Manual of Policies and Procedures

E/2.1 Code of conduct - student

Contact Officer

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

Approval Date


Approval Authority


Date of Next Review


2.1.1 Purpose
2.1.2 Application
2.1.3 Positive expectations for student conduct
2.1.4 Student misconduct
2.1.5 Consequences of non-compliance
2.1.6 Freedom of expression
2.1.7 Definitions
2.1.8 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

2.1.1 Purpose

QUT seeks to create a study and work environment in which due regard is given to the human rights of all members of the QUT community, including students.

QUT expects that, as members of the University community, students will conduct themselves in a manner which:

  • allows all members of the University community reasonable freedom to pursue their University activities safely and without unreasonable disruption or discrimination
  • is fair, honest and consistent with principles of academic integrity
  • ensures that University facilities, property and services are used appropriately.

The standards of behaviour for all QUT students are set out in this Code, and are intended to promote the good order and management of the University. All students must meet these standards of behaviour as they participate in University activities and when they interact with other students, staff, and other members of the University community such as clients and visitors.


2.1.2 Application

The Code of conduct - student applies to all students of the University, and to individuals undertaking corporate programs, incoming placements, occupational traineeships or other similar activities. For the purposes of this Code, the general term 'student' is used.

Students are required to comply with the obligations set out in this Code while undertaking any activity in their capacity as a student or while engaged in any activity which impacts on the University or other members of the University community.

This includes on-campus activities, University or student-related activities at other sites (including, for example, during placements, field trips or exchange programs). 

This Code also applies to online learning and other use of QUT IT resources, networks, or other learning and support services or facilities, regardless of whether accessed on campus or remotely.


2.1.3 Positive expectations for student conduct

In all interpersonal interactions with other members of the University community, students are expected to:

  • exercise their human rights, including the right to freedom of expression (E/2.1.6), in a responsible way which respects and does not unreasonably limit the human rights of other members of the QUT community, including their rights to freedom of expression and academic freedom
  • treat other members of the University community with respect and courtesy
  • behave in a manner which does not adversely affect the freedom of other members of the University community to pursue their studies, duties or lawful activities
  • refrain from intimidating or bullying behaviour towards other members of the University community
  • refrain from harassing, bullying, threatening, assaulting, discriminating against or vilifying other members of the University community (either in personal interactions or by using IT resources or communication technologies) on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, disability, beliefs or opinions, background, or other attributes
  • participate in online learning and otherwise use the University's IT resources in an appropriate and responsible manner
  • comply with directions given by University officers to promote the good order and management of the University.

In undertaking their studies, students are expected to:

  • work to the best of their abilities and to make genuine attempts to progress successfully by meeting course requirements and deadlines for assessment and by regular attendance and/or engagement with learning activities
  • undertake academic work in a manner consistent with principles of academic integrity and/or research integrity requirements
  • conduct themselves in a professional manner while undertaking placements, practicums, field trips, study tours, or other forms of work integrated learning or student mobility programs, and maintain the highest standards of professional ethics relevant to the profession or industry for which they are being trained
  • comply with all health and safety requirements and instructions given by the University and attend any relevant training if required by the University
  • use IT resources and other learning or support facilities provided by the University, including library and computer laboratory facilities, responsibly and in a manner which does not prevent or impair other students from pursuing learning opportunities or using learning and teaching resources
  • provide constructive feedback to academic staff on teaching and the quality of units of study when participating in QUT’s teaching and learning evaluation processes, and provide other constructive feedback and opinions about the University and its functioning.

In managing their enrolment and academic programs, students are expected to:

  • acquaint themselves, and comply with, University policies and procedures, and all course and unit requirements, relevant to their enrolment and program of study
  • comply with the policies and procedures of the University
  • provide timely and accurate information on matters relating to admission, enrolment, assessment and any other student matter
  • meet their financial commitments to the University
  • ensure personal details (including contact details) are current.

The University acknowledges the diversity of the student population and recognises that the personal circumstances of students are varied and can pose challenges for undertaking University studies. Students are encouraged to use the support mechanisms provided by the University and others (HiQ website - QUT staff and student access only) to assist them to meet the positive expectations set out in this section.


2.1.4 Student Misconduct

The University will deal with a student who engages in any of the following conduct under student misconduct procedures. Misconduct can arise from a single act, an omission, or a pattern of conduct by a student.

