Academic misconduct guidelines

How breaches of academic integrity are handled at the University

Breaches of academic integrity are managed jointly by the Academic Quality Office and faculty staff members, including Academic Integrity Advisers (see below).

All student breaches are managed according to the  Student Academic Conduct Statute (2021), using set procedures, which are outlined below. A delegations schedule sets out the roles empowered to recommend and approve decisions on penalties.

Anyone can report a breach of academic integrity in coursework or exams via the Academic Integrity Breach Reporting Form.

Academic Integrity Advisers

Each faculty has a faculty and/or academic unit Academic Integrity Adviser (AIA). The AIA is an academic staff member whose role is to set academic integrity expectations and support consistency in academic misconduct processes for staff and students.  AIAs may support Course Directors to investigate alleged breaches of academic integrity expectations.  

Types of academic integrity breaches

The University has three levels of academic integrity breach that occur in coursework, tests and research work:

  • Poor academic practice
  • Minor academic misconduct
  • Major academic misconduct

Poor academic practice and minor academic misconduct are handled jointly by the Academic Quality Office and the faculty.  Major academic misconduct cases are heard by the University's Discipline Committee.

The type of breach is determined through investigation by an Academic Integrity Adviser or Academic Head working with appropriate teaching staff.

Poor Academic Practice

Poor Academic Practice (PAP) is the first level of academic integrity breach, and it is not considered to be academic misconduct.  It applies only to students with no prior incidents of academic misconduct.  It applies to coursework (including non-invigilated tests and quizzes) but does not apply to breaches of academic integrity in invigilated tests, or in postgraduate research.

PAP provides an opportunity for staff to support new students to identify and correct poor practices in their academic work.  There are no penalties associated with Poor Academic Practice: a Course Director may adjust marks, but only to correct any unfair advantage the student may have gained as a result of the practice in question.

For more detailed guidance on PAP, please refer to the PAP Guidelines.

Minor and major academic misconduct

Academic misconduct in coursework (including non-invigilated tests and quizzes), invigilated tests or postgraduate research may be classed as 'minor' or 'major'. 'Minor' cases of academic misconduct are managed by the faculty, whereas 'major' cases of academic misconduct are reviewed by the Discipline Committee (see below).

Submitting a breach of academic integrity in coursework

For coursework cases detected by teaching staff:
  1. The Course Director and/or Academic Integrity Adviser are encouraged to inform students of the allegation via email, and then interview them about suspected PAP or misconduct.  An email template and guidance on how to conduct interviews are below.
  2. They must then report the breach using the Academic Integrity Breach Reporting Form. This feeds the breach into the Academic Integrity Management System (AIMS), where all breaches of academic integrity are managed centrally by the Academic Quality Office.

See the flow chart below for a more detailed outline of the process.

Breaches of academic integrity in examinations

Suspected breaches of academic integrity during examinations must be reported using the Academic Integrity Breach Reporting Form

The University has two levels of classification for breaches of academic integrity in examinations: Category 1 and Category 2.

Academic misconduct in examinations is determined to be Category 1 or Category 2 based on the severity of the incident. Category 2 academic misconduct incidents are high severity; Category 1 incidents are medium to low severity.

The Assessment Services offices manages the investigation of all academic integrity breaches in examinations, and sets the penalties for category 1 misconduct. Category 2 misconduct cases are referred to the Discipline Committee for a decision.

Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee is the University Committee that hears cases of major or category 2 academic The Discipline Committee members include academic staff and students.  The Discipline Committee has the power to impose penalties for confirmed cases of major and category 2 academic misconduct.