Academic Malpractice


Academic Malpractice

Being accused of academic malpractice can be a very stressful process.  CSU are here to help provide you with the support and information you need throughout the process.  Academic Malpractice information leaflet.

Surely no one will know if I commit plagiarism or collusion?

It is wrong to think that you can commit plagiarism or collusion and it will go undetected.  The University uses sophisticated electronic software called Turnitin to detect plagiarism as well as the judgement of academics.

Intentional/Unintentional Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be both intentional and unintentional.  Intentional plagiarism involves deliberately submitting another’s work as your own.  Malpractice can also apply to unintentional plagiarism, failing to cite reference for words and ideas taken from academic sources.

Examples of plagiarism are:

  • the verbatim copying of another’s work without acknowledgement;
  • the close paraphrasing of another’s work by simply changing a few words or altering the order of presentation, without acknowledgement;
  • unacknowledged quotation of phrases from another’s work;
  • the deliberate presentation of another’s idea as one’s own;
  • copying or close paraphrasing with occasional acknowledgement of source may in the absence of quotation marks imply that the phraseology is the student’s own;
  • copying of data, charts, diagrams, tables or figures without providing a reference;
  • submitting you own work, that has already been submitted to the University at an earlier stage, without referencing;
  • commissioning another person to undertake an assessment which is then submitted for academic credit;
  • fabricating references;
  • communicating with or copying from another person during an exam;
  • fabricating evidence in support of an academic appeal;
  • collaborative work with another student if the work is presented as your own.
  • Plagiarism does not have to be intentional

This list is not exhaustive

What if I have been accused of plagiarism or collusion?

If you have been accused of plagiarism or collusion, advice and support is available from the Students’ Union.

We are here to help you understand the regulations and procedures.  We also ensure that any case is handled in accordance with the University’s procedures and that the outcome is recorded fairly.

We can help you prepare for the meeting you might have to attend and accompany you if required.

What to expect from an Academic Malpractice Panel Hearing

The panel is not an interrogation, they are there to try and find out whether your work is academically sound.  It is in no way a judgement or reflection on your character.  Typically the panel will consist of a Chair (senior member of academic staff), and two other members of academic staff, none of whom will be from the Department which has brought the case.  Additionally there will be an officer from AQSS and a minuting secretary.

A member of staff from your Department will present the case, they will be asked questions by the Panel and you will be given an opportunity to respond.  You will be asked to give your version of events and you will be asked questions by the Panel.

What If I can’t attend a Panel Hearing?

Academic Malpractice Panel Hearings are not compulsory for students; however it is recommended that you attend.  The hearing is your opportunity to address the Panel directly and explain what happened.

Can I take someone into the hearing with me?

You may be accompanied by one of the following:

An officer/staff member of Chester Students’ Union

A fellow student of the University of Chester (not a staff member)

Officers/Staff at the Students’ Union are experienced in working with students who have been accused of academic malpractice.  Ensure that you take a copy of the evidence with you when visiting the Students’ Union so that we can help you prepare for the Hearing.

When will I know the outcome of my case?

You will be informed of the outcome in writing usually within 5-10 working days of your Hearing.

What is the likely outcome of my case?

The consequences of committing plagiarism are serious.  Please refer to Section 6 of the Regulations and Penalties OR contact the Students’ Union.

The penalties depend on the seriousness of the plagiarism, what level of study you are in and whether it is for a first, second or subsequent offence.

If you are found not to have engaged in academic malpractice, the Panel will usually direct that your work should be marked and your marks be released in the normal way.

How can I avoid Plagiarism?

As a student you are expected to familiarise yourself with the different types of plagiarism and how to avoid it.  It is your responsibility to make sure you have all the skills to undertake your studies.

To learn more about the different styles of referencing, visit portal, LIS, Finding Information,

Student Skills Development offer regular workshops throughout the year to help you avoid costly mistakes, maximise your marks and make the most of the academic opportunities of university. Topics covered include writing, planning, research, referencing, reflection, time management, and critical thinking and dissertation skills.

The department also offers one-to-one appointments, online resources and drop-in sessions. For more information, explore the Student Skills Development pages on Portal e-mail or telephone 01244 511552.

What happens if I disagree with the outcome of my case?  Can I appeal?

The decision of the Academic Malpractice Panel is one of academic judgement; you may not appeal against the decision on the ground of disagreement.  However, you may make an academic appeal based on specific grounds; contact the Students’ Union for more advice.

The role of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

The OIA is an independent body set up to review student complaints.

The OIA can look at complaints regarding any final decision by the University.  The OIA cannot look at decisions regarding academic judgment.

Once the University’s internal processes have been exhausted and if you remain unhappy with the decision.  You can take your appeal to the OIA,

Please ensure you contact the Students’ Union for information and guidance if you wish to pursue this course.

Useful Contacts:

The Students’ Union are here to support you through this process so make sure you speak to us.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or need further advice.

CHESTER CAMPUS: (01244) 513397 /

WARRINGTON CAMPUS: (01925) 534660 /