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Do I Need Ethical Approval?

The University is committed to promoting a quality research culture by ensuring high standards of research integrity. This means that no research can take place until all of the required approvals and authorisations have been given from the appropriate institutions.

Any University of Warwick student or member of staff who wishes to undertake research with ethical implications or that involves human participants, their data (this may also include research involving the data of deceased participants), or their tissue, must obtain appropriate ethical approval from a University Research Ethics Committee.

The British Psychological Society's Code of Human Research Ethics defines human participants as including...

" human beings, human beings who have recently died (cadavers, human remains and body parts), embryos and foetuses, human tissue and bodily fluids and human data and records (such as but not restricted to medical, genetic, financial, personnel, criminal or administrative records and test results including scholastic achievements)."

Before proceeding, please note the following:
  • Ethics approval should be sought before a project begins. It is not possible for a University Research Ethics Committee to issue retrospective approval.
  • Obtaining all other necessary approvals is the responsibility of the investigator.
  • Amendments should be submitted to the original approving Research Ethics Committee.

The following sections provide guidance on what types of research require ethical review. If you are unsure about your research, please contact or

Please ensure you read all sections before determining whether ethical review is required for your research.

Once you have determined whether ethical review is required, please refer to the Ethical Review Decision Making Tool for further guidance.

Whilst these pages provide general advice, it is not possible to state that a certain category of research activity will never require ethical review.
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