Improper use of social media may jeopardise your safety, studies or future career prospects.

Social Media conduct guide for students

Social media is now one of the most common and popular ways for people to keep in touch and it provides great opportunities to keep up to date with what’s happening. However, social media can also cause users problems and can be used to cause offence and embarrassment to others.

We want our students to be safe and happy online and to enjoy the benefits of using social media, whilst being aware of the pitfalls. This short guide will help you to be aware of the problems that might jeopardise your safety, studies or future career prospects.

Things to be aware of:

  • Social networking platforms are in the public domain and it is not possible to be sure what is being viewed, shared or archived, even if material is posted on a closed profile or group. There can be no reasonable expectation that posts will remain private and will not be passed on to other people, intentionally or otherwise. 
  • Social media is sometimes used for bullying and harassment. Such behaviour from our students will not be tolerated. Bullying and harassment contravenes the University’s expected standards of conduct and could result in disciplinary action.
  • You should be very mindful that posting offensive comments on a public site can damage your reputation. These may be seen by potential contacts and employers and could bring into question your judgement and character. In some cases, social media may also cause damage to the University’s reputation and, where this is the case, the University may consider disciplinary action.
  • It is now standard practice for prospective employers to Google candidates, so you should assume that any references or images relating to drug taking, excessive alcohol consumption or other inappropriate behaviour could be around and attached to your name for many years. 


Remember that there is no such thing as an entirely private social media account – you will always leave a trace of your actions online.

  • Clean up your profile and ensure nothing is available that you wouldn’t want your parents, relations or potential employers to see.
  • Do not use language or phrases that could be considered, sexist, racist, homophobic, or any other type of offensive language.
  • Think about others’ feelings before posting comments and consider whether you may cause offence or embarrassment.
  • Ask permission before sharing videos or photos of others.
  • Be careful about the information you post online such as your address or whether you’re going away.

How to report a problem

If you feel that you are the victim of bullying and harassment on social media, you can seek advice and support under the University Dignity and Respect Policy, you can also contact one of our Dignity and Respect Advisors, who offer an informal and confidential service.

If you need sources of support at the University, please visit our Wellbeing Services

Visit our Social media webpages for a full listing of our official accounts.