storage, transmission and deletion of such information. You must observe the University’s Data Protection and Information Security policies, available at www.durham.ac.uk/infosecurity/policies/
(6.2) You must report any information security breach or weakness of which you become aware, including loss of equipment or suspected compromise of a device or system, via the IT Service Desk in accordance with the Information Security Incidents and Weaknesses procedure.
(6.3) You must not attempt to access, delete, modify or disclose other users’ information without their permission, or without explicit approval in accordance with the University’s Monitoring and Interception policy.
(6.4) You must not breach copyright legislation or infringe the intellectual property rights of another person or organisation. You must also observe the University’s Intellectual Property regulations.
(6.5) You must not access, create, download, store or transmit unlawful material, or material that can reasonably be considered to be indecent, offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening or discriminatory. This includes material that might be subject to provisions of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. If you wish to undertake any research or scholarly activity involving such material you must observe the appropriate University procedures to gain approval before commencing such activity and should speak to your supervisor for advice in the first instance.
(6.6) With regard to University business, for example where you are a University purchasing card holder, you must not process, store or transmit any payment card data unless authorised to do so.
(7.1) In using the IT Facilities, you must not:
(a) Do so in such a way as could reasonably be considered as likely to cause any needless offence, concern or annoyance to others, or to perform any act which could reasonably be considered as likely to amount to causing any individual or group any form of harassment, alarm or distress.
(b) Act in a way that could reasonably be considered likely to jeopardise the University’s institutional integrity or to bring the University into disrepute.
(c) Present any statement or representation as the view or opinion of the University unless you have been explicitly authorised to do so. Any statement or opinion piece given must make clear that the views are that of the individual and not of the University.
(7.2) You must not send spam (unsolicited bulk email). Internal bulk emails, to staff and/or student groups, can only be sent in relation to sanctioned University business. For communications regarding research activities, you must ensure you have gained approval from your supervisor and any other relevant parties before proceeding.
(7.3) You must not consume IT resources such as processing power, storage, bandwidth or consumables, to an extent that could reasonably be considered excessive.
(7.4) You must not use the IT Facilities in a way that interferes with others’ valid use of them.
(8) Breach of These Regulations
(8.1) If you are found to have breached these regulations, the University reserves the right to:
Suspend access to University IT Facilities to enable a disciplinary investigation to take place;
Consider your case in accordance with the University’s student discipline regulations.
(8.2) Where a penalty is imposed as a consequence of a disciplinary investigation arising from a breach of these regulations, you will have the right to request a review.
(8.3) Material found to be in breach of these regulations will be removed from University systems. If you have posted such material elsewhere, you may be requested to do as much as is in your power to remove it.
(8.4) You may be liable for any direct costs incurred as a result of a breach of these regulations for which you are responsible.
(8.5) In the event that the University has reason to believe that you are participating in illegal activities using the IT Facilities, information will be passed to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
(8.6) If you become aware that you or anyone else has breached these regulations, whether intentionally or otherwise, you should report this via the IT Service Desk either directly, or if you prefer, indirectly via the student support officers in your College.
(9) Monitoring and Interception, and Provision of Information
(9.1) Durham University reserves the right to monitor and record the use of its IT Facilities, including but not limited to email and internet use, for the purposes set out in the University’s Monitoring and Interception policy. Use of University IT Facilities constitutes consent by the user to monitoring and interception in accordance with this policy.
(9.2) Durham University will comply with lawful requests for information including for example requests made under Freedom of Information or Data Protection laws or from government and law enforcement agencies.
(10.1) The University undertakes to take reasonable care to safeguard the operation of its IT Facilities and to prevent the corruption or loss of information accessed or stored by Authorised Users using the University’s IT Facilities. However, the University accepts no responsibility or liability for any inconvenience, loss or damage, cost or claims a user may suffer as a result of any failure or malfunction of the University IT Facilities.
(11) Defined Terms
Any individual who has been assigned a Durham University User Account; or any other individual to whom express permission to use University IT Facilities has been given in accordance with University processes.
A service provided via JANET which enables students, researchers and staff to securely access the internet whilst visiting other participating institutions, using the username and password credentials provided by their home organisation.
An organisation that has negotiated many deals for software and online resources on behalf of the UK higher education community, under the common banner of Chest agreements. These agreements have certain restrictions that may be summarised as: non-academic use is not permitted; copyright must be respected; privileges granted under Chest agreements must not be passed on to third parties; and users must accept the User Acknowledgement of Third Party Rights.
General Regulations of the University
The rules laid down by Senate and Council for the conduct of members of the University under the authority accorded to those bodies by the Statutes of the University. They are subject to alteration from time to time by those bodies. They are published in the University Calendar Volume I available on the web via www.dur.ac.uk/university.calendar/volumei/
“IT Facilities” include but are not limited to:
(See also “University IT Facilities”)
The network that connects all UK higher education and research institutions together and to the internet. When connecting to any site outside the University via the University's network you will be subject to JANET’s acceptable use policy.
University IT Facilities
All IT Facilities provided for authorised users, whether owned or hired by the University, or provided by other organisations as a result of a contract or other arrangement with the University. This includes IT Facilities purchased through research grants or other funding obtained under the auspices of the University.
(See also “IT Facilities”)
The Statutes of the University of Durham scheduled to the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act 1963 as subsequently amended. The University Statutes are published in the University Calendar.
General Regulation XII - Library Regulations
(I) The Use of the Library
(1) Matriculated undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University may borrow books from the Library;
(2) In addition to the other categories of users set out in the regulations for Durham University staff and other users, the Librarian may admit other non-University members to use the Library for the purposes of reading and reference only, (for example, members of the SCONUL Access scheme)
(3) The Librarian may refuse other persons admission or readmission to the Library.
