Quality Manual

Academic Misconduct Policy

The following policy should be read in conjunction with the Academic Misconduct Procedure:

1 Principles

1.1 The academic enterprise at the University of Nottingham, whether scholarship, research or innovation, is based on the values of academic integrity, honesty and trust.  

1.2 Any inappropriate activity or behaviour by a student which may give that student, or another student, an unpermitted academic advantage in a summative assessment is considered to be an act of academic misconduct and unacceptable in a scholarly community. Such action(s) will be considered under these Regulations and this may lead to a penalty being imposed.

Note: Formative assessment is primarily designed to give feedback on progress and inform development, but does not contribute to a module mark. If the affected work does not count towards an award, a transcript mark or a progression decision, the problematic work should normally be addressed by specific and extensive feedback on the issue that is the subject of concern. This is to ensure change of behaviour and act as a preventative measure for future incidents.

1.3 These Regulations are to be applied to all current students of the University, whether currently registered or not. Former students, will be subject to the academic misconduct regulations that were in place whilst they were a registered student. 

1.4 The University’s Fitness to Practice procedures may also be applied to students on programmes of study which lead to professional registration and whose actions are considered under these Regulations.  

1.5 Schools/Departments will provide advice and examples to students as to what constitutes academic misconduct and make them aware of these Regulations and the possible outcomes of action constituting academic misconduct. Students have a responsibility to attend such sessions and study such advice. 

1.6 Students should take responsibility for the integrity of their own work, including asking for clarification. 

1.7 Confirmed instances of academic misconduct and any penalty awarded may be referred to in student references (relating to a student’s academic achievement at University) or notified to an accrediting body. 

1.8 The standard of proof is that of ‘the balance of probabilities’. Evidence indicating that, on the balance of probabilities, academic misconduct has occurred will be deemed sufficient evidence for action under these Regulations.

1.9 Students are responsible for ensuring that they inform the University of any mitigating circumstances that they consider are affecting their ability to undertake an assessment, to ensure appropriate support can be provided. Although mitigating circumstances do not justify the occurrence of academic misconduct, such circumstances may be taken into account when determining a penalty.  

1.10 It is not necessary to prove intention to commit academic misconduct in order to make a finding of academic misconduct. However, proven intent to commit academic misconduct may be considered an aggravating factor when determining a penalty.  

2 Academic Misconduct

2.1 The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of academic misconduct which will be considered under these Regulations: 

2.1.1 Plagiarism: representing another person’s work or ideas as one’s own. For example by failing to correctly acknowledge others’ ideas and work as sources of information in an assignment, and neglecting use of quotation marks. This also applies to the use of graphical material, calculations etc. in that plagiarism is not limited to text-based sources.

Note: Where permitted, a proof-reader may identify spelling and basic grammar errors. Inaccuracies in academic content must not be corrected nor should the structure of the piece of work be changed; doing so may result in a charge of plagiarism. A proof-reader may be used to ensure that the work meets a quality threshold with respect to English standards, unless a School/Department policy specifically prohibits this. Students should make every effort to familiarise themselves with their School/Department’s policy regarding proof-reading. Schools/Departments should ensure this information is accessible to students. 

2.1.2 False Authorship: where a student is not the author of the work they have submitted. This may include a student submitting the work of another student. This may also include the submission of work that has been produced (in whole or in part) by another student or third party. As it is the authorship of an assignment that is contested, there is no requirement to prove that the assignment has been purchased.  

2.1.3 Collusion: cooperation in order to gain an unpermitted advantage. This may occur where students have consciously collaborated on a piece of work, in part or whole, and passed it off as their own individual efforts or where one student has authorised another to use their work, in part or whole, and to submit it as their own.  

Note: legitimate input from University tutors or approved readers or scribes is not considered to be collusion. 

2.1.4 Misconduct in examinations. Including, for example, when an examination candidate: 

• copies from the examination script of another candidate; 

• obtains or offers any other improper assistance from or to another candidate (or any other person unless an approved reader or scribe); 

• has with them any unauthorised book (including mathematical tables), manuscript or loose papers of any kind, unauthorised electronic devices (e.g. mobile telephones, smart watches) or any source of unauthorised information [see the University’s Examination Guidance for further information]. 

Note: Where a student is found to have taken unauthorised materials or an electronic device to their desk, the student is guilty of academic misconduct, irrespective of that student’s intent or the nature of the materials. 

• allows himself/herself to be impersonated or when any person impersonates another examination candidate.

2.1.5 Fabrication or misrepresentation: the presentation of fabricated data, results, references, evidence or other material or misrepresentation of the same. Including, for example: 

• claiming to have carried out experiments, observations, interviews or other forms of research which a student has not , in fact, carried out; 

• falsely claiming to have obtained results or other evidence;

• in the case of professional qualifications, falsely claiming to have completed hours in practice or to have achieved required competencies when this is not the case; 

• submitting a false Extenuating Circumstances claim where the claim and/or evidence has been fabricated/falsified. 

2.1.6 Failure to disclose previous experience or qualifications that are a bar to enrolment on a module (for example, enrolment on inter-faculty language modules). 

2.1.7 Failure to obtain ethical approval: where work is undertaken without obtaining ethical approval when there is a clear and unambiguous requirement to do so.  

2.2 Recycling 

The multiple submission by a student of their own material (either in whole or in part) is not considered academic misconduct. This includes work that the student may have submitted for a previous academic year, for another course or at a different institution. Submission of material that has been submitted on a previous occasion for a different summative assessment is, however, unlikely to be academically appropriate. The merit of such material will therefore be a matter of academic judgement.






To contact the Secretary of the Academic Misconduct Committee,
please email academic-misconduct@nottingham.ac.uk

Last updated 24 September 2018


Student Services

Portland Building, University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us