The University recognises that all students and staff have a right to study and work in an environment where the dignity of individuals is respected and which is free from harassment and bullying.

UCA is committed to eliminating intimidation in any form and to promoting a safe, healthy and fair environment.

The Bullying and Harassment policy applies to all staff and students and relates to all forms of bullying and harassment on the ground of disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, colour, gender, race or ethnic origin. Whether physical, verbal, online or off.



Bullying is the intimidation or belittling of someone through the misuse of power or position, which leaves the recipient feeling hurt, upset, vulnerable or helpless. It is often inextricably linked to the areas of harassment described above.


A legal definition of harassment (as applied to sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, ethnic and national origin): “Unwanted verbal, non verbal or physical conduct that violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.” The essential characteristic of harassment is that the action(s) is unwanted by the recipient.


Dealing with Bullying and Harassment 

Depending on the nature of the bullying or harassment and the wish of the recipient, complaints may be taken through informal or formal procedures.


Informal Procedure 

In the first instance, students who feel that they are being subjected to harassment or bullying are encouraged to resolve the matter informally. In some cases it may be possible and sufficient to explain clearly to the person(s) engaged in the unwanted activities that the behavior is unwelcome, that it offends or makes them uncomfortable. A friend may support with this, or contact the counselling services or the Union by emailing advice.su@uca.ac.uk. An informal facilitated meeting could be arranged.

Where the steps outlined above are unsuccessful or inappropriate, the student should raise the matter in confidence with their Course Leader or alternatively, the matter may be raised with the Head of School.

The Course Leader or Head of School will discuss the matter with the student and agree a course of action. The student may be accompanied by a representative of the Students’ Union or a friend at these meetings. The person allegations are made against will also have these rights.

Confidentiality will be observed in all cases and throughout the procedure and the need for any disclosure of the details of the case will be discussed and agreed.


Formal Procedure

If the situation cannot be resolved informally or if the informal process is not appropriate then the complainant has the right to pursue  their complaint formally using the appropriate stages of the Student Complaints Policy found on the website.


Information correct at time of publication.

Last updated 27/06/17