Academic Misconduct

What is academic misconduct?

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.  

What are the types of 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.

What should you do if your work is under suspicion of academic misconduct?

If you are told 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.

How can an advisor help you in this situation?

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 your 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.

What are the possible outcomes of academic misconduct?

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.

How can you avoid academic misconduct?

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 (link to contact details) or the GSA (for postgraduate students)

Appealing a decision

You have the right to appeal a decision on grounds of procedural irregularity, or extreme and significant exceptional circumstances. If you are considering an appeal, we strongly recommend that you seek advice from YUSU or GSA (for postgraduate students).

Key documents & information