Student Social Media Guidance


The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the required standards of behaviour of students when using social media and other online communication tools.


The University recognises the benefits and opportunities offered by social media and other online communication tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Zoom,  as well as University-provided tools such as Microsoft Teams and Moodle. It also recognises the benefits of online messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and direct messaging functionality on social media platforms. These benefits include the ability to communicate in near real-time with our community, to understand the views and opinions of our audiences, and to better promote inclusion and prevent discrimination amongst our community.

However, alongside the benefits of these tools are also a number of risks, including potential legal, ethical or reputational issues which could ultimately result in significant harm to individual members of our community, and the University and its ability to provide a safe and supportive work and learning environment. The lines between personal and professional social media usage often become blurred, and content can circulate quickly, and rapidly get out of control.

This guidance is intended to support and protect students, making them aware of the benefits and potential pitfalls of social networking, and the consequences in place for misusing social media both as a University of Derby student and in personal life.


This guidance applies to students’ use of social media and does not apply to staff use of social media.

The guidance seeks to promote behaviour on social media which upholds the values in the Student Charter, in particular interactions in which students:

The University acknowledges the right to academic freedom and freedom of expression and understands the role that universities play in society as a place for debate, discussion and consideration of ideas. Students are expected to be aware of the standards of conduct required by the University and to maintain these standards, as set out in the student code of conduct, which applies equally to inappropriate behaviour via social media and other online communications.

The guidance relates to any aspect of online behaviour that is in any way linked to University of Derby including, for example, in a private group connected to study, making reference to University of Derby or responding to one of the University’s official accounts.

A student’s personal social media profile and comments are unlikely to be of interest to the University where no direct or indirect reference is made to it, any individual or groups of students, employees, partners and suppliers. However, the University may be concerned where the nature of a communication is regarded as being defamatory or misleading, where it undermines professional credibility or integrity or safety of students, employees, partners and suppliers or potentially damages the reputation of the University. 


Social media is any interactive communication tool or platform that encourages participation, communication and the sharing of information in a public forum. 

This may include, but is not limited to; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, , WhatsApp, Reddit, TikTok, Snapchat, , WeChat, YouTube and blogs.

Student Guidance

Your social media presence 

When you are using social media, whether on your own device or via a University device, including your personal account/s and for learning, teaching and assessment purposes, the following should be considered:

When you are using your social media accounts, please ensure you do not:

Misuse of social media 

The University does not condone any form of harassment or discrimination, online or offline, and inappropriate social media use may result in action being taken under the Student Disciplinary procedures. This includes cyberbullying, the University considers the following behaviours to be forms of cyber bullying, including (but not limited to):  

Student Disciplinary action could, in serious cases, lead to suspension or expulsion. Where conduct may be an illegal criminal offence, the University may report the matter to the police. Beyond that, any member of staff, student or third party may pursue legal action if they choose to do so.