Ordinance 16: Deprivation or revocation of academic qualifications (formerly Ordinance 7)

16.1 Where any Degree, Diploma, Certificate or other academic distinction (hereinafter described as a qualification) has been granted to or conferred on a person on behalf of Senate in accordance with Ordinance 5, Senate shall have the power in accordance with paragraph 4a of the Charter to deprive the person of that qualification or to revoke it, having determined that there is good cause to do so. 

Good cause includes the discovery, subsequent to the grant or conferment of the qualification, of academic misconduct in work submitted for the qualification, or other academic-related behaviour, which indicates that the person should be deprived of the qualification or that the qualification should be revoked.

16.2 Upon receipt of a case, the Secretary to the Senate shall arrange for an Investigating Committee to be established, on behalf of Senate to consider the case of that person. The Investigating Committee (including its Chair) shall be constituted and appointed by the Vice Chancellor, and its establishment shall be reported to the next meeting of Senate under ‘Reserved’ business.

16.3 The procedure of the Investigating Committee shall accord with the principles of natural justice. The person concerned shall have the opportunity to answer in person before the Committee any allegations about their conduct or behaviour that have given rise to the investigation and to put their case.

The person may be accompanied at any meeting by another person of their choice, who may speak on the person’s behalf with the permission of the Chair of the Committee; such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld. Subject to those provisions, the Investigating Committee shall determine its own procedure, in the light of the particular circumstances of the case and taking advice as necessary.

16.4 The Investigating Committee shall make a report to a panel of Senate, and a recommendation for further action, such as deprivation or revocation of a qualification, if warranted. The panel of Senate shall be established and be constituted and appointed by Senate, and may include its Chair. The person concerned shall be provided with a copy of the Investigating Committee’s report and any recommendation and shall have the opportunity to comment in writing to the panel of Senate on the report and any recommendation. The person concerned shall have the opportunity to appear in person before the panel of Senate and to be accompanied by another person of their choice who may speak on the person’s behalf with the permission of the Chair; such permission will not be unreasonably withheld.

16.5 The panel of Senate shall make a report, and any recommendation for further action it considers appropriate, to Senate. Senate shall make a determination in the case including a decision to deprive a person of a qualification or to revoke a qualification if warranted. Senate shall not delegate its power of deprivation or revocation to any individual or committee.

16.6 There is no right of appeal within the University against the determination of Senate including any decision of Senate to deprive a person of a qualification or to revoke a qualification, Senate’s decision being based on academic judgement. The determination of Senate will be final. An aggrieved person may pursue a complaint about process through the University’s Complaints Procedure. A person dissatisfied with the outcome of the case decided upon by Senate may be able to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

16.7 Where the removal of an award is required as a result of a successful academic appeal, Special Cases Committee has authority delegated to it by Senate to revoke any award affected by the grounds for appeal. In these circumstances, the investigation outlined in this Ordinance is not required. The student's award will subsequently be determined on the basis of appropriate result criteria following any repeat study, subsequent study, reassessment or recalculation, and appropriate awards made by Senate in the usual manner.

16.8 A separate procedure exists in relation to the revocation of Postgraduate Research (PGR) awards: PGR Misconduct Procedures (Senate Panel) (PDF , 167kb).

16.9 The revocation of Honorary Degrees and Fellowships by the Council is covered in Ordinance 17 and a separate policy.

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