Harassment in any form is unacceptable and will not be permitted or condoned by the University. We are committed to a working and learning environment that is free of intimidation or discrimination, and recognises the contribution of staff and students. This will be most effective in conditions which are free of unnecessary anxiety, stress and fear. If you experience bullying or harassment, there are different options for you to consider and you can get advice and support before you decide what you want to do.


What are bullying and harassment?

Bullying is the exercise of power to undermine another person. Bullying is not legally defined but is generally considered to be repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone, either physically or emotionally. 

Some examples of bullying behaviour are:

  • Personal insults and name-calling;
  • Public humiliation, put-downs or ridiculing;
  • Constant unfounded criticism of performance or study tasks;
  • Being pressurised by a group into behaviour/actions against your wishes;
  • Being inappropriately excluded from events or activities to which you are entitled;
  • Deprivation of required information to undertake studies or research.

Harassment is defined in UK law in relation to protected characteristics (for example, race, religion, gender or sexuality). It includes unwanted behaviour, whether intentional or not, that is offensive, intimidating, humiliating or harmful; it includes emotional, physical or sexual harm.

Some examples of harassment are:

  • Unnecessary and unwelcome physical contact ranging from touching to serious assault (both sexual and non-sexual);
  • Verbal and written harassment (including on social media sites or via other electronic media) through jokes, racist remarks, offensive language, sexual suggestion, gossip and slander, threats, letters;
  • Visual displays of posters, graffiti, emblems or other offensive material;
  • Isolation or non-cooperation;
  • Exclusion from social activities.

What can I do if I am being bullied or harassed?

Students are encouraged to come forward and speak to a Student Advisor in confidence and should not be deterred from making a genuine complaint because of embarrassment or fear of intimidation. All forms of harassment are unacceptable. Staff will be able to talk you through the support available and your internal options, including the University disciplinary and complaints procedures, and external options, including reporting to the police if you believe that a criminal offence has been committed.

Incidents involving harassment or bullying can often be resolved quickly and informally; they can result from misunderstandings, cultural differences or feelings that have not been recognised or understood. 

Keep a record of any incidences of bullying or harassment, including dates, times and any evidence (like texts, screen shots, emails or messages). You might need to use this if you want to report your concerns.