(a) Engaging in conduct which does or tends to defeat or compromise the purposes of assessment of academic work, including by:

(i) cheating in examinations

(ii) failing to comply with instructions relating to the conduct of examinations

(iii) using, reproducing or adapting the work or ideas of another person without due acknowledgment

(iv) representing the work of another person as the student's own work

(v) misrepresenting, falsifying, misstating or fabricating data, results or information used for the purposes of assessment

(vi) otherwise breaching the University's policy on academic integrity (C/5.3).

(b) Deliberately, recklessly or negligently engaging in research practices which do not comply with standards for research specified in the QUT Code for responsible conduct of research (D/2.6) or otherwise failing to meet standards of academic integrity in the conduct of research.

(c) Making a false or fraudulent representation, or submitting falsified or fraudulent information or documentation, in connection with any University matter.

(d) Deliberately, recklessly, negligently or unlawfully accessing, using or disclosing confidential information relating to any University matter.

(e) Assaulting another person, or otherwise causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person on a University site or in connection with legitimate University activities.

(f) Deliberately, recklessly or negligently endangering a person's life, health or safety on a University site or in connection with legitimate University activities.

(g) Being disorderly or creating a disturbance on a University site or in connection with legitimate University activities, in a manner which may reasonably be expected to hinder or disrupt the legitimate activities of other persons.

(h) Harassing, threatening or intimidating another person on a University site or in connection with legitimate University activities, so as to cause that person reasonable apprehension for their physical safety or their psychological or emotional wellbeing, or so as to limit that other person’s exercise of freedom of expression.

(i) Deliberately, recklessly or negligently interfering with or causing damage to a University site or property, or to the property of another person in connection with legitimate University activities.

(j) Unlawfully taking, using or interfering with University property (including the University’s intellectual property), or the property (including intellectual property) of another person.

(k) Using the University's ICT resources in a manner which is inconsistent with the University's policy on Acceptable use of information and communications technology resources (F/1.11).

(l) Using the University's library, computer laboratories or other learning support resources and facilities in a manner which is inconsistent with any condition or use notified to students for use of the facility or resource.

(m) Using the University's name, logo, trade mark, seal or other symbol without permission of the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar.

(n) Using any other name, logo, trade mark, seal or symbol which so closely resembles the University's as to be likely to deceive.

(o) Disobeying a reasonable direction issued (whether orally or in writing) by a University officer to promote the good order and management of the University.

(p) Breaching any laws of the Commonwealth or the State of Queensland in connection with any University activity, including the criminal law and laws relating to copyright, discrimination, harassment, and defamation.

(q) Breaching policies and procedures of the University which apply to students, including but not limited to policies relating to conduct on University land, use of University sites, discrimination, copyright and intellectual property, and health, safety and environment.

(r) Discriminating against, sexually harassing, or sexually assaulting, another person on a University site or in circumstances connected in any way with University activities.

(s) Publishing material which is abusive, offensive, vilifying, harassing, or discriminatory about another student, or an officer of the University, in any forum or medium, including digital media or communication technologies.


2.1.5 Consequences of non-compliance

A student whose conduct falls below the standards outlined in Student misconduct above (E/2.1.4)  will be dealt with in accordance with the Management of student misconduct policy (E/8.1). Formal disciplinary action including the imposition of a range of penalties depending on the seriousness of the breach may be applied.

In the case of occupational trainees, or others to whom this code applies who are not students, the University may terminate their association with QUT or may revoke rights of access to QUT IT resources and other services, facilities or infrastructure.

The University may, to prevent breaches of this Code, issue directions to a student regarding their future behaviour consistent with the requirements of this Code.


2.1.6 Freedom of expression

QUT supports the right of its students to free expression, including on campus and in QUT online environments. Freedom of expression may be exercised, for instance, by engaging in intellectual inquiry, holding and expressing opinions and beliefs, contributing to public debate, or participating in student associations such as the Student Guild or other student clubs and societies. 

In exercising this right, students must act consistently with other obligations set out in this Code, in particular, the obligations to respect others and their human rights. Consequently, freedom of expression is not an absolute right. It does not entail freedom from critique, particularly in regard to academic matters. Freedom of expression may be subject to legal limitations such as defamation and anti-vilification laws, and the University also imposes other reasonable and proportionate limitations to ensure the good order of the University and the wellbeing of other students and of staff. Students must not exercise their rights to freedom of expression in a manner which may reasonably be perceived to harass, vilify, defame, intimidate or infringe upon the rights of others, including others’ rights to freedom of expression.


