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Academic misconduct

Guidance and information on how the University manages, investigates and makes decisions about a suspected breach of academic integrity


The University considers academic misconduct to be anything that can be described as ‘the use of unfair means in any examination or assessment procedure’.

Academic misconduct is used interchangeably with the terms ‘breach of academic integrity’ and ‘assessment offence’. These phrases cover a range of offences, examples include but are not limited to, plagiarism, collusion, falsification, and contract cheating.

The University expects you to, and will support you to, commit to and maintain high standards of academic honesty and integrity. All students must undertake and successfully pass the Academic Integrity Training and Test.

The University will take action when it is suspected that the standards of academic integrity are not upheld in your assessment. QA53 Examination and Assessment Offences outlines the University’s policy on the handling of suspected academic misconduct.

What happens if I am suspected of a breach of academic integrity?

Please refer to the Academic misconduct - process summary flowchart which illustrates the process outlined in QA53. In summary you can expect:

  1. A notification of the suspected breach and of the evidence gathering investigation - to determine if more likely than not an offence has occurred and the severity of the breach.
  2. The opportunity to respond and provide any evidence, if you wish. You will have at least one opportunity to meet with your Director of Studies to discuss the suspected breach. If your case is considered more severe you will be invited to attend a Board of Inquiry.
  3. A notification of the outcome following the investigation and any decisions made - the potential penalties are detailed in Appendix 2 of QA53.
  4. The opportunity to request a review of any decision, if you think you have the grounds to do so.

It is important to remember that if the investigation determines that there was more likely than not a breach of academic integrity, your case will be dealt with depending on its severity. As explained above, alleged misconduct deemed severe will be considered by a Board of Inquiry, cases considered as minor or moderate will be dealt with by your Director of Studies/department. Please see QA53 for further information.

Advice and support

The University offers a range of support services that you can access throughout the process. In particular, the Wellbeing Service is available for emotional and wellbeing support. Your Director of Studies will also be able to offer advice on the procedural steps.

SU Advice & Support is independent of the University and SU Advisers can assist you with responding to a suspected breach and preparation or representation (if possible) at any meetings. You can arrange a meeting with an adviser by emailing

How do I request a review of a decision about an assessment offence?

If you believe you have grounds for a review, you must submit your request through this form.

Your request for a review of a decision about an assessment offence must be on one of the following grounds:

  • that the proceedings of the investigation were not carried out in accordance with procedures
  • that fresh evidence can be presented which was not or could not reasonably have been made available to the investigation
  • that the finding of the investigation was against the weight of the evidence

Please be aware that this review process is solely for requesting a review of a decision specifically about a breach of academic integrity, i.e., the finding of misconduct and/or the penalty applied as a result of this. If you wish to make an appeal related to your confirmed unit outcome, progression or award decision, please read the guidance on Appealing against an academic decision.

Where to submit your request

If you are a student on a taught programme and your minor or moderate case has been investigated by your Director of Studies or your department, please submit your form to one of the following:

If you are a research student and requesting a review of a decision related to assessed work in connection with your registration or transfer to a PhD, please email the form to the Director of Academic Registry.

For all students, if you are requesting a review of a decision taken by a Board of Inquiry, please submit your form to the Director of Academic Registry.

Your request should be submitted within 14 calendar days of written notification of the outcome of the investigation. If you need independent advice, you can contact SU Advice and Support.

The University’s internal procedures will be completed once a review decision is reached. If this review has not resulted in a resolution to your satisfaction, you have the option to pursue it with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

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