Helpful Information

Plagiarism and Guidance for Students

It is recognised that nearly all assignments and essays draw on the work of others: published research and critical commentary, lecturers' notes and hand-outs, etc. The effective use and evaluation of existing material are among the skills that students are expected to develop. Material is cited in order to contribute to a larger line of argument, or to be subjected to scrutiny, or to be combined with other material in order to arrive at new perspectives; in all cases, the source of the material (an idea or opinion, a quote, data, etc) must be acknowledged in a standard form of referencing.

Plagiarism is the passing off of another person's work as your own. It includes copying without acknowledgement from a published source (print or electronic), or from unpublished sources (e.g. another student's essay or notes).

Plagiarism also occurs when the substance or argument of a text is copied even with some verbal alterations, such as in paraphrase or translation, without acknowledgement. Plagiarism includes using material from books or periodicals, from the internet, from grind tutors, or from other students, without full acknowledgement of the sources.

Plagiarism in any form of assignment contributing to marks or a grade for a course is a serious offence. It is a form of cheating on several counts: the perpetrator is attempting to obtain credit for work not done, and is also attempting to benefit from work done by somebody else. Plagiarism undercuts the whole thrust of scholarly enquiry that is the essence of education. Plagiarism will be severely penalised wherever it is detected. Students submitting assignments, essays, dissertations or any form of work for assessment may be required to sign a declaration that the material in question is wholly their own work except where indicated by referencing or acknowledgement

Cases in which students knowingly permit others to copy their work shall also be subject to the procedures outlined here and considered an offence.

Disciplinary Consequences

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will be treated with the utmost seriousness wherever discovered. Examiners, tutors and markers are required to report instances of suspected plagiarism to the relevant Course Director and/or Head of Department concerned.

Any student submitting written work for continuous assessment can be asked by the marker or the department to take a further test. This may take the form of an oral examination on the assignment in question and related issues, or the writing of a test paper in controlled conditions. In instances where a significant part, or all of an assignment, is found to be plagiarised, zero marks may be awarded for that assignment. Cases in which students have knowingly permitted others to copy their work may also be awarded zero marks.

Proven cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Head of Department and kept on record. In serious or repeated cases, the plagiarism will be reported to the Supervisor of Examinations and the Committee of Discipline. Plagiarism in postgraduate or research material is a particularly serious offence.

Penalties imposed may involve suspension or expulsion from the course and from the University, in addition to deduction of marks. See pages 80 & 81 in the University Calendar for further details.


Last Modified: Wed, 04/07/2012 - 15:43