Academic malpractice

Plagiarism, Collusion, Fabrication and Falsification of Results

Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication and falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve.

As a student you are expected to co-operate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments of various kinds that are the produce of your own study or research. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit plagiarism or some other form of academic malpractice when carrying out an assignment.

If you commit any form of academic malpractice, teaching staff will not be able to assess your individual abilities objectively or accurately. Any short-term gain you might have hoped to achieve will be cancelled out by the loss of proper feedback you might have received and, in the long run, such behaviour is likely to damage your overall intellectual development, to say nothing of your self-esteem.

The University’s Plagiarism and Academic Malpractice - Guidance for Students is designed to help you understand what is considered academic malpractice and hence help you to avoid committing it. You should read it carefully, because academic malpractice is regarded as a serious offence and students found to have committed it will be penalised.

  • Acts of academic malpractice are not acceptable in any circumstances; and
  • Where such acts are shown to have occurred, an appropriate penalty will always be enforced.

No circumstances justify academic malpractice and, under University rules, a penalty must always be applied. This could be a penalty of mark reduction for the piece of work in question, but it could be worse: you could be awarded zero (with or without loss of credit), fail the whole unit, be demoted to a lower class of degree or be excluded from the programme.

Advice is available in AMBS on how to avoid academic malpractice in the context of your studies, but if you have any concerns you should either seek help from your Academic Advisor or consult the member of staff responsible for setting the assignment.

Finally, it is also unacceptable to represent your own work as being that of others – a sort of ‘reverse plagiarism’. For example, inventing data or references to lend spurious credibility to your own work is misrepresentation and will be penalised. You may be required to produced (or locate for inspection) a copy of any references or date you cite in work submitted for assessment.

Further guidance and academic malpractice