Copyright for study

Understand the rules for copying and sharing

Copyright for students

Copyright is important because it protects the content that you use and create while you are studying. Textbooks, course materials, images, lectures, and examination questions are all protected as are the written work and assignments you produce. Just as you wouldn’t be happy if someone copied and shared your work without permission, so your lecturers and the copyright owners would not be happy if you copied and shared their work without permission.

Course materials

Many of the materials you are provided with for your studies, such as book chapters or journal articles, are copied under copyright licences paid for by the University.

You may:

  • Download and print a copy for yourself.

You may not:

  • Make extra copies or share with others.
  • Post these materials on social media sites such as Facebook even if it is for study purposes.

Lecture recordings

Lecturers own copyright in their lectures. You must not record lectures without permission. You must not share recordings without permission or post them on the internet.

Coursework, essays and assignments

  • You may copy material to include in your coursework without breaching copyright, but you must still adhere to the principles of academic integrity and properly reference anything you use.
  • You must only use the copied material in your coursework and must not make it publicly available.
  • If a public exhibition or performance is part of your assessment process, this is covered by an examination exception that is likely to allow you to make someone else's material publicly available if its use is integral to your work.
  • Just because it’s legal to copy material for an assignment, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so. For advice on using and acknowledging the work of others, see Referencite.
  • If you would like to publish your research and it includes other people's work, you may need to get permission.


Generally you can’t share course materials, but there are some exceptions if the material isn’t covered by copyright.

Academic conduct

Copyright rules allow you to use material for your study and coursework. If you go beyond what is allowed, you could end up facing disciplinary action by the University or in the worst case face legal action for copyright infringement.

Copyright Materials Policy