1. Introduction

Queen Margaret University has introduced this Code of Conduct to help every student enjoy and benefit from their education and life with us.

Our ethos is one of mutual understanding and respect, through the development of friendships and by adopting good citizenship skills and attitudes. Through this we wish to enhance each person’s experience throughout their time with us.

This Code of Conduct has been developed to provide clear guidelines of acceptable behaviour. This general set of Principles is supported by more detailed Codes of Conduct specifically relating to Halls of Residence, Library, Learning Environments and IT facilities.

It is expected that all students will wish to support and actively implement this Code of Conduct.

This Code of Conduct should be read in conjunction with the following:

The University’s current Student and Academic Regulations, Disciplinary, Fitness to Practise and Appeals Procedures outlined on the University’s Quality website. 

The University’s Equality Policy, which is to be read in conjunction with the University’s Mainstreaming Report.

The Code of Conduct is compatible with the University’s Data Protection Policy.

The Code of Conduct is available in different formats. Details can be obtained from the Division of Governance and Quality Enhancement by emailing Dawn Martin

Students' Union Endorsement

The Students’ Union has worked closely with the University in providing this Code of Conduct for all students. The Students’ Union fully supports this Code of Conduct because we believe this will help create a better learning and working environment whilst also ensuring a safe and enjoyable place to live. The Students’ Union will also use this Code of Conduct for all activities undertaken by the Union and will use it in conjunction with our own Disciplinary Procedures should an incident take place within the Union or whilst representing the Students’ Union if the Union deems it necessary.

2. General Principles

2.1 All students at the University shall:

2.1.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working, studying and living environment within the University, respecting the institution’s policies on equal opportunities and harassment and ensuring that their conduct complies with these policies.

All persons within the University have an individual and collective responsibility to contribute to an environment which is free from harassment (e.g. psychological, verbal, physical, racial, religious, gender, sexual or on grounds of disability) and from offensive behaviour (e.g. noise, language or bullying). All persons should promote tolerance and share a common goal in learning.

2.1.2 Accept individual and collective responsibility for keeping a clean and safe working, studying and living environment, ensuring personal guests act in an appropriate manner.

All persons within the University have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that safety is not compromised and that respect for other people and property is maintained.

2.1.3 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

All persons within the University should demonstrate respect for local and international cultures as well as each person’s learning needs. This refers to maintaining appropriate conduct in learning environments such as the library, lecture/seminar rooms and IT facilities as well as in Halls of Residence.

2.1.4 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

All persons within the University have an individual and collective responsibility to uphold the range of policies within the institution which underpin the overarching criteria of the Code of Conduct and which are designed to ensure that everyone can work, study and live in an environment characterised by mutual respect.

3. Library Code of Conduct

3.1 This Library Code of Conduct has been developed to support the general University Code of Conduct.

3.2 General Principles

3.3 All students at QMU shall:

3.3.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working and studying environment within the University Library, promoting appropriate conduct and respecting the right of others to a quiet study environment.

All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to contribute to a study environment in the Library which promotes scholarship and learning, and where these study areas are respected. All persons should be considerate of the needs of others for an appropriate study environment and share a common goal in learning.

Silence in areas designated as Silent Study Areas must be observed.

3.3.2 Accept individual and collective responsibility for keeping a clean and safe working and studying environment.

All persons using the QMU Library have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that safety is not compromised, that food and drink packaging is disposed of correctly and that respect for other people and property is maintained. In particular that no library materials are damaged or defaced and that none are removed from the Library unless they have been properly issued.

  • All Library users should carry their matriculation card (smart card) with them at all times and be prepared to show it if asked.
  • All Library materials removed from the Library, by an individual, should be issued to their own card.
  • Any vandalised property should be reported immediately.

3.3.3 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

All persons within QMU should demonstrate respect for the range of local and international cultures as well as each person's learning needs. This means maintaining appropriate conduct in learning environments such as the Library so that the needs of all users can be met.

3.3.4 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to comply with the law, e.g. Copyright and Data Protection. This is to ensure that everyone can work and study in an environment characterised by mutual respect and free from the harassment and distress which the transmission of offensive or threatening material may cause.

Specific Codes

The Library Code of Conduct is underpinned by the Library Regulations and the Acceptable use policy for information and communication technology and electronic resources. The Library Code of Conduct should be read in conjunction with the following:

The University’s current Student and Academic Regulations, Disciplinary, Fitness to Practise and Appeals Procedures outlined on the University’s Quality website. 

