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Online Undergraduate Handbook

Disciplinary matters and student misconduct, including breaches of examination rules

Disciplinary Matters - Student Misconduct

The University’s Regulation XVII, Conduct and Discipline of Students is relevant to all students.

 Conduct and Discipline of Students

Regulation XVII (Conduct and Discipline of Students) defines types of behaviour (misconduct) which may lead to disciplinary action being taken against students who are in breach of the regulation.

Misconduct includes academic malpractice.  Academic malpractice is any activity, intentional or not, that is likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research.  It includes the possession of unauthorised material or the use or attempted use of unauthorised or unfair means (including academic malpractice such as plagiarism or collusion with other students or fabrication of falsification of results) in connection with any examination or assessment i.e. anything that is intended to achieve credit where it is not properly deserved.

Plagiarism, Collusion, Fabrication or Falsification of Results

Plagiarism is the presentation of ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. This can include incorrect referencing if it is decided that there has been intent to deceive the examiners.  It also includes the submission, in whole or in part, of a student’s own work (“self-plagiarism) where for example, such work may have been previously submitted for a different assessment.

Collusion occurs when a student or students collaborate inappropriately or illicitly with another student or students with the intention of improving the mark or grade of an individual or group.

Fabrication of Falsification of Data or Results by individual students or groups of students is the presentation or inclusion in assignments of figures or data unsupported by verifiable or documented programmes of research; this may or may not additionally involve instances of plagiarism and/or of collusion.

Please refer to the detailed information on plagiarism in the My Assessment section of the handbook and familiarise yourself with the University's procedures on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice, which can be found at:

Guidance to students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice 

The School reserves the right to submit any work handed in by students for assessment to electronic systems for detecting plagiarism or other forms of academic malpractice. This includes the Turnitin plagiarism detection service used by the University of Manchester.

The School takes academic malpractice very seriously and has an appointed Academic Malpractice Officer whose role it is to oversee the detection of malpractice and to handle all cases of suspected malpractice.

A case of suspected academic malpractice is normally progressed at School level in the first instance but may proceed to Faculty or University level depending on the year of the student. Years 1 and 2, where it is the first offence is handled within the School, second offence by Faculty; Final Year where it is the first offence is handled by Faculty; second offence by the University’s Student Disciplinary Committee.

Cheating in examinations

University Regulation XVII makes it clear that cheating (“the possession of unauthorised material or the use or attempted use of unauthorised or unfair means…… in connection with any examination or assessment”) is very serious and renders a student liable to disciplinary proceedings. All official University examinations are conducted according to clear regulations regarding behaviour. Serious breaches of examination regulations may involve a student in an appearance before the University's Student Discipline Committee. This committee has very wide disciplinary powers ranging from the issuing of an official warning to ordering a student's exclusion from the University.

The University’s Student Services Centre provides a great deal of advice and reminders about issues relating to examinations/assessment including student conduct.

Several students each year are caught by invigilators cheating in examinations and students from this Faculty have been amongst them. Do not attempt to cheat in examinations. It is unfair to your fellow students, to the staff that teaches you and marks your work and, if you are caught and punished, may affect the rest of your life and cause great upset to your family and friends.

If you are having problems with your work or have personal problems which affect your work, do not attempt to take short cuts by cheating or plagiarising. Instead seek the help of your Academic Adviser or see Student Support staff in the Assessment and Student Support Centre (AMBS East, D14).

Your right of appeal against a finding of misconduct/academic malpractice

Any student found guilty of misconduct has the right of appeal both against the finding itself, and any penalty imposed, provided that there is: evidence of procedural irregularity on the part of the University; availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been expected to be presented at the original hearing; or the disproportionate nature of the penalty.

Any enquiries about issues relating to student misconduct in the Faculty of Humanities should be referred to the Faculty of Humanities Malpractice, Complaints and Appeals Office by e-mail - humsacm@manchester.ac.uk