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Levels of Misconduct and Possible Offences

Glossary of common terms
FCT Faculty Cases Team AHW Academic Honesty Workshop
ACO Academic Conduct Officer PAP Poor Academic Practice
SACO Senior Academic Conduct Officer AM Academic Misconduct

Misconduct is said to have taken place when a student has not been academically honest. This can be intentional or unintentional. The University has developed three levels of severity to reflect this. Determining what category an offence falls into is an exercise of academic judgement. The categories are:

  • Poor academic practice
  • Academic misconduct
  • Severe academic misconduct

There are different definitions of these terms, and we will clearly explain what they mean for you in relation to your own work during your meeting, but broadly speaking:

Academic Honesty is displayed by ensuring full credit is given for any other people's contributions to our own achievements, and by ensuring the authenticity of any research that we present, for example, by full and correct referencing, never falsifying the results of any research etc.

Poor Academic Practice may arise from lack of understanding of academic protocols or a misunderstanding of expected academic conventions of the Department.

Academic Misconduct is defined as an act, or failure to act, that gives, or aims to give, an advantage if undetected, or any behaviour which may deceive those setting, administering, and marking a piece of work. The definitions of potential academic misconduct offences can be found here.

Severe Academic Misconduct may be a second offence, or involve evidence of extensive plagiarism or cheating, or clear evidence of behaviour that is designed to deceive those setting, administering and marking the assessment, and/or behaviour designed to obtain advantage on the part of the student.

There are a variety of offences that can be investigated. The most common of these are:

  • Plagiarism
  • Collusion
  • Coercion
  • The use or possession of unauthorised materials
  • Obtaining an examination paper ahead of its authorised release.
  • Attempting to impersonate or impersonation of another individual, due to be sitting a specific assessment.
  • Fabrication
  • Falsification
  • Misrepresentation
  • Contract cheating

Definitions of each of these can be found at xxxx