(4) All users may be required to register on first being admitted to the use of the Library.
(5) Campus cards are issued to all regular registered users. The campus card may be used only by the person to whom it is issued and whose name appears on it.
(6) Campus cards should be carried on all visits to the Library and must be produced each time books are borrowed or when requested by a member of Library staff.
(7) Students must report lost or stolen campus cards to Computing and Information Service staff immediately. Campus cards may be replaced on payment of a fee determined by the Computing and Information Service.
(8) Students should notify any change of term-time or vacation address via the online enrolment system.
(1) Certain material such as books and manuscripts from the Special Collections and works of reference may only be borrowed with the permission of the Librarian. Some material, including some DDS requests, is confined to the Library and may not be borrowed.
(2) The loan period of certain categories of material may be restricted.
(3) A separate loan record must be made for each book borrowed. The student remains responsible for each book borrowed until the loan record is cleared.
(4) Students may not have on loan at any time more books than the borrowing limit for their category of borrower as determined from time to time by the Library Steering Group and published in the Library. In special cases, permission to borrow additional volumes may be given by the Librarian.
(5) All books must be returned or renewed on or before the due return date (or, for Short Loan items, by the due return time), or returned by the revised date as noted in a recall notice.
(6) After a book has been in the possession of a student for one week, it may be recalled for use by another user. Books are subject to recall in vacation as well as in term.
(7) Any student who fails to return an item on loan from the Library when it is due or when requested to do so by the Library shall be liable to a fine as set out in the following document or refer to the University Library for information on library charges.
(8) If fines accumulate to a level determined by the Library Steering Group, borrowing privileges will be suspended until payment is made.
(9) Any student who marks, damages, loses or willfully refuses to return a book or has the book stolen whilst on loan, will be sent an invoice for the cost of replacement, fines due and a handling charge. The fines and handling charge will be charged whether or not the book is eventually returned.
(10) Students must return all books borrowed by them and pay any outstanding fines or charges in accordance with current library rules. All accounts must be cleared of outstanding books or fines before membership of the Library expires.
(11) During university vacations, the standard term-time loan periods and recalls and renewals policies continue to apply. During vacation periods, it is the responsibility of the individual student to ensure that books are renewed or returned to the Library as required.
(12) These regulations apply to both material owned by the Library and material obtained from other sources on the student’s behalf (e.g. via the DDS service).
(1) Silence must be kept at all times in all the reading areas of the Library except in areas explicitly designated for group study.
(2) Material may only be copied by or on behalf of students in accordance with relevant UK Copyright legislation.
(3) Material in the Special Collections, and other material liable to strain or damage, may only be copied at the Librarian's discretion, and normally such copying may only be carried out by Library staff.
(4) The Library reserves the right to inspect what is brought into the Library by students and what is taken out of the Library.
(5) Personal belongings may be brought into the Library at the Librarian's discretion, and at the student's own risk. The Library cannot be held responsible for loss of, or damage to, personal property.
(6) Electrical sockets in the Library must not be used for personal equipment, other than personal computers, or mobile devices such as tablets or mobile phones for study or research purposes.. Where personal equipment is used, this is at the student’s own risk.
(7) Students may be asked to move to a different area or stop using personal equipment if it is causing a disturbance to other users or a health and safety risk.
(8) Mobile phones must not be used in the Library except in designated areas and must be switched off or to Silent Mode so as not to disturb other users.
(9) Smoking (including vaping) and the consumption of food and drink in the Library is prohibited.
(10) Illicit removal of Library materials and deliberate damage to or defacing of Library materials are serious disciplinary offences which shall be reported to the Librarian, who may seek compensation for damage incurred and/or initiate disciplinary procedures.
(11) Students may not introduce into the Library any item (such as food or drink) which is likely to damage books or equipment and shall be liable to pay compensation in respect of any damage caused.
(12) Seats may not be reserved for prolonged periods. Library staff may clear away any personal property left on tables in order to make seats available to other users.
(13) Students must heed all tannoy announcements or requests from Library staff and leave the Library promptly before closing time and may be asked to vacate their seats at any time after the final announcement of closing. Failure to do this may result in students being locked in the building at their own risk.
(14) All members of the Library staff are empowered to enforce discipline in the Library.
(1) Students who are admitted to the Library undertake to observe Library rules and regulations.
(2) The Librarian shall at all times have authority to maintain good order in the Library and may exclude from it or suspend from its use any student who infringes the regulations or rules.
(3) Infringements of the regulations or rules and offences against good behaviour in the Library shall render students liable penalties, including exclusion from use of some or all Library services, which may be imposed by the Librarian, or, if appropriate, under the relevant University discipline procedure. A serious breach of library regulations will be treated as a major offence as set out in General Regulations IV 5(a), where it is defined broadly as behaviour that either does or has the potential to cause serious damage to the University, its staff and other students As such, it may include but is not restricted to the following examples of offences:
• serious instances of disorderly conduct
• theft or fraud in connection with library accounts or property
• misuse of the student campus card
(4) On occasions University students may, by virtue of their status as members of Durham University, be given privileges to use other libraries, including the British Library and other university libraries. Where an alleged offence is reported to the University Librarian by the other institution, the Librarian may impose a fine or other penalty appropriate to the gravity of the offence at their discretion. No further penalty will be imposed in cases where it is believed that any disciplinary action already taken by the library in question is sufficient punishment for the offence. Any offence may impact on the continued ability to use other libraries.
1 Within these regulations the terms "book" and "books" are defined as including books and all other library materials (e.g. periodicals, microforms, audio-visual materials etc.), whether physical or electronic.