Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct

The University takes academic misconduct very seriously and seeks at all times to rigorously protect its academic standards. Plagiarism, collusion and other forms of cheating constitute academic misconduct, for which there is an explicit range of graduated penalties depending on the particular type of academic misconduct. The penalties that can be applied if academic misconduct is substantiated range from a reprimand to expulsion in very serious cases and for repeated instances of misconduct.

You are also responsible for ensuring that all work submitted is your own, and that it is appropriately referenced. The University does not tolerate cheating of any kind. You are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with the Regulations 2017-18 GSR09 - Student Conduct, which list a range of categories of academic misconduct and associated penalties, covering instances of academic misconduct (plagiarism, collusion, exam cheating). From the outset of your studies you should receive information and guidance on referencing conventions and group work activities and on how to ensure that you do not contravene the University’s Regulations. If you are unsure about referencing, paraphrasing or group work activities, you should seek advice as soon as possible from the Module Tutor, your Academic Tutor, your Academic Mentor or the Students’ Union.

Please also see our interactive guide on preventing plagiarism which contains student views on plagiarism, interactive demonstrations, references and quizzes.

Frequently Asked Questions

If a lecturer establishes evidence of academic misconduct, they are required to submit an allegation to the Student Casework Office. The Student Casework Office reviews allegations on behalf of the University and determines whether there is sufficient evidence to progress them.

If there is not enough evidence to progress the allegation, the Student Casework Office will contact the lecturer who made the allegation and ask whether there is further evidence. If no further evidence is available, or where the Student Casework Office determines that there is still insufficient evidence to progress the allegation, the work concerned will be sent back to the lecturer and a mark will be released.

Where there is sufficient evidence to progress the case, the Student Casework Office reviews the allegation against the types of academic misconduct detailed in the 2017-18 GSR09 - Student Conduct Regulations:

  1. Where the alleged academic misconduct clearly falls under one category in Schedule 1 of the 2017-18 GSR09 - Student Conduct - the Student Casework Office will notify you of the allegation and the process by which you can request a review of the decision or the penalty. The notification will also include the penalty to be imposed if a valid request for a review is not received by the specified deadline.
  2. Where the alleged academic misconduct DOES NOT clearly fall under one category in Schedule 1 of the 2017-18 GSR09 - Student Conduct – you will be sent a Procedural Form detailing the options for responding to the allegation.
  3. Cases of alleged collusion - all the students listed in the allegation will individually be sent a Procedural Form detailing the options for responding to the allegation. 

The Student Casework Office will email you and include a copy of (i) the allegation made against you, (ii) the work concerned, and (iii) the evidence in support of the allegation. For cases of collusion a student will also be sent copies of the work of the other students involved. All subsequent correspondence will be via email to your University email address.

The notification will be emailed to you at both your University and personal email addresses that the University holds for you. It is therefore essential that all students ensure that they update their contact details via their Evision account.

Where the alleged misconduct clearly falls into one of the University’s categories of academic misconduct:

  • request a review of the decision
  • choose not to respond to the allegation; however, by not responding, you are accepting the allegation and imposed penalty

Where the alleged misconduct:  (i) relates to collusion OR (ii) does not clearly fall into one of the University’s categories of academic misconduct:

  • accept the allegation and request the case to be considered by way of written representations.
  • accept the allegation and request the case to be considered in an oral hearing where you intend to be present.
  • dispute the allegation and request the case to be considered by way of written representations.
  • dispute the allegation and request the case to be considered in an oral hearing where you intend to be present. 
  • notifications (allegations) shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee on the date that the email was sent
  • students have ten working days to request a review

Where the alleged misconduct clearly falls into one of the University’s categories of academic misconduct:

When requesting a review you may:

  • accept the allegation, but make representations as to the level of the penalty imposed; or
  • dispute the allegation; or
  • dispute the allegation and also make representations against the level of the penalty imposed.

A request will only be deemed valid if it identifies and explains the reasons upon which you are relying, failure to do so will make the request for review invalid and you will be deemed to have accepted the allegation.

Students are strongly advised to present a concise and legible submission. All responses must clearly present and explain the issues you want to be taken into consideration and include all relevant evidence you wish to present in support.

 Where the alleged misconduct: (i) relates to collusion OR (ii) does not clearly fall into one of the University’s categories of academic misconduct:

In these cases you are not requesting a review; however, you should complete the Procedural Form, carefully following the instructions detailed on the Form.