The University’s Single Equality Scheme, which is to be read in conjunction with the University’s Mainstreaming Report.

4. Accommodation Code of Conduct

4.1 This Accommodation Code of Conduct has been developed to support the general University Code of Conduct.

4.2 General Principles

4.3 All students at QMU shall:

4.3.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working, studying and living environment within the University, respecting the institution’s policies on equal opportunities and harassment and ensuring that their conduct complies with these policies.

In particular all students should:

  • maintain rooms and communal areas in a clean, tidy and hygienic condition.
  • co-operate in fire evacuation practices.
  • show consideration for others by minimising noise levels, in particular between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.

4.3.2 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

All persons within QMU Halls of Residence should demonstrate respect for the range of local and international cultures within the University. You must not harass, threaten, bully or victimise other residents, staff or visitors. This will include displaying sexually explicit or politically offensive notices.

  • You are expected to show courtesy and consideration to those with whom you are sharing facilities, to your neighbours and to University staff and visitors.

4.3.3 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

  • All persons within QMU Halls of Residence have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that all students can live and study in an environment characterised by mutual respect.
  • You are asked to consider the impact that unacceptable behaviour may have on local residents and to behave as an ambassador of Queen Margaret University.

4.4 Specific Codes

The Accommodation Code of Conduct is underpinned by the Halls of Residence Code of Conduct, which is applicable for all students in halls of residence and all persons entering halls as visitors.

5. Code of Conduct for Learning Environments

5.1 This Code of Conduct for Learning Environments e.g. Lectures, Seminars, Tutorials, Laboratories and Placements has been developed to support the general University Code of Conduct.

5.2 General Principles

5.3 All students at QMU shall:

5.3.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working, studying and living environment within the University, respecting the institution’s policies on equal opportunities and harassment and ensuring that their conduct complies with these policies.

All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to contribute to a study environment which promotes scholarship and learning. All persons should be considerate of the needs of others for an appropriate study environment and share a common goal in learning.

  • Attendance at lectures, seminars etc. is essential, in particular where students’ absence may be detrimental to the performance of fellow students and the quality of learning experience gained. In addition, lateness is a discourtesy to the whole group and the group itself should make clear that lateness or other disruptive behaviour is not acceptable.
  • Students are expected to prepare for lectures, seminars etc. Students who attend tutorials or seminars without doing preparatory work or contributing to the discussion will be reminded of their obligations by the tutor and, when appropriate, by student members of the group. Suitable preparation enhances the overall learning experience.
  • The use of mobile phones in lectures, seminars etc. is strictly prohibited. All phones should be switched off before entry into lectures, seminars etc.

5.3.2 Accept individual and collective responsibility for keeping a clean and safe working and studying environment.

  • All persons attending QMU lectures, seminars etc. should ensure that the safety of themselves and others is not compromised.
  • All persons attending QMU lectures, seminars etc. should ensure respect for other people and property is maintained.
  • Smoking, eating and drinking are strictly prohibited within the learning environment.

5.3.3 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

All persons within QMU should demonstrate respect for the range of local and international cultures as well as each person's learning needs. This means maintaining appropriate conduct in learning environments such as lectures and seminars so that the needs of all users can be met.

  • The University will not tolerate antisocial behaviour: this includes the use of abusive language, physical abuse, obscene comments, verbal or physical harassment, and comments or remarks that discriminate on the basis of sex, race or any other irrelevant distinction.

5.3.4 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

  • All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to comply with the law, this is to ensure that all students can work and study in an environment characterised by mutual respect and free from harassment and distress.
  • You are asked to consider the impact that unacceptable behaviour may have on other people and to behave as an ambassador of Queen Margaret University.

5.4 Attendance Policy

This Code of Conduct must be read in conjunction with the University’s Attendance Policy, available from the Quality website.

For some programmes, a more detailed attendance policy will apply, details of which will normally be available within individual programme documentation.

6. IT Facilities Code of Conduct

6.1 This IT Facilities Code of Conduct has been developed to support the general University Code of Conduct.

6.2 General Principles

6.3 All students at QMU shall:

6.3.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working, studying and living environment within the University, respecting the institution’s policies on equal opportunities and harassment and ensuring that their conduct complies with these policies.

All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to contribute to a study environment which promotes scholarship and learning. All persons should be considerate of the needs of others for an appropriate study environment and share a common goal in learning.

