Academic misconduct is any activity or behaviour where a student has attempted to gain, or help another student to gain, an unpermitted academic advantage. These include:
- False Authorship
- Falsifying Data
- Misconduct in exams
- Failure to disclose qualifications that are a bar to enrolment on a module
What should I do?
- If you have been suspected of academic misconduct we advise you to speak to a Students’ Union Education Adviser.
- Read all the information the school send you regarding action to be taken and the links they provide to online procedures.
- Look through your Course handbook to confirm what information is included to help you reference correctly and avoid misconduct.
What happens next?
If you are suspected of academic misconduct, your Head of School will ask you to attend a meeting at which you can choose to be accompanied by a Students’ Union Education Adviser (dependent on their availability). In 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.
Most cases of Academic Misconduct are dealt with by your School. However you may be asked to attend a University Academic Misconduct Committee hearing if, for example, your School decide misconduct has taken place and you do not agree, or if this is the second time you have been accused of misconduct.
What might happen?
If your School believe Academic Misconduct has occurred they may take a range of possible actions. This includes:
- 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.
- A mark of zero for the specific material which is the subject of the misconduct
- An overall percentage reduction to the mark proportionate to the level of misconduct as determined by the Head of School.
- A mark of zero for the entire piece of coursework or assessment in which the academic misconduct has occurred.
- A mark of zero for the entire module in which the academic misconduct has occurred.
Can I appeal?
If you are unhappy with the finding of misconduct and/or the penalty imposed by your School you do not have to accept it. You can choose to request that the matter is referred to the University’s Academic Misconduct Committee (AMC) for a full hearing. You will be asked to attend this meeting along with a representative from your School. We would advise that you contact an Education Adviser for advice and support if you find yourself in this situation. They can also attend the meeting with you and help you present your case to the University.
If, after the Academic Misconduct Committee, you believe that the University has acted unfairly you can write to the Director of Service Development and request that they review your case. This should be done no later than one month after the decision of the AMC.
If after this your remain unhappy you may consider raising a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.
For more information and advice about academic misconduct, please contact the Student Advice Centre.