Discrimination can be direct or indirect. 
Direct discrimination: Unlawful discrimination occurs when an individual or a group of people are treated less favourably than others based on a relevant or perceived protected characteristic. A person may also be discriminated against because they are associated with or have advocated on behalf of someone with a protected characteristic.  

Indirect discrimination: Can occur when rules are put into practice that apply to everyone but put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.    

The protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010) are: 
  • age 
  • disability 
  • gender reassignment 
  • marriage and civil partnership (in employment only) 
  • pregnancy and maternity (including breastfeeding)  
  • race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origin) 
  • religion or belief (including non-belief)  
  • sex/gender  
  • sexual orientation. 

Hate incidents and crimes 

Hate incidents and crimes are motivated by hostility or prejudice against a protected characteristic. In Scotland, hate incidents and crimes apply to the following five protected characteristics:  
  • race 
  • religion 
  • sexual orientation 
  • transgender identity 
  • disability. 
A hate incident is a non-criminal action. Examples of hate incidents include: 
  • verbal abuse 
  • jokes 
  • harassment  
  • social media bullying 
  • offensive graffiti. 
A hate crime is a criminal offence that is extended beyond harassment. Examples of hate crimes include: 
  • assault 
  • breach of the peace 
  • sexual assault 
  • burglary 
  • theft. 

Make a disclosure 

It takes great courage to disclose experiences of discrimination or hate. Everyone who has experienced this deserve to be listened to, supported and believed. What has happened is not your fault and you are not alone. Your safety and wellbeing are the most important things right now. 

Make a disclosure to the University

Use the Report and Support system to disclose a discrimination or hate incident to the University of St Andrews. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an adviser

Staff members can also make a disclosure to: 
Other ways to make a disclosure 
  • Make a disclosure to the police  
  • Call Fife Council on 03451 550022 
  • Contact the Citizens Advice Bureau through their advice web page or by calling their helpline on 0800 028 1456 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 
  • Contact CrimeStoppers to make a disclosure anonymously. CrimeStoppers often passes information to the police. You can call 0800 555 111 or make a disclosure online to CrimeStoppers
  • Make a disclosure through a third-party disclosure centre:  
    • Fife Centre for Equalities, New Volunteer House, 16 East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1XT. Phone: 01592 645310  
    • Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau, Dundee Central Library, Wellgate Centre, Dundee DD1 1DB. Phone: 01382 307494  
    • Dundee Voluntary Action, 10 Constitution Road, Dundee DD1 1LL. Phone: 01382 305744 
    • Other third-party disclosure centres 


University support

If you would like additional support, there are many resources available for both students and staff. Please see the how to get support page for more information. 

External support 

If someone you know is experiencing discrimination or hate 

If you know someone who has experienced or is experiencing discrimination or hate, you can help in the following ways: 
  • Listen. Taking the time to listen and talk about what has happened can help.  
  • Signpost options. Ask them if they’re okay to talk through some possible options for support or how they might disclose what has happened. Do not take on the role of a counsellor or therapist. 
  • Help them make a disclosure. If they want to, and you feel able to, you can help them disclose the incident or incidents. 



There are two ways you can tell us what happened