Procedure in the Event of the Death of a Student

contact: Andy Saffery, Deputy Registrar (Operations and Planning), Student and Registry Services


1. The Registrar (ext: 33203) is the UCL officer responsible for coordinating arrangements in the event of the death of a student of UCL, and must be notified immediately of the death of a student of UCL or of a student attending a course at the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) who is not registered with UCL. It is essential that the Registrar be given any relevant information about the circumstances of the death, especially where the death appears to be by other than natural causes or to involve any kind of violence, whether the death took place on UCL premises or not.

The Deputy Registrar (Operations and Planning) (ext: 32048) will carry out these formalities. A Head of Department or member of staff may also write letters of condolence if appropriate.

2. The Registrar will draft a letter of condolence for the Provost's signature and a copy of that letter will be placed on the student's file. In the absence of the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar (Operations and Planning) will arrange for the draft letter of condolence for the Provost's signature and a copy of that letter will be placed on the student's file.

3. The Registrar will circulate notification of the student's death to the following:

  • Heads of Professional Services
  • Dean of Students (Academic)
  • Director of Academic Services
  • Director of Information and Data Services
  • Director of Student Administration
  • Head of Student Funding
  • Director of Admissions
  • Head of Access
  • Head of Examinations
  • Director of Student Support and Wellbeing
  • Student Records Manager
  • Dean of the relevant Faculty
  • Head of the relevant Department(s)
  • Departmental Tutor or Supervisor
  • Faculty Tutor or Graduate Faculty Tutor of the Faculty concerned
  • Data Protection Officer and Records Manager
  • Director of Information Systems
  • Director of Library Services
  • Director of UCL Careers Service
  • Director of Student Residential Services
  • General Manager, UCL Union
  • Manager, Student Psychological Services
  • Senior Partner, General Medical Practice, Gower Place
  • Dentist, Dental Practice
  • UCL Disability Coordinator
  • Director of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Head of Media Relations
  • Head of the Academic Office, University of London
  • LEA or the relevant Research Council/other funding body

4. Those notified are asked to disseminate this information to colleagues who may need to know.

5. In the event of death by suicide or violence, it is normally the responsibility of the police to inform next of kin of the death, and the Registrar should be notified whether the police have been informed or be asked to notify them.

6. If a student death is discovered on UCL premises, extension 222 should be dialled for Security, who will call an Ambulance, the Police and Gower Place Practice (ext: 37200).

7. If the student was from overseas, the Deputy Registrar (Operations and Planning) will inform the police whose responsibility it is to tell the Embassy or High Commission concerned. The Embassy or High Commission will inform the student's next of kin. Funeral arrangements for an overseas student are a matter for the Embassy or High Commission to take up with the student's next of kin.

8. Students on the same course as the deceased student should be informed of the death via email. This email should also contain an invitation to attend an informal gathering convened by the Chaplain & Interfaith Advisor and others, which should take place the following day or as soon as possible after the death.

9. A UCL memorial event or act of remembrance can be planned with the family and/or the student’s closest friends. This may also be done as around the anniversary of death as well as or instead of taking place soon after the death.  The Room Bookings Manager (ext: 46300) should be contacted to make practical arrangements.

10. If a Department wishes to create a fund for a prize or scholarship in memory of a deceased student, the Student Funding section in Student and Registry Services (ext: 32019) should be contacted for information.

11. The Registrar will keep on file a record of student deaths.

12. If there are any problems or queries in relation to the implementation of this procedure or arising from the death of a student, the Registrar should be contacted in the first instance; if he is unavailable, the Deputy Registrar (Operations and Planning) will advise.

January 2015