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Academic Integrity Breach
Academic Misconduct (Undergraduate/Taught)

What is Academic Misconduct ?

Any action by you which may result in an unfair advantage for either yourself or another student.

It can include cheating, collusion, falsification, ghosting, personation, plagiarism (including self-plagiarism – submitting work that you have already received credit for) and failure to safe-guard.

You may not even realize that what you have done constitutes a breach of the regulations and things like having your mobile phone in your pocket in an exam, sharing your work with a friend or not referencing correctly all constitute a breach in the regulations.

What happens if I am suspected of breaching the AM regulations?

You will receive an email to tell you that you are suspected of breaching the AM procedures and you will be invited to a meeting to present your case.

There are 3 stages to the process:

  • Stage 1 which is an investigation carried out by your tutor
  • Stage 2 which is a school level investigation carried out by an Academic Misconduct Officer (AMO)
  • Stage 3 which is a university level investigation held by an Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP)

The letter will tell you which stage you are being investigated at and this will depend on the severity of the alleged breach or any previous offences.

You will be sent a report about the allegation together with any evidence that has been gathered such as the Turnitin report, your original assignment with highlighted sections, the assessment criteria or examination paper.

Preparing for your meeting?

Book a meeting with an SU adviser as soon as you receive the email so that they can help you to prepare your case.

Read the report that has been sent to you in conjunction with the University Regulations so that you understand whether you have breached the regulations. The regulations can be found here.

If you have made a genuine mistake and it was never your intention to gain an unfair advantage, and you are open and honest about what has happened then the university will recognize this and award a lesser penalty.

If you have had any personal problems going on which may have impacted on your decision making abilities at the time? Gather evidence to confirm this as this can lessen any penalty as well

Preparing your case

Be prepared to answer questions about your work – they will want to check your understanding of your work.

Gather any notes that you used to produce your work and any evidence to support your case – how do you explain any similarities?

Give details and proof of where the material is from.

You may be asked to show how many times you edited your document on your PC - bring this to the meeting.

Explain if this is the first time that you have studied like this before where you have to research and reference – explain that it has all been exam based before etc.

You should send any evidence that you rely on or details of witnesses that you would like to attend 2 working days prior to the meeting.

Do I need to attend the meeting?

The university expect you to attend the meeting but if there is a genuine reason for not attending you can ask for the meeting to be postponed on one occasion.

If you do not attend then the hearing will go ahead without you and a decision will be made in your absence. You can send a statement in 2 days before the hearing to be read in your absence but remember that you will not be present for the panel to ask you any questions.

What happens after the meeting?

At each of the three stages the case can be dismissed, a penalty applied, or the case can be referred to the next stage in the process. You will be notified of the outcome within 5 – 10 working days of the meeting (depending which stage you are at). If the case involves more than just you, eg a collusion case or group work, the outcome will not be sent until all cases have been investigated. Penalties can range from marking the work without the offending paragraphs to failure of the module and withdrawal from university for the more serious offences.


You can appeal any outcome at any stage, with the exception of the outcome which requires a referral to a later stage. You must have grounds for appeal and these include: Material irregularity, unreasonable decisions, bias, the penalty was disproportionate, ECs that you couldn’t declare at the time. You will need to complete an Appeal form and submit it within 10 working days from issue of the outcome.

The SU advice team can discuss your options and guide you through the process.

Contact us at or by phoning 01484 473446  to book an appointment.