Oxford is a safe and inclusive university. Sexual violence and harassment are never acceptable, and we expect all our students to contribute to a respectful community of learning.
Consent is an important aspect of our day-to-day lives, whether we’re borrowing someone’s phone, hugging a friend, or navigating sexual experiences.
Understanding consent means we're all able to have more safe, healthy and enjoyable encounters. When it comes to sexual consent, it’s more than just avoiding breaking the law or meeting your ethical obligations. It’s about making intimate experiences work for everyone involved, respecting others, having strong communication and ensuring everyone has a good time.
Taking the course
Consent for Students is a free online, interactive consent programme for all students and staff at the University of Oxford. This training is being used in a number of universities across the UK. It has been written, designed and developed by Brook, the only national charity to offer sexual health services, education and wellbeing services and training and support.
To complete the training, please follow these steps:
- Click the Consent for Students direct link. You will need your Single Sign On to access the training.
- You will find ‘Consent for Students’ in your shopping basket in CoSy (Oxford’s internal training platform).
- Checkout (you will not pay for the training) and you will receive an email confirmation that the training is available to you.
- The training will appear in the ‘My eLearning’ tile on your CoSy dashboard ready for you to begin. You can also click the link in the email sent to you upon checking out.
It is recommended you access the training via an up-to-date browser, such as Chrome, Safari or Edge. If you have any issues along the way, please refer to our FAQs below.
The course covers sexual consent, including the law, myths, and different factors which may affect someone’s understanding and experience of consent. It will also support you to talk about consent with others and provides advice on what to do if you or a friend experiences harassment or violence, including support and reporting options.
The course will take between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. You need to work through and interact with each module of the course in order to finish the training and receive your certificate.
Oxford Against Sexual Violence
Consent for Students forms part of the University’s Oxford Against Sexual Violence campaign, sending a clear message that sexual harassment and violence of any form is unacceptable.
The consent training complements the existing measures of the wider campaign, including the University’s Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service.
Colleges run a variety of in-person consent workshops in Freshers' Week and throughout the year. New consent workshops from the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service will be rolled out in Michaelmas term 2023 for Freshers’ Week, complementing the online consent course by allowing space for further discussion.
Support for students
The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service provides a safe and confidential space for students to be supported, independent of their college or department.
The Service offers free support and advice to any student who has been affected by sexual harassment or violence; whoever you are, whatever has happened and whenever this was. They also support students impacted by domestic abuse and stalking.
How do I book the free e-learning?
Use this Consent for Students direct link. This will add the course to your shopping basket in CoSy (Oxford's internal training system). You will need your Oxford Single Sign On (SSO) to access CoSy. From your basket, 'Checkout' and you will receive an email confirming the training is now available to you. 'Consent for Students' will also show in the 'My eLearning' tile on your CoSy dashboard, ready for you to begin. Please note: The course is free and you will not be charged anything at 'checkout'.
How do I start the course?
Once booked, the course will show up in the ‘My eLearning’ tile and a ‘Play’ button will appear next to the course title. Press ‘Play’ to start the course, then follow the link to launch the session. The training will open in a new popup window. When you have finished the course, exit the training by clicking the cross in the top right hand corner.
I cannot see the course in my e-learning tile.
eLearning courses need to be booked in the CoSy system. If the course does not appear in your ‘My eLearning' tile, please follow the above instructions on how to book the training.
I receive an error message when I try to ‘Play’ the course.
Please check the browser you are using - we recommend a modern, up-to-date browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Edge).
How do the modules work?
This is a single course with 5 modules. You only need to book once, and you will see all 5 modules when you start the course. You need to interact with the module to work through it, selecting ‘continue’ to access the next section. If you are unable to 'continue', double check you have submitted your answers or worked through everything required. You can track your progress using the progress bar at the top right of the screen. Once you have reached the end of the module, you will be able to access the next module or select the ‘menu’ button to see your overall progress.
How do I navigate to the next section within a module?
You need to interact with the training content, including completing activities and working through material, before you can continue to the next part of a module. Some activities ask you to 'submit' answers before you can continue. Once you have completed the activity, the continue button will change colour, allowing you to navigate to the next section.
How do I track my progress?
You can track your progress using the progress bar at the top right of the screen. Once you have reached the end of the module you will be able to access the next module or select ‘menu’ to see your overall progress. Once you have worked through each module, you have completed the course.
How do I return to the course if I open an external link?
External websites will open in a new window in your browser. The Consent for Students course page will remain open in the initial window. To return to the course either minimise the external website window, or tab to the original page.
Is there a test or a pass score?
There is no test or pass ‘score’ required for this course. If you interact with all the essential participatory aspects and navigate through each module, then you will have completed the course and will receive your certificate.
I've completed the modules - what next?
