Accessibility statement

Guidelines for students recording lectures, seminars and other teaching sessions

The University recognises that there may be occasions when a student wishes to record a lecture, seminar or other teaching session. These guidelines set out the conditions under which recordings may be made by students and apply to all students wishing to record a lecture or seminar, whether or not the reason is connected with a disability.

In particular, the University seeks to make every effort to assist students with disabilities and wishes to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 with respect to providing equal treatment and equal access to educational opportunity regardless of disability status. One such adjustment may involve the recording of lectures or seminars.

Students wishing to make recordings for reasons related to disability are advised to contact their Department's disability representative in the first instance and then Disability Services, who are able to assist in making the necessary arrangements and who may also be able to provide further support.

It is a presumption of these guidelines that students who ask permission to record lectures, seminars or other teaching sessions have a genuine learning need and that they will only use the recordings for that purpose. Misuse of recordings is a disciplinary matter and will be referred to the Head of Department and Academic Registrar.

The making of recordings should be regarded by lecturers as a form of note-taking. It is presumed that staff will grant permission to record when:

  1. reasonable notice of the request has been given by the student or by Disability Services on behalf of the student;
  2. other students are allowed to take their own notes;
  3. any use of third party material is licensed by the rights-holder or fair dealing applies.

Where recording has not been agreed as part of support by Disability Services:

  • Students wishing to record a lecture, seminar or other teaching session must:
    • obtain permission to do so from the lecturer responsible for the lecture or seminar at least one week in advance of the teaching session concerned. The student must give the lecturer adequate time to deliver a response.
    • make clear whether they are asking permission to record an individual lecture/seminar or all those in a given module.
    • make clear the form of the recording, either audio only or video as well as audio. If a request for video recording is made, the student must explain why video is needed in addition to standard visuals aids such as lecture notes and slides.
  • Permission to proceed with making recordings must be received by the student from the lecturer before any attempt to record a lecture or seminar is made.

In all instances where recordings of lectures or seminars are to be made:

  • Any recording made is for the sole use of the student who made the recording and must be kept secure at all times. Recordings may not be conveyed to any other person by any means whatever, other than to an authorised disability support advisor/assistant who has been provided for the purpose of helping the student to transcribe the recording.
  • The ownership of the intellectual property contained within the recording remains at all times with the lecturer, the University and any others connected with the content, as appropriate; it does not pass to the student making the recording.
  • Any recording made must be destroyed by the student once its purpose has been met. This will always be before the student leaves the programme and shall normally be by the end of the module during which the recording is made.
  • The recording method employed must be discreet and not intrusive with regard to other participants in the lecture or seminar.
  • Recording a lecture or seminar is not a substitute for attendance. The student must be present to record the event unless the lecturer responsible has given permission for a recording to be made in the student's absence.

Potential conflicts arising from other students not wishing to be recorded should be handled as sensitively as possible by the Department, while bearing in mind that allowing a student with a disability to record a lecture or seminar may be a legal requirement.

Sometimes permission to record may be refused by the lecturer, if the lecture or seminar contains material which, were a recording made, would breach a third party's right to privacy, data protection or copyright. Lecturers who are unsure about this should seek advice from the University's Copyright Advisor before refusing permission. If permission is refused, the lecturer may be approached for access to the material concerned in an alternative format. Where there is third party material which cannot be recorded, it may be practical to grant permission to record that part of the lecture or seminar where such material is not in use and the student should be given access to the licensed material in an alternative and appropriate format. Where permission is refused it is expected that the reason(s) for refusal will be communicated to the student requesting permission.

It is expected that the lecturer would not wish to draw attention to the reason for the recording being made.

Professor Helen Petrie

(Chair) e-Accessibility Forum

Updated 12 January 2016