Students are strongly advised to present a concise and legible submission. All responses must clearly present and explain the issues you want to be taken into consideration and include all relevant evidence you wish to present in support.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your current contact details are maintained on your Evision account. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you frequently check your University email account.

If on returning from a temporary absence you find that you have been sent a notification of an allegation or a penalty for which the 10 working day deadline has expired, you must contact the Student Casework Office immediately if you wish to respond to the allegation.

A friend can attend the hearing with you, but you must let the Student Casework Office know about this at least three working days before the hearing. Under the University’s Academic Regulations, ‘friend’ is defined as "a person, who shall normally be a member of staff or student of the University, appointed by a student to assist him or her in the conduct of his or her case at a hearing." This definition does not include legal representation and that any person who is not a student of the University, member of staff or officer of the Students' Union, a member of staff of the University, or a member of the student's family will only be able to act in the capacity of "friend" at the Panel’s discretion. Please email the Student Casework Office if you require any further clarification.

If you cannot attend your hearing; you cannot normally be represented in your absence by anyone else.

Witnesses are permitted to attend. However, please note that it is your responsibility to inform the Student Casework Office no later than three working days before the hearing of any witnesses who will be attending indicating the nature of the evidence they are expected to give.

Please note that it is your responsibility to inform the "friend" or "witnesses" of the time and place of the hearing.

You must state why you are unable to attend the scheduled hearing and you may be asked to supply supporting evidence. Please note that work commitments are not normally accepted for full-time students.

You do not need to attend the hearing and the Panel may make a decision in your absence, provided that the Panel is satisfied that you were informed of the date of the hearing and have not given a reasonable excuse (supported by evidence) for your absence.

Requests are normally only permitted on one occasion.

Normally first offences do not lead to an expulsion from the University allegation of academic misconduct. Expulsion for a first offence only occurs in three extremely serious instances, which are: obtaining access to an unseen examination or test prior to the start of the examination/test; stealing another student's work and submitting it as the student's own work (where the originator is denied the opportunity of submission); and agreeing, assisting, encouraging, advising or attempting to persuade another member of University (student or staff) to participate in actions that would breach these Regulations.

A reprimand is a formally recorded warning, which will stay on your record. The work in question will be returned to your school and the appropriate mark will be released. It is important to note that a reprimand is a formal penalty, which will result in you receiving a higher penalty if a further allegation is substantiated against you at a later stage.

You can only resit the item of assessment if the alleged academic misconduct relates to the first sit/attempt (i.e not a resit).

In the event that you are expelled, you will be permanently excluded from the University and all its facilities. You will not be able to enrol on any course offered by the University. You will also not be permitted to leave the University with your named award, but may receive a lower award. 

If you have previously received a penalty, a second or subsequent substantiated allegation will normally result in a penalty one level higher than that suggested in Schedule 2 of the 2017-18 GSR09 - Student Conduct Regulations, or one level higher than the previous penalty, whichever is higher.

The University may refer to any penalty imposed against you for academic misconduct in a future reference it is asked to provide. Please note that if your course is governed by a professional body, many require all instances of academic misconduct to be reported to them and this may have serious implications for any future career path you may wish to pursue.

There are five grounds under which you can make an appeal against an academic misconduct decision:

  • the student was unable to respond to the allegation within the timeframes provided in these Regulations for valid reasons beyond the student’s control;
  • there has been a material procedural defect, other than one for which the student is responsible, resulting in substantial unfairness to the student;
  • the evidence of alleged misconduct was insufficient to substantiate the allegation;
  • the student has new evidence that they could not reasonably have provided during the investigation and which would probably have a material influence on the outcome. Other than this, no new evidence shall be considered;
  • the sanction or penalty is manifestly disproportionate to the misconduct that was found.

For your appeal to be considered it must be in writing on the prescribed Student Conduct Appeal Form, signed by you, and received by the Student Casework Office within ten working days of the date of the email notifying you of the decision. Your appeal must:

  • clearly state the grounds on which your appeal is being made (see above); and,
  • disclose any reasonable grounds of your appeal; and,
  • have merit; and,
  • include all relevant supporting evidence.

Any appeal that does not meet these criteria will be deemed invalid.

Depending upon which ground(s) your appeal is accepted under for consideration it will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor or their nominee.

chat loading...