Copying for examinations

With the exception of printed sheet music, all types of copyright works may be copied under the copyright exception Illustration for instruction. It covers use for the purposes of:

  • Setting examination questions
  • Communicating examination questions to candidates:
    Material can be projected on to a screen during an examination so that students can answer questions on it. Photocopies of materials can be used in an exam, but must not be used further, and ideally should be collected at the end.
  • Answering examination questions by candidates:
    This might include writing a dissertation, or thesis to meet the requirements of a qualification, so could cover the inclusion of materials in assessed work.

    This exception only covers the work up to examination and not beyond. So if a student subsequently makes their work public, e.g. deposits it in an open repository, like the University eTheses Service, they cannot rely on this exception.  It is, therefore, advisable that students use the criticism, review and quotation exceptions if applicable, or seek permission from the rights holder. If you are supervising PhD candidates you should ensure that candidates are aware of this.

Copying under this exception is subject to fair dealing, so only a limited amount can be used. Prior to June 2014 there was a separate examination exception that allowed unrestricted use of copyright materials but this no longer exists.

All materials copied for examination must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the source, unless this is otherwise impractical.

It is not permitted to make reprographic copies of printed music for performance by examination candidates.


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