Academic Offences

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Academic Offences

 

What are Academic Offences?

An academic offence is any action or attempt by a student, or any attempt by an individual to aid a student - that may give an unfair advantage to others in any assignments. For example, in an assessment which contributes to the mark and/or formal requirements to pass a module. Offences can be committed ‘Intentionally’ or ‘unintentionally .’

You can find a list of offences below:

 

This is when a student uses the work of others and presents it as their own without appropriate acknowledgment (without correct referencing). It can also be defined as a significant use of another individual’s work and submitting as if it was your own. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally due to incorrect referencing.

This includes:

  • Copying from another student’s work
  • Copying text without acknowledgment
  • Using information from the internet and using it without acknowledgement.
  • Submitting work and claiming it to be your own – when it has been produced by others or with the help of others
  • Submitting group work without acknowledging all contributions

You can use ‘Cite them right’ to help you reference:

This will be a form of cheating which occurs when two or more students work together in a deceitful way to develop a submission for an assessment which has been restricted to individual effort. This would mean that you have worked on a task with others, that you were instructed to work on by yourself.

Students are expected to ensure they are familiar with the Examination and Class Test Regulations and not to breach these regulations whether intentionally or unintentionally. The most common exam offences are students having unauthorised materials such as notes or phones in their possession during an exam. It will be an offence to have any unauthorised materials during an exam even if you are not seen to be using them during an exam. This is because they have the potential to be used to gain unfair advantage.

If you are suspected of breaching exam regulations, any marks/grades relating to an examination will be withheld by the School until the matter is resolved.

The University Discipline Officer will receive the report and decide if there is case to answer. You may be asked to attend an interview. If they decide there is a case they will pass it onto an Authorised Officer.

  • If you admit the charge an Authorised Officer will usually:

    • Invite you to a meeting to provide further information and evidence.
    • Determine the severity of the offence and appropriate penalty using the Tariff of Penalties.
    • In a serious case request via the University Discipline Officer that case be referred to a Disciplinary Board.
  • If you deny the charge, do not respond or academic judgement is required, your case will usually be referred to a Disciplinary Board to hear your case in defence of the charge and the University’s case in support of the charge, including evidence from invigilators or other witnesses, where appropriate. The Disciplinary Board will determine whether the charge is proven and, if so, determine an appropriate penalty using the will use the Tariff of Penalties to identify the severity of the offence and the appropriate penalty.

If you are suspected of plagiarism or collusion, any marks/grades relating to an examination will be withheld by the School until the matter is resolved.

You will usually be invited to attend a two stage hearing to discuss their hearing and whether they can deal with the matter within the School. At this meeting they will usually decide if plagiarism has taken place. Also, this will be an opportunity for you to mention any relevant mitigating circumstances that relate to the academic offence in question.

If you are suspected of an offence, you will have the following options:

  • Admit the charge and accept the School’s right to issue a penalty. This will be done using the University Tariff of Penalties.
  • Deny the charge the School will refer the case to the University Disciplinary Board to consider at a later date.
  • Ask for more time the School may allow you a few days to make a decision.

If you accept the offence and you are content to have the matter dealt with within the School. You will given the opportunity to mention any relevant mitigating circumstances that relate to the academic offence in question before they decide on the appropriate penalty using the Tariff of Penalties.

  1. Review the information available carefully

    Look at the information you have received carefully. For the plagiarism and collusion you would usually be sent a Turnitin report which would highlight the similarity of the work you have submitted.

    • See if you have correctly referenced the work.
    • For an exam, you can request an invigilators report.

    If you require more clarity get in touch with the ARC on advice@aston.ac.uk

  2. Write a draft statement

    You should write a draft statement to respond to the allegations. A statement may not be required but it will enable you to think carefully about how you should respond to the allegation and prepare for the meeting.

    The statement should cover the following:

    • An introduction – If you accept or deny the allegations.
    • A timeline of events leading up to and the completion of the assessment.
    • Any mitigating circumstances that may have affected you at the time. You should explain how this affected you.
  3. Attending the meeting

    You will be invited to a meeting to discuss the allegations. We would strongly advise that you attend this meeting as it will give you the best opportunity to understand the School’s concerns, explain what happened and potentially learn from any mistakes.

    If you would like someone to support you during this meeting – please get in touch with the ARC.

If you are dissatisfied with the penalty – you can appeal against it within 10 days of the outcome letter/email – otherwise the penalty will stand.

Grounds for appeal must fall into the following:

  1. Procedural irregularity of a material nature, including the commission of error during the original meeting;
  2. New evidence material to the case which the student can demonstrate was for good reason not previously available.

Any appeal would be made to the University Discipline Officer (Liz Hobday e.a.hobday@aston.ac.uk) and must explain in writing how you meet one or both of the grounds of appeal.

Please contact us via advice@aston.ac.uk for more advice if you are considering appealing.

If the alleged offence is considered to be too serious to be dealt with by your School, it is your second offence or you do not wish to accept the School’s decision. Your case will be referred to the Universities Disciplinary Board. You can be accompanied by a representative and a friend.

If you are dissatisfied with the penalty – you can appeal against it within 10 days of the outcome letter/email – otherwise the penalty will stand.

Grounds for appeal must fall into the following:

  1. Procedural irregularity of a material nature, including the commission of error during the original meeting;
  2. New evidence material to the case which the student can demonstrate was for good reason not previously available.

Any appeal would be made to the University Discipline Officer (Liz Hobday e.a.hobday@aston.ac.uk) and must explain in writing how you meet one or both of the grounds of appeal.

  • We can help you understand the allegations and the information provided about your work
  • Provide advice on the options available and the possible consequences
  • We can provide feedback on any statement you wish to submit in response to the allegations
  • We can accompany you to meetings or hearings and provide representation
  • We can advise on the options available if you are unhappy with the outcome of your case

You will be able to access more support from the Learning Development Centre. Here you will be able to access a learning space, where you can enhance your learning and skills at any stage of your studies. Staff will be able to provide you with specific sessions and resources on areas such as referencing and understanding plagiarism, academic writing, assessment and feedback, oral poster presentation skills and group work. They are located on the first floor of the Library.

You will be able to access help through their BB module.

Contact:

Email: ldc@aston.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 204 3040