  • Use of the computer systems and networks should always be legal and ethical, and reflect academic integrity and the standards of the University community. IT facilities must never be used to cause offence, worry or inconvenience to anyone.
  • Users should accept the need to be restrained in the use of available resources. Electronic resources are provided to facilitate the work of students, specifically for educational, training, research or administrative purposes. Any other uses are a privilege and not a right, and must not take priority over the needs of those who require the facilities for directed academic work.

6.3.2 Accept individual and collective responsibility for keeping a clean and safe working and studying environment, ensuring personal guests act in an appropriate manner.

  • All persons using QMU IT facilities have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that the safety of themselves and others is not compromised.
  • All persons using QMU IT facilities have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure respect for other people and property is maintained.

6.3.3 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

  • All persons using QMU IT facilities have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that the study environment is characterised by mutual respect, which can help enhance the quality of learning experience.
  • The University will not tolerate antisocial behaviour: this includes the use of abusive language, physical abuse, obscene comments, verbal or physical harassment, and comments or remarks that discriminate on the basis of sex, race or any other irrelevant distinction.

6.3.4 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

All persons using QMU IT facilities should adhere to appropriate statutory law eg: the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the Defamation Act 2013, Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the provisions of the University’s licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency, Data Protection Act 2014 and licence agreements for software. All persons using QMU IT facilities should also respect the intellectual property rights, copyright and moral rights of authors.

  • All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to comply with the law, this is to ensure that all students can work and study in an environment characterised by mutual respect and free from harassment and distress.
  • You are asked to consider the impact that unacceptable behaviour may have on other people and to behave as an ambassador of Queen Margaret University.

6.4 Specific Codes

The IT Facilities Code of Conduct is underpinned by the JANET Acceptable Use Policy, published by JISC) which covers all UK academic and research network activity.

7. Science Laboratory Code of Conduct

7.1 This Science Laboratory Code of Conduct has been developed to support the general University Code of Conduct.

7.2 General Principles

7.3 All students at QMU shall:

7.3.1 Accept individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a healthy working, studying and living environment with the University, respecting the institution’s policies on equal opportunities and harassment and ensuring that their conduct complies with these policies.

All persons within QMU have an individual and collective responsibility to contribute to a study environment, which promotes scholarship and learning. All persons should be considerate of the needs of others for an appropriate study environment and share a common goal in learning.

  • The use of computer systems within laboratories is subject to the same code of conduct identified for IT laboratories in QMU.
  • The use of mobile phones within laboratory environments is strictly prohibited. All phones should be switched off before entry into laboratories.

7.3.2 Accept individual and collective responsibility for keeping a clean and safe working and studying environment.

All persons using the QMU science laboratories have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that safety is not compromised, that food is not consumed and that respect for other people and property is maintained. In particular that no laboratory equipment is damaged and that no item is removed from the library unless it has been properly issued.

  • Smoking, eating and drinking are strictly prohibited within laboratories, with the following exceptions:
    • Food or fluid intake specifically associated with experimental procedures and specified in laboratory schedules.
    • Fluid intake following exercise testing regimes in which an individual may become dehydrated.

Individuals should:

  • Read and observe any special safety instructions displayed in the laboratory, or which have been issued to them (e.g. Local rules for Radiation Safety, Safe use of Gas Cylinders).
  • Ensure familiarity with equipment, including safety devices before beginning work.
  • Wear protective equipment as required and directed when working in the laboratory.
  • Report all breakages and spills to a member of staff. Broken glass, needles and other sharps should be placed in appropriate bins or sharps boxes and not mixed with waste paper.
  • Take responsibility for the safe storage of clothing, bags and personal items, so that they do not represent a hazard within the laboratory environment.
  • Students should not work in laboratories outwith timetabled classes, unless appropriate arrangements have been made for supervised group or individual project work. This should include the completion of a Risk Assessment, which must be fully understood and signed by both student and supervisor. COSHH forms must be completed if required.
  • Students should request equipment for project work using the appropriate form and should ensure its safe return to a member of staff.

7.3.3 Have a mutual respect for others especially with regard to differing cultures.

  • The University will not tolerate antisocial behaviour: this includes the use of abusive language, physical abuse, obscene comments, verbal or physical harassment, and comments or remarks that discriminate on the basis of sex, race or any other irrelevant distinction.

4.3.4 Ensure that the University is not brought into disrepute.

7.4 Specific Codes

Students are expected to follow specific codes of conduct, regarding equipment, hazards or procedures where these are in force in specific laboratory areas.

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