Social Media Expectations

The University recognises that social media is a popular way of communicating and offers means of discussion and debate. The University supports and encourages the responsible use of social media for such purposes by its students. For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as websites and applications that allow the user to create and share content and includes emails.

The University has certain expectations of students when using social media, particularly where they have identified themselves as a University of Birmingham student or where their communication is in relation to their programme of study or any extra-curricular aspect of their registration at the University. 

Students are expected:

  • To consider others’ feelings when adding content, commenting or distributing content made by others.
  • To respect others’ freedom of speech and abide by the University’s Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech and the associated guidance on education and research settings and organising events, meetings and demonstrations
  • To provide feedback in relation to the programme of study and the University through appropriate channels e.g. through surveys, Student Reps and the Guild of Students
  • To follow the principles of Academic Freedom as defined in Ordinance 3.18

Students should not use social media to add or distribute material or content that:

  • Is defamatory – which is defined as the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of someone or something
  • Could be considered to be harassment or bullying, whether directed towards another University student, a member of University staff or a member of the public
  • Uses phrases or language which could be considered to be abusive, hateful, sexist, racist, homophobic or discriminatory
  • Includes information on matters relating to staff or fellow students without their permission
  • Includes photographs, images or recordings of members of staff or students, without their permission, or that could be considered embarrassing or abusive.


Students should note that their behaviour on social media is covered by the University’s Legislation (regulations, codes of practice and policies). 


Students need to be aware that comments on social media may result in Civil or Criminal Legal action. 


Think before you comment or distribute. 


Professional Services