Academic misconduct

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Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct, as outlined in the University's Academic Misconduct Policy, is "any inappropriate activity or behaviour by a student which may give that student, or another student, an unpermitted academic advantage in a summative assessment is considered to be an act of academic misconduct and unacceptable in a scholarly community".  This activity or behaviour includes:

- Plagiarism

- False authorship

- Collusion

- Misconduct in examinations

- Fabrication or misrepresentation

- Failure to disclose previous experience or qualifications

What should I do if I get a letter inviting me to an Academic Misconduct Meeting?

If you are suspected of academic misconduct, your Head of School will ask you to attend a meeting.

  1. Confirm your attendance at the meeting, with whoever sent you the letter. If you are not able to attend in person because, for example you are abroad, your School may be able to make arrangements for you to attend remotely (via Skype, Zoom or Teams etc.)
  2. Read all the information the school sends you regarding action to be taken and the links they provide to the Academic Misconduct Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedure.  
  3. Look through your course handbook to confirm what information is included to help you reference correctly and avoid misconduct.
  4. Read our SU Advice Academic Misonduct Meetings information sheet. After reading this, we recommend you to contact SU Advice, to arrange to speak to an Education Adviser.
What happens at an Academic Misconduct Meeting?                                              

If you haven't already done so, please read our SU Advice Academic Misconduct Meetings information sheet.

In summary, the meeting your School will make sure you understand the nature of their concerns, and give you a full opportunity to offer any explanation. If you feel the matter is the result of a lack of understanding, including where you feel you have not been given sufficient information by your School to avoid the misconduct, you should clearly explain this. In addition, if you believe that extenuating circumstances affected your ability to study, and therefore may have been a factor in the possible misconduct you should also explain this as it can be taken into consideration. 

An SU Education Adviser can attend the meeting with you, but this is subject to their availability. 

At the end of the meeting you will be asked to provide a brief written statement which acknowledges what it is you are alleged to have done, acknowledges why what is alleged counts as academic misconduct and provides your account of events, which may include an explanation for your behaviour. A template form is available to use, and your statement must be returned within 5 working days. 

What are the possible outcomes?

In terms of outcomes, your School has a range of penalties available should they consider it necessary:  

  1. A written warning?is likely to be applied where your School think that the misconduct came about because of a lack of understanding of good academic practice. 

  1. A mark of zero for the specific material which is the subject of the misconduct. This is likely to lead to a reduced overall mark in the affected assessment. 

  1. An overall percentage reduction to the mark proportionate to the level of misconduct as determined by the School. 

  1. A mark of zero for the entire piece of coursework or assessment in which the misconduct has occurred. 

  1. A mark of zero for the entire module in which the academic misconduct has occurred. 

Academic Misconduct Committee

Most cases of Academic Misconduct are dealt with by the School. However, you may be asked to attend a University Academic Misconduct Committee hearing if, for example:  

  • You have a previous case of academic misconduct. 

  • Where the School believe an appropriate penalty is not available to them. 

  • You are a postgraduate research student. 

If you deny the allegation, or are unhappy with level of penalty, you can request a self-referral of your case to the University’s Academic Misconduct Committee.

Students who consider that the University has failed to carry out its duty to act fairly in the application of the Regulations on Academic Misconduct should submit a request a review

Once the internal procedures of the academic misconduct policy have been completed, if the student is still not satisfied with the outcome, they may take their case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).  

For more information and advice about academic misconduct, please contact Students' Union Advice.