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Academic Misconduct - Self Help Guide

If you have received an email about your work being investigated or been invited to a meeting to discuss your work.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Understand the allegations. Check if the issues is poor academic practice or academic misconduct. Read all of the information you have been sent and try to understand the concerns being raised. It can still be considered misconduct if you didn’t know how to reference properly, were unaware of the regulations or acted unintentionally.
  2. Poor academic practice usually refers to sloppy or poor referencing. Academic misconduct can be many things such as Plagiarism, Self-plagiarism, Collusion, Cheating including breaching exam rules, Fraud including buying essays and falsifying data and obtaining access to unseen exams and impersonation.
  3. If you have been invited to a meeting or an Academic Misconduct Panel check what type of misconduct is being alleged. If there is anything unclear ask for further information or clarification. If it refers to coursework download the turnitin report and review it. You will only know how to respond to the University’s concerns if you understand what they are.
  4. Prepare a statement. Think carefully about the allegations and take the time to write a statement in response. Start by writing a timeline of the events in time/date order. The statement should address the concerns raised by explaining what happened and how you believe misconduct has or has not occurred. Try to keep it less than 2 pages.
  5. Be honest. If the allegation is true it’s better to acknowledge this because you may receive a harsher penalty if you’re dishonest or try to cover it up. It’s important to take responsibility and apologise for anything you’ve done wrong even if unintentional. Explain how you’ve learned from your mistakes. If you’ve experienced any difficult circumstances you may wish to mention those.
  6. If you are denying all or part of the misconduct, carefully explain your reasons and where possible, provide evidence to support your position.
  7. Attend the meeting. Confirm your attendance and state whether anyone will be accompanying you for support (an adviser from Union Advice can accompany you). It’s a good idea to bring your statement and any evidence so you can refer to it if necessary during the meeting. If you can’t attend try to reschedule.