2.1.7 Definitions

Confidential information means information about QUT students, studies, teaching, research or other lawful University activities, or information provided to a student about the business affairs or clients of an industry partner, which is in the possession of the student or the University or a member of the University's staff and which:

  • is marked as confidential
  • is by its nature confidential
  • the student knows or ought reasonably to know is confidential

but does not include any information which:

  • is publicly available through no act or failure to act on the part of the student
  • was lawfully acquired by the student from another source without restriction as to its use or disclosure.

Discrimination, discriminating against and discriminatory each have the following meaning, as the context allows. 

Discrimination occurs when a person or a group of people:

  • is treated less favourably than another person or group because of a particular characteristic or attribute (or because they associate with another person or group with a particular characteristic or attribute) (‘direct discrimination’); or
  • where an unreasonable rule or policy, which applies to everyone has an unfair effect on a person or group, because they have a particular characteristic or attribute (‘indirect discrimination’).

Protected characteristics or attributes include a person's age, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, gender identity or intersex status, impairment or disability, lawful sexual activity, parental status, political belief or activity, pregnancy, race, relationship or marital status, religious belief or activity, sex, sexuality, social origin, trade union activity, and irrelevant criminal or medical record.

Harassment and harassing refers to uninvited or unreasonable behaviour, whether verbal, physical or online, which causes a person to feel intimidated, offended, or humiliated. If the behaviour is based on one of the protected characteristics or attributes defined above, harassment is a form of discrimination.

Human rights has the meaning set out in the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)Rights relevant to a student’s relationship to the University may include (but are not limited to) the rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief; freedom of expression; peaceful assembly and freedom of association; cultural rights including of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; the right to a fair hearing; and the right to protection of privacy and reputation.

IT resources means any information technology resources or facility provided by the University to assist or support learning and teaching, research, administrative and business activities, and includes:

  • University computers and computer networks, including wireless networks
  • information technology communication equipment, software and data
  • electronic mail and internet services
  • telecommunications equipment including mobile devices and services
  • any work area or physical space designated for teaching, study or research, including computer laboratories, technology-equipped classrooms and library study rooms.

Sexual assault is any unwanted or forced sexual act or behaviour without consent. It covers a broad range of sexual activity. Sexual assault occurs when an offender:

  • without lawful reason indecently assaults a person (eg groping, inappropriate touching of a sexual nature); or
  • procures a person, without their consent, to commit an act of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated, where a reasonable person would anticipate that reaction in the circumstances. It includes uninvited physical intimacy such as touching in a sexual way, uninvited sexual propositions, and remarks with sexual connotations. It can also include sexually offensive telephone calls, text messages, graphics, screen savers, posters, social media posts, emails, or such communications via any other electronic media.

Sexual harassment does not have to be deliberate or repeated to be unlawful.

University officer includes the following:

  • an authorised officer appointed under the Queensland University of Technology Act 1998
  • the Vice-Chancellor and President
  • a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President
  • an Executive Dean
  • a Head of School (or equivalent)
  • the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • the Director of QUT Library
  • an officer having responsibility for supervision of a facility such as a branch library, computer laboratory, resource or study area, examination room or laboratory
  • a unit coordinator
  • a course coordinator
  • a member of the teaching staff (including visiting, adjunct, honorary or sessional staff), having responsibility for the conduct of a class, tutorial, lecture or teaching session
  • a workplace health and safety officer or building warden or similar.

University site means any campus, land or building owned by or under the control of the University.


2.1.8 Delegations

Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (C132, C016) (QUT staff access only).


Related Documents

MOPP A/8.3 Reconciliation statement

MOPP A/8.4 Equal opportunity and diversity

MOPP A/8.7 Cultural diversity and anti-racism

MOPP A/8.8 Gender equity

MOPP A/8.10 Sexual harassment and sexual assault

MOPP C/5.3 Academic Integrity

MOPP D/2.6 QUT Code for responsible conduct of research

MOPP E/8.1 Management of student misconduct

MOPP F/1.11 Acceptable use of information and communications technology resources


Modification History





30.06.20 All Council Revised policy to address Qld Human Rights Act including freedom of expression
21.08.19 All Council Revised policy to address the University’s response to Student Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault issues
21.03.17 All Registrar Periodic review – policy simplified and minor revisions only
09.10.13 All Council Policy revised following post-implementation review of E/8.1




New policy (to replace Statute No 2 (Student Discipline) 1999 and former E/2.1 QUT Student Charter)