Guidance for Staff on the Use of Unfair Means in the Assessment Process

Assessment, whatever form it takes, is the means by which the University tests whether or not a student has achieved the objectives of a degree programme and the standards of an award. It is fundamentally important that students are assessed fairly, and on equal terms with each other for the same award. Any attempt to use unfair means is cheating and contrary to the core values of the academic community.

The University aims to ensure that the highest possible standards are maintained in the conduct of assessments, to protect the interests of its student body and avoid any damage to the University's reputation. All incidents of the use of unfair means must therefore be investigated promptly, thoroughly and fairly.

The University regulator, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) has published the OIA Good Practice Framework: Disciplinary Procedures. This informs the way the OIA consider complaints relating to disciplinary matters and this guidance reflects this.

This guidance is intended to help departments achieve consistency of practice across the University in investigating and responding to cases of the use of unfair means. It is good practice for departments to appoint an unfair means/plagiarism officer or other named member of academic staff.

Where a case involves students registered on dual degrees or taking modules in other departments, there must be effective communication between the two departments to ensure that details are shared and effectively recorded.