Sexual misconduct – advice and guidance for students

The University is committed to providing a safe environment that allows the confidence to work, study, innovate and excel without fear of sexual misconduct being used against you.

People of any sex or sexual orientation are protected and supported by the University of St Andrews Sexual Misconduct Policy Statement (PDF, 322 KB)‌.

Sexual misconduct covers a broad range of inappropriate, unwanted, behaviour. From the most severe forms of sexual violence including rape and sexual assault, it also extends to unwanted touching, stalking, abusive or degrading remarks and across the vast range of inappropriate behaviour in between. Whilst detailing all the behaviour covered by this policy would be impossible, the common thread is the disregard of informed consent. Consent is always required and cannot be assumed based on the parties’ relationship status or sexual history together. Consent can be withdrawn at any time before or during sexual activity by either party. There can be no free consent in situations where someone is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs and therefore unable to give meaningful consent to sexual activity. It should be noted that consent to one form of sexual activity (e.g. kissing or touching) does not mean that consent has been given to any other sexual act.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced any form of sexual misconduct against them please contact Student Services for help and advice.

Comprehensive information is available from the Scottish government on the legal definition of various forms of sexual misconduct: Information and Help After Rape and Sexual Assault. This includes how rape and sexual assault might affect you, how to look after yourself, how the legal system works in Scotland and where to get help and more information on a national basis.

Guidance for students accused of sexual misconduct

Being accused of sexual misconduct can be a traumatic experience for anyone. The University’s Duty of Care extends to both alleged victims and alleged perpetrators of sexual misconduct. 

Find out about the University's duty to support students accused of sexual misconduct