Once you have reached the end of Module 5, you will see a message saying 'YOU'VE REACHED THE END OF MODULE 5: HELP AND SUPPORT'. Exit the training to finish the course and receive your certificate, which will be sent via email to your Oxford University email address. Your CoSy eLearning page should say Progress = Complete; Status = Passed. You can expect to receive your certificate by email within an hour. If you still have not received an email within 1 hour, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have not received an email confirming I have completed the course.
If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check the following:
1. You have completed all 5 modules.
2. You have exited the course by closing the browser window / selecting Exit.
3. Your Oxford email account. The email will be sent to your Oxford email address, not any personal accounts such as Gmail.
Check your spam mail in your Oxford account. If you have checked the above and the certificate has not arrived, please contact email@example.com for advice.
I have gone back into the course to press the ‘Exit’ button and my progress has disappeared – do I need to complete the course again?
If your progress has disappeared, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will check your account.
How do I get my certificate?
Once you have completed all 5 modules of the course, select ‘Exit’ to return to your CoSy Page. Next to the course title it will say progress = completed; status = passed. You can expect to receive your certificate by email within an hour. It will be sent to your Oxford email account.
I have previously booked the course but now I can’t find it.
The course will be in your ‘My eLearning tile’ in the CoSy Portal, ready for you to click 'Play' and launch the training.
I've got my certificate - what next?
Well done! What happens next depends on your college. They will communicate whether you need to do anything with your certificate. Your college can monitor which students have completed the course without seeing the actual certificate.
When will the training be available until?
You can complete this training any time after you have received your SSO (Single Sign-On), but your college may have a deadline for completion, which they will communicate to you.
Can I return to complete the course another time?
Yes, if you return to take the course on a different day, you do not need to book or begin the course again - go to your ‘My eLearning tile’ and continue where you left off.
I need an accessible version of the training.
To receive a text-only version of the course, please email email@example.com.
Who has written the course?
Brook is a charity supporting people with their sexual health and wellbeing. They provide help and advice on a range of topics including relationships and sex, and offer a variety of training.
Brook's position statements
You can read more about Brook's positions on key topics such as gender terminology, trans and non-binary people and experience, pornography and pleasure on their website.
Is this training right for me?
Yes! Whoever you are, wherever you're from, however old you are, whatever your experiences or training so far, this training is for you. Consent is relevant to everyone, and for all students and staff to complete the training allows us to build a safe community of respect, understanding, communication and support.
Can I be exempt from completing the course?
Consent is relevant to everyone and is an essential foundation for a respectful community of learning at the University of Oxford. We would encourage all students and staff to complete the training. However, we appreciate that there are a number of reasons why someone may not wish to engage with this topic. If you are really concerned about completing the eLearning and your college has made it mandatory, talk to your college and explain that you wish to be exempt. You do not need to give any details of the reasons why.
I am under 18 - is the course appropriate for me?
If you are over the age of 16, we would still recommend you complete the course. If you are between 13 and 16, please speak to your college welfare team and ask that someone supports you whilst going through the training. If you are under 13, you can be exempt from completing the training. There is also a text-only version of the training, available from the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy.
Can I skip the case studies?
If you’re concerned that some of the content may be upsetting or distressing, you may wish to skip the case studies. If your college has made the training mandatory, let them know you are not able to engage with the entire eLearning content at this time. From the Menu you can chose which modules you are able to complete. There is also a text-only version of the training, available from the Support Service. Please email email@example.com to receive a copy.
I found the content triggering, what shall I do?
If you found the content triggering, there are several options for support. For immediate support, you can contact the 24/7 Rape Crisis Helpline, on 0808 500 2222 or visit their website for webchat, and further information including grounding techniques. Your college Welfare Team can provide support and signposting. Student Welfare and Support Services offer Counselling, as well as the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service for students who have experienced any form of sexual harassment or violence (whenever and wherever it happened). There is a separate service for students who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
I have feedback around the content, who shall I discuss this with?
Please contact the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They are collating feedback around content for ongoing discussion with the provider - Brook - as the course continues to develop. We are aware of some typos and some suggestions around the inclusivity of the content, which will be taken into consideration for future iterations of the training.
Who will see that I’ve completed the training?
Select staff in your college and Student Welfare Support Services can see which students have completed the training. This allows them to monitor engagement and the number of students completing the course. Some colleges may have made the training mandatory, and students from these colleges might be asked to share their certificate.
What does CoSy record about my training?
The system records your name, email address and affiliations at the University. It records the status of your booking – whether it is booked, in progress or completed. It records some answers to questions within the training (which you can also see on the Overview Page in the My eLearning Tile). Any reflective text you input to the free text boxes is not recorded.
I am a staff member - do I need to complete the course?
Consent is relevant to everyone and is an essential foundation for a respectful community of learning at the University of Oxford. We would encourage all staff to complete the training. This means all Oxford University members can have a shared understanding and language of consent, and that you have an overview of the learning your students’ will have completed. The more people that engage with this topic, the more we can create a consent culture that tackles sexual harassment and violence at Oxford University.