Shocking video footage has emerged showing police apparently using tear gas against protesting students at Warwick University in Coventry, England.

In the amateur video recorded by one of the demonstrators, a female protester appears to be pulled by her scarf by a police officer, before using CS spray on another intervening protester.

CS spray is the defining component of a tear gas referred to as CS gas, commonly used as a riot control agent.

Three people were arrested at the student 'sit-in' demonstration against tuition fees at the University's Senate House building,, called Warwick for Free Education.

Police said they had arrived at the scene after a staff member reported being assaulted.

Craig McVey, a 24-year-old postgraduate student, said the actions of the police came a shock to the protesters.

"It felt particularly disproportionate. When the police came they didn't say why they were there," he said.

"A lot of younger students were visibly shaken and left in tears. It was quite a shock, especially considering that it was a quiet protest - we weren't even shouting," he added.

West Midlands Police acknowledged the video that is currently circulating on social media by stating on Twitter, "We are aware of a video circulating after officers attended a report of an assault during a student protest, which will be examined".