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Active Bystander Intervention course

Help build a community that doesn't tolerate sexual violence, harassment or hate

As a community, we must actively build safer and more inclusive spaces. That includes proactively educating ourselves and others, and empowering our community with the knowledge, skills and confidence to intervene safely and effectively in response to unacceptable attitudes and behaviour.

How can we best de-escalate a situation, change people's beliefs and attitudes, and support the victim(s)? How can we keep ourselves and others safe, whilst combatting violent or otherwise unacceptable behaviour?

To support answers to these questions the Students' Union, IATL, and the Dean of Students' Office have collaborated to bring you the Active Bystander Intervention course.

What is the Active Bystander Intervention course?

The Active Bystander Intervention course course looks at:

  • What our community values look like in practice, and spotting the signs of unacceptable behaviours like bullying and domestic violence.
  • How we identify and interpret behaviour as unacceptable, and why people may fail to.
  • Our role in building a community that embodies our values, shifting problematic beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours through safe and effective interventions as an active bystander.
  • The barriers to becoming an active bystander, and how we can overcome them.
  • Effective intervention strategies for a wide range of scenarios, including sexual violence, harassment, and hate.

The Active Bystander Intervention course explores our role as active bystanders within the university community (and beyond), and equips participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make safe, effective interventions.

The course is delivered across five 2-hour sessions, each of which includes a 10 minute break.

For more information, read the FAQs below or contact the CVEP team via

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who can take the Active Bystander Intervention course?

    All undergraduate and taught postgraduate students are invited to participate.

    If you are a postgraduate research student interested in participating, please contact the CVEP team via

    How long is the course?

    The course is delivered in five 2-hour sessions, each of which includes a 10 minute break.

    You can sign up to all five sessions at once, or one at a time.

    What is the benefit of taking the course?

    Participants receive a certificate of participation, and the course will appear on their HEAR transcript.

    Warwick is committed to providing a campus environment in which all members of our community feel safe and are respected. Taking part in this course is a positive way to contribute to efforts to build a community that embodies our values, tackling issues such as sexual violence, misconduct, and abuse.

    Participating also supports the development of leadership, communication and listening skills.

      Is the course assessed? Are there any assignments, or pre-reading?

      The course is not assessed, and there are no exams, assignments, or coursework. There is no pre-reading.

      Who will lead each session?

      The course is delivered by a team of facilitators based in the Dean of Students' office. The facilitators are experienced in this area and have been trained in delivering this specific content.

      You can contact the Programme Manager via

      Who developed the Active Bystander Intervention?

      The programme is evidence-based and was developed by Public Health England, various experts in this field, and students from the University of the West of England.

      It has subsequently been redeveloped for the University of Warwick by the staff and student community at Warwick, in a collaboration between the Students' Union, IATL, and the Dean of Students' Office.

      Does my department support this course?

      Yes. All Heads of Department are aware of this course and support student participation.

      What format does the course take?

      You will be expected to attend each session, where possible.

      The sessions take a workshop style and are interactive. You will learn about bystander theory, explore what healthy and unhealthy behaviours look like, as well as learn about and practice being an active bystander.

      If you find the content difficult or upsetting at any point, our facilitators are trained to support you.

      I'm not a perpetrator of sexual misconduct, abuse, or violence - why should I take part?

      Research shows that community-based programmes work best in tackling issues of sexual violence, misconduct, and abuse on campuses.

      If everyone in the community takes a stance against problematic behaviour then the behaviours become socially unacceptable and reduce. The programme can only have an impact if as many people as possible get involved.

      Have Warwick students been involved in developing the programme?

      Yes! We work with students to ensure the content is relevant to students' everyday experiences.

      Feedback has found that students who take the course would recommend it to others.