Whilst at University, you are held to the principles of academic integrity, which is an expectation that students will behave with honesty, respect, trust, fairness and be responsible in the way they carry out and present academic work. Any behaviour or activity by a student that undermines academic integrity and gives them an unfair advantage in assessments over others is considered as academic misconduct.
Plagiarism, collusion, cheating in exams, commissioning essays and fabrication are some types of academic misconduct. In addition to this, there are forms of academic misconduct that could also be treated as disciplinary offences, including personation, deception and unethical research behaviour to name a few. More details on the types of academic misconduct can be found in the Academic Misconduct Policy.
If you are informed by your department that a piece of work is under suspicion of academic misconduct, you should be provided with a sample of evidence that demonstrates this, and the opportunity to respond to this in person or in writing.
We appreciate that it can be quite a difficult notification to get, but try not to panic, and do take it seriously. The University has a procedure that all departments must follow if there is a suspicion of academic misconduct. Both ASC and GSA (for postgraduates) can advise and support students through this process, so contact either service as soon as you receive notification.
We have a lot of experience in supporting students who have been under suspicion of academic misconduct. We can provide you information about the academic misconduct process, help you understand why you work is under suspicion, and help you prepare a statement or notes for a face-to-face meeting. We can also accompany you to meetings and although we do not normally speak on your behalf, we do make notes for your record and ensure that due process is followed by the University.
If academic misconduct is determined to have taken place, outcomes can range from a capped mark for poor practice to being discontinued from your course for more serious offences. A full list of possible outcomes is outlined in the Academic Misconduct Policy. You might also be recommended to retake the academic integrity tutorial or seek some support to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
There are a number of things that you can do ensure that all of your work is to a good academic standard:
Look at the information and resources available on the Academic Integrity webpages
Complete the academic integrity tutorial on blackboard to get a basic understanding of the standards required of you as a student
Attend a Turnitin workshop to understand how best to use this tool to identify areas for development within your work
Arrange an appointment, or attend a drop in session at the Writing Centre
Meet with your supervisor or tutors to discuss you work, and get formative feedback
If you need any further help, contact the Advice and Support Centre or the GSA (for postgraduate students)