Newcastle University London

UK law

UK law

International and EEA/Swiss students are subject to the same laws as British citizens while in the UK.

International and EEA/Swiss students are subject to the same laws as British citizens while in the UK. You are also guaranteed the same protection of the law and the same civil rights.

UK laws allow for freedom of speech, which means you have the right to express your views and ideas providing you do not impose on and/or breach others' rights. 

You should be aware of the following important points:

  • Importing, using or possessing prohibited illegal drugs (including esctacy, cannabis, LSD or amphetamines) is a very serious offence and can lead to imprisonment and/or deportation. For more information on class A, B and C drugs, visit the UK Customs and Excise website.
  • The possession and use of guns is absolutely prohibited. The UK police force is only armed in the rarest of circumstances. You cannot carry any sort of weapon, including self-defence CS spray, knives or stun guns. If you carry anything with a blade or a point with the intention of hurting someone else, it will be counted as “an offensive weapon” and is against the law.  
  • The legal age to buy and drink alcohol is 18 years old and it is illegal to buy an alcoholic drink for anyone under the age of 18.
  • No person under the age of 18 may buy alcohol themselves and it is illegal for anyone to sell alcohol to anyone under 18. The drinking of alcohol is generally limited to premises licensed for that purpose (i.e. pubs, wine bars, some cafes).  
  • Smoking in all indoor public places is banned by law; this includes public transport including bus shelters (trains, buses and coaches).  
  • The legal age to buy tobacco or cigarettes is 18 years old and it is illegal to buy tobacco or cigarettes for anyone under the age of 18. No person under the age of 18 may buy tobacco or cigarettes themselves and it is illegal for anyone to sell tobacco or cigarettes to anyone under 18.  
  • If you are planning to drive while you are in the UK, you must have an international or UK driving licence with car insurance, MOT and road tax. Please make sure that you buy and read a copy of the Highway Code. Car seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers. It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, even to send text messages, and penalties are severe if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may use your international driving licence for the first 12 months of your stay in the UK. If you stay longer and intend to drive, you must undertake and pass a UK driving test to obtain a UK driving licence. Please refer to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.
  • Acts of Parliament outlaw the discrimination of any person on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or marital status. Harassing people on these grounds can make anyone liable to legal action and will not be tolerated at Newcastle University London.
Police jacket