The University of Bristol is committed to providing a positive experience for all students and staff. We believe that bullying, harassment, assault and discrimination are never acceptable.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly because of who they are or because of a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity. Treating someone less favourably because of who they are is a form of direct discrimination however you don't have to have a protected characteristic to be discriminated against. If someone thinks you have a characteristic and treats you less favourably, that's a form of direct discrimination by perception.

Indirect discrimination is when a provision, criteria or practice is applied in the same way for everyone, but this has the effect of putting people sharing a protected characteristic at a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter if there was no intention to disadvantage that group. What matters is whether that action does disadvantage that group in some way. An example of this could be a dress-code or rules on appearance which might indirectly discriminate against individuals or groups of a particular religion, belief or gender.

Indirect discrimination applies to all protected characteristics other than pregnancy and maternity, although something that disadvantages pregnant women or new mothers may be indirect sex discrimination.

Immediate help

  • Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
  • Find a safe space.  If an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere you feel safe. If you are at the University you can call University Security on 0117 3311223 or go to your nearest University building and ask someone to phone Security for you.

Support for students

  • Report and Support. You can use the Report and Support system to ask to speak to a member of the University’s Student Wellbeing Service for advice and support.
  • Have an informal conversation with the Student Complaints Officer (, 0117 394 1820) or a Bristol SU Just Ask adviser.
  • University services for academic, health and wellbeing support.
  • Consider submitting extenuating circumstances if your studies have been/are being affected.

Support for staff members

Other sources of support 

Reporting for students and staff members

  • Report and Support. Staff and students can report an incident anonymously using the University’s Report and Support system.
  • To the police. You can report a crime using the non-emergency number, 101.
  • Make a formal complaint using the University’s Acceptable Behaviour Policy (for students) or to your HR Operations team (for staff)




There are two ways you can report something