Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Academic standards

Following the principles of good academic practice will help you to do better work and avoid academic misconduct.

Good conduct

When you're studying at university, it is essential that you act in a way that is consistent with the principles of academic good conduct.

For detailed guidance about good practice in your subject/s, you should follow information provided by your School, for example in your course handbooks or on your School website.

It is your responsibility to read the University of Edinburgh's official information and guidance about academic conduct and be aware of the regulations.  The Academic Services conduct section of the University website includes definitions of forms of misconduct including plagiarism, collusion, falsification and deceit.

The University also has policies in place that set out expectations for students when engaging with others in digital environments and on campus.

Academic conduct

Expectations for Students

Guides and codes

The Students section of the Academic Services website includes information about the assessment regulations, special circumstances, student conduct and student appeal regulations.   

Academic Services: Students

The University's academic regulatory framework is set out in its regulations, codes of practice and guidance in the Policies and Regulations section of the Academic Services website.

Academic Services: Policies and Regulations

Academic Services: If things go wrong

Referencing and how to avoid plagiarism

At the University of Edinburgh you are expected to use evidence, information and data from a range of sources to inform your responses and conclusions in your own academic work and assignments. It is important to make absolutely clear where each idea or piece of information comes from by referencing it (giving your sources) in your own work.

Different academic subjects use different referencing systems so make sure you know which one is used for each course you take.  You should be able to find this information in your course handbook but if you are unsure, ask someone who teaches you. 

The links below will help you understand how to do this.

Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism guidance from Academic Services

A useful guide to several of the main referencing systems can be found at Cite them right online. This resource is published by Macmillan and access is provided free for University of Edinburgh students by Information Services.

Cite them right (login as Edinburgh University)

Additional information

Edinburgh University Students’ Association Advice Place offers professional advice and information on a range of issues including appeals, complaints, course changes and academic conduct.  The Advice Place is an inclusive service for all students at the University of Edinburgh which is free, independent and confidential.

Advice Place

The Students’ Association has developed the Know your work campaign.  It highlights ways in which students might accidentally commit academic misconduct, and how the Students’ Association can help if things go wrong.

Students’ Association: Know your work

The Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study (DRPS) provides information on the programmes of study offered by the University of Edinburgh.  This includes the University’s glossary listing the meaning of specific terminology.  

DRPS and glossary of terms