Academic Misconduct

If the University believes you have not followed good academic practice, you will be invited for a meeting with an Academic Conduct Officer (ACO).

In the meeting, the ACO will ask whether you understand why you’ve been invited to the meeting and explain what the problem is.

It is important to understand what your Turnitin score means by reading our guide.

Academic Conduct Viva/ Viva Voce (ACV):

If the University believes that the work is not your own, you may be invited to a Viva Voce with an Academic Conduct Officer. A Viva Voce is a spoken exam. This is sometimes called an ACV (Academic Conduct Viva)

You will be asked questions about how you wrote the work and what it means. Before the meeting prepare any evidence that the work is yours, like drafts or research notes.

Academic Conduct Officer (ACO) Meeting:

If the University believes you have not followed good academic practice, you will be invited for a meeting with an Academic Conduct Officer (ACO). In the meeting, the ACO will ask whether you understand why you’ve been invited to the meeting and explain what the problem is.

There is more information here and in the Academic Misconduct Guide

  • If you deny misconduct, explain why you deny it and mention any evidence to support this.
  • If you admit misconduct, explain why it happened and any mitigating circumstances such as illness, anxiety, or other personal problems beyond your control.
  • Either way, answer the ACO’s questions honestly and ask if you don’t understand anything.

The outcome will depend on the level of the misconduct and whether you did it on purpose for an advantage over other students. Unintentional academic misconduct is still a problem. You can find the potential outcome for you from the university's Scale of Outcomes Table.

Your marks will appear as “AD” on SOLAR until you have had your meeting and received an outcome letter. If your mark appears as AD on SOLAR and you haven't already, it is likely you will receive an invite to a meeting with an ACO. If you have been waiting for this for a significant period of time, please contact your Faculty Registry and if you do not receive a response then contact Your Advice Service.

Academic Conduct Panel (ACP):

If the University believes that the allegation is very serious or complex, or you have more than one previous offence, you may be invited to an Academic Conduct Panel (ACP). If you are invited to an Academic Condcut Panel, contact Your Advice Service as soon as possible by completing our enquiry form. Please make sure to attach your meeting invitation letter, a copy of your Turnitin report and any other evidence sent with your invitation. Please also let us know if this is not your first offence.

Types Of Offence:

  • Plagiarism - using someone else’s work without reference or citation. This can include buying work from others, which is very serious and is known as contract cheating. Self-plagiarism is re-submitting work from another assessment.
  • Collusion - working with another or others on work which should be completed alone.
  • Examination Misconduct - cheating during an exam, which can overlap with the above offences, if the exam is online.
  • Fabrication - making up, changing or copying experiment results or research.

Turnitin:

Turnitin is the University’s text matching software. You can find more about this here.

Turnitin generates a report which shows when matches have been found. It does not identify plagiarism, but can provide information to academic staff about academic misconduct. Because of this there is no safe Turnitin score. If you’re allowed to submit drafts of your work, you can use this to check if you have forgotten to reference properly.

How Can Your Advice Service Help You?

If you are looking for help with an allegation of academic misconduct, please contact Your Advice Service as soon as possible upon receipt of your invitation. Attach your meeting invite letter, a copy of your Turnitin Report and any other evidence sent with your invite. We can help you prepare for the meeting and support you in the meeting, subject to Advisor availability. You must give 24 hours’ notice to the meeting organiser if you are being supported as outlined in your invite email.

If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal within 10 working days of the outcome letter.

You can appeal on the below grounds:

  • Procedures were not followed properly.
  • The academic misconduct does not justify the severity of the offence. 
  • You have severe extenuating circumstances which prevented you from making an informed decision on whether to submit the assessment and could not make the ACO aware of these during the meeting.

Contact Your Advice Service as soon as possible for more advice if you would like to appeal. We’ll need the outcome letter, meeting invitation and evidence files attached to the enquiry form; it would also be useful to know the ground(s) on which you intend to appeal.

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