Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Understanding good academic practice

Guidance to help you understand what we mean by academic good practice.

When you're studying at university, it is essential that you act in a way that is consistent with the principles of academic good practice and avoid doing anything that constitutes academic misconduct. Following the principles of good academic practice will help you to do better work and avoid academic misconduct.

These pages provide tips and information about some areas of good practice and misconduct that may be unfamiliar, or where you may not be accustomed to doing things in the way you will need to do them at the University of Edinburgh.

Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

For more detailed guidance about good practice in your subject/s, you should follow information provided by your School, for example in the Course information on Learn.

Official guidance

It is your responsibility to read the University of Edinburgh's official information and guidance about academic misconduct and be aware of the regulations. 

The Academic Services section of the University website includes definitions of forms of misconduct including collusion, falsification and deceit.  It also provides guidance about what you can and cannot do, including guidance on proofreading, using Turnitin and essay services.

Academic Services section website

Academic misconduct

Academic misconduct can carry very serious penalties, even if you committed it unintentionally. So, if there is anything you are not clear about, you should ask your School’s Student support team, members of staff who teach you, or your Personal Tutor / Student Adviser and make sure that you understand.