Understanding the penalties for plagiarising, colluding or other forms of cheating
We hope you consider carefully all the advice and information in this website, check out the links to the various Study Hub resources and the other useful links, and try out some of the various CELT student study advice events that are all highlighted throughout.
Developing a clear understanding of the requirements of ‘being academic’, including an awareness of the importance of academic honesty and integrity in our work, and being time-realistic to be able to do justice to all assignments without needing to take risks and short-cuts to meet impending deadlines, combined with a clear understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, collusion and cheating, will help us considerably to remove any prospect of ever actually committing, however unintentionally, any of these ‘crimes’.
But what if something does go wrong?
If you do ever find yourself alleged to have committed plagiarism, or colluded or cheated, there’s no denying it can be an immensely stressful experience.
Yet, while it will be daunting, the panel convened will always seek to review fairly any allegations presented to it. Crucially, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself, if you wish, either (i) in writing or (ii) in person.
Some advice from the Students Union...
If you receive an academic misconduct allegation, it will include a report outlining the allegation, the evidence it's based upon and guidance on what you need to do next. If you read all this carefully, you should be able to understand why the allegation has been made against you and what you can do about it.
It’s important that you read through all the documents which have been sent to you to ensure you have a full understanding of the allegation, penalty and the best way forward.
You will have an opportunity to respond to any allegation within 10 working days (2 weeks) of receiving the notification.
You have 3 options when you receive the allegation:
- Accept it/agree with it – in which case you do not respond and the allegation will be applied.
- Accept the allegation, but make a written representation/oral hearing as to the level of penalty imposed.
- Dispute the allegation via written representation or at an oral hearing.
Please note where a case involves two or more students, if a student requests an oral hearing,all students involved will have to attend an oral hearing - even if you have done a written representation.
If you are accepting the allegation but wish to make written representations/or attend an oral hearing:
- Be honest, and explain what happened which led to this.
- Clearly explain what the basis of the request is.
- Demonstrate why you think you deserve a lower penalty.
- Explain how the current penalty could affect you/your final award.
- Provide relevant evidence in support of your written request.
- If you would like an oral hearing you will need to clearly explain.
If you are disputing the allegation and also make written representations/or attend an oral hearing:
You will need to clearly demonstrate why you are disputing the allegation and provide evidence for this.
If you decide that you want to attend an oral hearing you have the right to be assisted by a friend (a student of the University) or member of staff.
At an oral hearing you will usually get your outcome at the end of the hearing.
Further Essential Resources, Support and Advice
Here’s the link to the University’s full Student Academic Misconduct information and regulations.
See, in particular, the link to Procedures on Student Academic Misconduct, a PDF with more detailed information on the academic misconduct process, which may also be accessed directly here
It’s a really good idea to be aware of these University regulations, not to wait until something goes wrong!