Plagiarism, Collusion and the Use of Unfair Means in Assessment

Assessment, whatever form it takes, is the means by which the University tests whether a student has achieved the objectives of a course 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 by a student to use unfair means to gain advantage over another student in the completion of an assessment, or to assist someone else to gain an unfair advantage, is cheating.  Cheating undermines the standards of the University's awards and disadvantages those students who have attempted to complete assessments honestly and fairly.  It is an offence against the values of the academic community of which students and staff are both part.

Be aware that unfair means includes buying essays online. These sites often claim that Universities can’t detect anything wrong with essays bought in this way, but we can.

For a summary of what constitutes unfair means and how to avoid this, watch our video tutorial below.

More detailed guidance is provided in the Downloads box on the right. We also flag these issues in our student news article: Assessments and exams: Know the rules and don't cheat!

Unfair Means from Uni of Sheffield Student Comms on Vimeo.