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Ethics clearance is required for all research, whether conducted by research students or staff, that involves human participants and/or personal data. All departments are asked to have a Departmental Research Ethics Committee to oversee applications from staff and students requiring ethics clearance. Departmental research ethics committees in the social sciences are listed on the University website. The University has produced a flowchart to help determine the need for ethics clearance and a set of FAQs.

Straightforward ethical issues should be set out on the CUREC 1A checklist form and passed to the Departmental Research Ethics Committee to review. For complex or higher risk ethical issues, CUREC 2 should be completed and this will need to be considered by the central University Research Ethics Committee.

Ethical issues should often be considered in parallel with planning for fieldwork.