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The University of Southampton
The Student Hub

Rules and Regulations

Attendance and Special Considerations

The University’s attendance policy sets out the general expectations placed upon you as a student. Full attendance is expected for each year of the study programme and study deadlines are expected to be met.

What to do if your performance has been affected

If you believe that illness or other personal circumstances have badly affected your academic performance during the academic year or prevented you from meeting deadlines, you must complete a Special Considerations form. Supporting Information should be contemporaneous with the circumstances described, for example a medical certificate or GP/consultant letter, or a statement from your Personal Academic Tutor. You can find out more by looking at the Special Considerations guidance.


If you become ill prior to or during the exam period self-certification will not be regarded as evidence in relation to your examination performance. All claims will be reviewed by the Special Considerations Board which meets regularly throughout the year.

Find out more about Special Considerations.


If you are experiencing difficulties, please seek advice from the SUSU Advice Centre (Student Union, Building 40) and if studying here under a visa, seek advice from the VISAS Team. 

Special Considerations

We know some students may experience circumstances outside of their control during study.

The SUSU Advice Centre

If you need help with understanding how these University policies apply to you, the SUSU Advice Centre can provide impartial help.

Academic integrity

The University expects that all students will familiarise themselves with the University’s Academic Integrity Regulations. The Regulations set down the procedures to be followed to investigate suspected breaches of academic integrity when concerns are raised during the marking process or in connection with suspected cheating in examinations. Breaching ethical requirements and misconduct in research are also academic integrity issues. Further information and guidance can be found in the Quality Handbook. Students who wish to seek independent advice around academic integrity issues are encouraged to seek support from the SUSU Advice Centre.

We are aware that students may have experienced differing standards at other institutions (including those overseas) but it is essential that you take steps to ensure your full understanding of the standards expected at Southampton as significant penalties can be imposed if these are breached. These penalties will always affect the mark you receive for the piece of work in question, and the most serious cases could lead to a reduction in degree classification or even termination of programme. There is likely also to be an impact on any future reference we provide.

It is often helpful to discuss ideas and approaches to your work with your peers, and this is a good way to help you think through your own views. However work submitted for assessment should always be entirely your own, except where clearly specified otherwise in the instructions for the assignment.

Group work 

In some instances working in groups will be required, and there may be occasions when work is submitted from the whole group rather than individuals. In these instances the instructions will make it clear how individual contributions to the joint work should be identified and will be assessed. If you are in any doubt, check with the person setting the assignment. If you have worked with others you should make sure that you clearly state this.

Programme regulations 

The regulations and definitions applying to all credit-bearing programmes should be read in conjunction with your own programme regulations:

Sometimes it is necessary to undertake referral assessment(s) or to repeat the year of your programme. Repeats can be taken internally or externally, however, for some Tier 4 visa students studying in the UK under the UKVI points based system, it may not possible by the terms of their Visa to remain in the UK to undertake an Internal Repeat. Such students will retain the right to an External Repeat provided that it is permitted by the regulations governing their programme of study.

The UKVI places limits on the total period of time a student on a Tier 4 Visa can spend studying at or above degree level in his/her lifetime; time spent undertaking an Internal Repeat will count towards this total period. A student who is concerned about his/her entitlement to remain in the UK following a failure to progress should seek urgent advice from the Student Visa Guidance Service.

Out of hours policy

The out of hours policy covers the closure period from 23:00 through to 06:00 the following day and applies to every day of the year, including weekends and public holidays. You must have received approval to work during the closure period from your Head of Academic Unit and this must be documented, please speak to your Faculty.

Health and safety policy 

This policy sets out guidance to be followed for the health and safety of everyone. Students are responsible for taking care of themselves and others and to work/study in accordance with any training or instruction given by supervising staff.

If you are involved in an accident or incident, spot a hazardous situation or are concerned that you are being asked to do something without the necessary information, instruction or training that would ensure your safety, please report this to your supervisor and the Faculty Health and Safety team. The circumstances can then be investigated and measures put in place to minimise future risk.

Suspending or withdrawing from your study

During your time at university you may decide to suspend or withdraw. Students wishing to temporarily suspend their study for personal, medical or financial problems should discuss this with their Personal Academic Tutor and must apply in writing to their student office.

Some courses allow you to suspend studies in order to undertake an internship or period of industrial training outside normal vacation time, this should also be discussed with your Personal Academic Tutor.

If you no longer wish to continue with your studies, a Withdrawal Notification form should be obtained, completed and returned to your Student Office.

Students studying under a Tier 4 Visa should seek urgent advice from the Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service (VISAS) to discuss suspending or withdrawing from their course.

Fitness to study policy

The fitness to study policy is followed when any student becomes visibly unwell with a mental health difficulty or psychological, personality or emotional disorder which affects their ability to study and their wellbeing, or affects the wellbeing of others around them. It explains the procedure and support available to both students and staff.

Examination regulations

Check information on the assessments and exam regulations page and general exam regulations carefully before the exams begin, in particular rules regarding the use of calculators and dictionaries and how to behave during exams. Breaches of exam regulations may be investigated via the University’s Academic Integrity procedures.

Final assessment

At the end of your programme, your overall performance will be assessed. If you satisfy the academic standards necessary, the examination board will recommend you for award.

Academic appeals

Provided you have grounds, you may appeal against any academic decision made by the University. There are some exceptions and you should note you cannot appeal against a decision that has been made in the proper exercise of academic judgment. For example, you cannot appeal simply because you disagree with a decision the University has made or feel that a higher mark should have been given. The Regulations Governing Academic Appeals by Students outlines the policy and the procedure that should be followed should you wish to steps that should be followed when making an appeal.

Any student making an appeal has the chance to put their case forward. Students in this position are encouraged to seek support from the The Advice Centre in the Student Union, Building 40.

Student complaints

The Regulations Governing Student Complaints sets out the process that should be followed should you wish to raise a complaint about a matter relating to either the facilities and services provided by the University, its academic programmes, and the conduct of University staff, and which has affected you.

The University's Dignity at Work and Study Policy

The Dignity at Work and Study Policy applies to the conduct of staff and students, in the context of their University work of study, or which otherwise affects the working, learning or social environment of the University. Fair criticism of staff or student performance or conduct will not be considered to be bullying or harassment provided that those involved are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.

Any allegation of harassment, bullying or victimisation will be treated seriously, regardless of the seniority of those involved, and anyone found to have behaved unacceptably may be the subject of disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion.

Student discipline

As members of the University community, all students are expected to conduct themselves with due regard for its good name and reputation. Any allegation of misconduct will be considered within the Student Discipline Regulations in accordance with the evidence and circumstances presented. 

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