Research Ethics

The University Research Committee is responsible for all matters associated with research ethics and integrity.

The research ethics policy and code of practice is concerned with establishing key principles that underpin sound ethical research practice. 

Each College has its College Research Ethics Committee. Their purpose is to ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards. Specifically their role is to implement the policy and associated guidelines. This relates to research activities undertaken by all staff and visiting researchers, and students pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research awards. 

College Research Ethics Committees report to their College Research Committee which in turn are accountable to the University Research Committee chaired by Professor Paul Stewart. 

The implementation of research ethics policy is described in our Guidance document. 

Requesting ethical approval

All research undertaken at the University needs to secure ethical approval prior to the commencement of fieldwork.

If you are an undergraduate student or a student on a taught postgraduate programme your request for ethical approval will be assessed by your supervisor and possibly one other member of academic staff. Further information should be available in your module handbook.

As of 23rd September 2019 all ethics applications across the University will be expected to use the digital ethics monitor system. The only exception to this will be for taught students (UG and PG) whose module cohort initiated their ethics applications on the ‘paper based’ system, please check with your module leader if you are not sure.

The new digital form dynamically adapts to research study areas and routes the form to relevant Subject Area or College Research Ethics Committee as per University policies.

The system can be accessed here.

During this transition period the original ‘paper based’ forms can still be accessed. 

For undergraduates and taught postgraduate programmes the following forms should be used as appropriate:

The research student and staff request form is available here: