Academic Services

What is academic misconduct?

Examples of academic misconduct and what you can and cannot do.

Academic misconduct is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise. The University takes all reported incidences of academic misconduct seriously and seeks to ensure that they are dealt with efficiently and appropriately.

Examples of academic misconduct


Plagiarism is the most common and best known example of academic misconduct, and is increasingly a problem within higher education. Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work as the student’s own, without proper acknowledgement of the source, with or without the creator’s permission, intentionally or unintentionally.

What plagiarism is and how to avoid it.


Collusion is a form of plagiarism. It is an unauthorised and unattributed collaboration of students in a piece of assessed work.


Falsification is an attempt to present fictitious or distorted data, evidence, references, citations, or experimental results, and/or to knowingly make use of such material.


Cheating is any attempt to obtain or to give assistance in an examination or an assessment without due acknowledgement. This includes submitting work which is not one's own.


Deceit is dishonesty in order to achieve advantage. For example, by resubmitting one’s own previously assessed work.


Personation is the assumption of the identity of another person with intent to deceive or gain unfair advantage.

What can and can’t I do?’

Can I use a proofreader?

Students are normally permitted to use an online proofreading tool or engage a third-party person called a proofreader to make suggestions for minor changes in order to improve the readability of written English in an assignment prior to submission; this process is called proofreading. A proofreader can be a friend, family member, paid professional or company. The Proofreading Guidance provides more information.

What is Turnitin? Is it a plagiarism checker?

Further information on Turnitin and how it works can be found in the Turnitin Guidance.

Can I use a ghostwriting service/essay mill?

The use of a ghostwriting service or an essay mill is referred to as ‘Contract Cheating’ and this constitutes plagiarism. Please read the guidance below which explains what contract cheating is and the potential implications of using such services.

Affirmation Meetings

Affirmation meetings form part of University assessment procedures and are there to help uphold academic standards across all parts of the University.

If there is reasonable uncertainty as to whether a student holds the knowledge presented in a piece of work submitted for assessment, further enquiry may be required to assess the student’s knowledge. If this is the case, a student may be invited to attend a meeting with their Course Organiser and/or other member of staff to discuss the assessment.

If you have been invited to an affirmation meeting, the guidance below may be helpful:

Using Generative AI (such as Chat GPT)

The University has produced the guidance below in relation to the use of Generative AI platforms which are currently gaining some interest.  Some online proofreading tools are powered by generative AI and should be appropriately acknowledged, as when using other generative AI tools. Please read the guidance below if you are thinking of using a Generative AI website or online proofreading tool.