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Academic Integrity - Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Find out more about the penalties for academic misconduct.

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

If you are found to have used unfair means in any examination or assessment, you will be penalised.


If you are found to have used unfair means in any examination or assessment, you will be penalised. 'Unfair means' includes:

  • cheating - for example, unauthorised use of notes or course material in an examination;
  • fabrication – for example, reporting on experiments that were never performed;
  • falsification – for example, misrepresentation of the results of experiment;
  • plagiarism, including self-plagiarism;
  • collaboration or collusion – representing work produced in collaboration with another person or persons as the work of a single candidate.

There are 3 categories of offences and the penalties that will be applied depend on which category of offence has been committed:

  1. Minor or Technical Misconduct (poor academic practice without intent to cheat);
  2. Moderate Academic Misconduct (dishonesty and misleading of assessors);
  3. Severe Academic Misconduct (extensive evidence of cheating or clear evidence of intent to deceive).

The University’s Quality Assurance Code of Practice, QA53 Examination and Assessment Offences, sets out in more detail the types of offences and how they are categorised (page 13), as well as the consequences of committing an offence and the penalties that might be applied (page 16).

Penalties for unfair practice will be determined by the Department or by the Faculty/School Board of Studies in line with the procedures set out in QA53. They may include failure of the assessment unit or part of a degree, with no provision for reassessment or retrieval of that failure. Proven cases of plagiarism or cheating can also lead to an Inquiry Hearing or disciplinary proceedings.

Claims of inadvertence or ignorance will not be accepted as a basis for mitigation of a penalty.

If you are accused of an offence, the Students’ Union’s welfare services are available to support you.

Further information

Find out more about Students’ Union advice and support.