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Ethical Principles and Practice Policy

Ethical standards

The ethical standards which apply to academic activities (including research, teaching, consultancy and outreach work) arise from the basic principle that such activities should neither include practices which directly impose a risk of serious harm nor be indirectly dependent upon such practices. Serious harm includes, for example, failure to respect the interests of human beings and damage to items of cultural value or the natural environment. Ethical practice also requires that the use of individuals’ personal data, medical research and the use of animals in academic work are fully justified and that statutory controls and codes of practice are observed at all times.

All activities undertaken by staff and students as members of the University must comply with its ethical standards. In applying this framework to individual decisions, it is the responsibility of the individual academic to seek guidance on and, if necessary, approval for activities which might be ethically sensitive.

Policy statement

To this end, the University's Academic Ethics Committee has produced an Ethical Principles and Practice Policy Statement to provide guidance to individual staff on the ethical framework within which the University seeks to conduct its academic activities, and on the processes that it uses to ensure compliance with the highest ethical standards. You can also view our Ethical Assessment flow-chart and Guidance Notes.

Download our Ethical Principles and Practice Policy Statement

Staff and students enrolled at the University can also find further information specific to their faculty on faculty Moodle pages.

Further useful information and links