For the full policy on academic misconduct, including a table of the possible penalties, please refer to section 9 of the Assessment Handbook.
Further information on good academic practice and the appropriate use of sources can be found in the statement on Working with academic integrity (pdf - 107KB)
Statement on academic misconduct
Cheating, which is the attempt to gain an advantage for oneself or another by deceit, and other misconduct, are breaches of discipline and are punishable by a range of sanctions. For the purposes of these regulations, coursework will be construed as including any assessed work that is undertaken in a non-invigilated environment (for example 24 hour papers, take home exams, and online tests).
a) Cheating in assessed coursework (for example, dissertations, long essays or projects) and open book examinations includes, but is not restricted to:
For the purposes of these regulations, plagiarism is defined as the fraudulent representation of another's work as one's own. This applies whatever the source of the material (for example, a published source, the web, or the work of another), whether the material is copied word for word or paraphrased, and whatever the extent of the material used. Wilful and deliberate disregard for good academic practice in respect of attribution of material will be construed as plagiarism. [Please note that programme handbooks normally provide discipline-specific advice on the appropriate use and attribution of source material].
ii. Taking a copy of another student's work without his or her permission (whether or not this work is subsequently plagiarised).
iii. Reproduction of work assessed elsewhere
Unless otherwise stated, it is not permissible for a piece of work submitted for assessment to include substantial sections which are drawn from another piece of work submitted for a qualification, whether of this University or another awarding body. In the case of assessments where the incorporation of work from another assessment is permitted, the relevant School will inform students accordingly. Any material in an assignment which has been drawn from another piece of work submitted for a qualification should be clearly indicated with a reference to the assessment and qualification for which the material was previously submitted.
iv. Falsifying signatures, data, evidence, or experimental results.
v. Collusion: acting with another student with the intention to deceive. This extends to the act of covering up or making untrue or misleading statements on behalf of another student regarding the act or commission of an act of academic misconduct.
vi. Contracting to cheat: commissioning a third party (e.g: essay mill/ghost-writer/dissertation writing company/family member/friend/another student) to produce an assessment which is then submitted. Please note that payment of any kind need not have been requested or made.
vii. Acting as an intermediary for another student to commission a third party as above. Acting as an intermediary may cover acting as a "middle person" to aid or facilitate another student to contract to cheat. It could also extend to recommending or signposting another student to a company or website knowing that the student intended to contract to cheat. This is a disciplinary offence which is actionable under the University's Disciplinary Policy as a breach of the Regulations for Student Conduct:
b) Cheating and other academic misconduct in written examinations (including in-class tests and examinations administered by a School/Department) include, but are not restricted to:
i. Taking into the examination hall, or possessing while in the examination hall, any books, memoranda, notes or other similar material (including material held electronically) except that students are permitted to deposit such material in an area designated by the invigilator prior to the start of the examination. Material which has been supplied by the invigilator or authorised by the Examiners is exempt from this proscription.*
ii. Taking into the examination hall or possessing while in the examination hall any device which permits communication with others or receipt of communication from others or receipt of information;* Mobile phones, Smart watches, headphones, ear pieces and any other related technology for example.
iii. Copying from, consulting or otherwise making use of another candidate's script; or attempting to copy from, consult or otherwise make use of another candidate's script;
iv. Improperly aiding or attempting to aid another candidate, or improperly obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from any person;
v. Consulting or attempting to consult, any books, memoranda, notes or any other similar material (including material held electronically) while present in the examination hall during the period of the examination;*
vi. Impersonating or attempting to impersonate another candidate or being knowingly impersonated.
* Please note: For the purposes of these regulations, 'examination hall' includes the examination room, the toilets and any other areas to which candidates have access during the examination.
c) Other academic misconduct in written examinations
i. Candidates are not allowed under any circumstances to talk to each other or to behave in a manner likely to disturb or distract other candidates during an examination.
ii. Candidates are not permitted to smoke in the exam room. This includes the use of e-cigarettes. Candidates are not permitted to eat in the exam room and are permitted to drink still water only, except where a specific alternative arrangement has been agreed in respect of eating and/or drinking in the exam room, which would normally be on the grounds of health or wellbeing.
iii. Candidates are not permitted to have a pencil case or other container in the vicinity of their examination desk, unless the pencil case or container is transparent.
iv. It is forbidden to remove an examination script or a part of an examination script from the examination room.
v. Candidates are not allowed to leave the examination before it has finished without the permission of the invigilator or to leave the examination room temporarily for any purpose without the permission of the invigilator.
vi. Invigilators are authorised to instruct candidates who are talking or behaving in a disruptive manner to leave the room. Invigilators will report candidates whose conduct appears to constitute cheating.
vii. It is an offence to disregard a legitimate instruction given by an invigilator. Candidates failing to comply with such instructions will be liable to disciplinary action.
d) Other academic misconduct
i. It is an offence of academic misconduct to submit false or misleading evidence in support of an extenuating circumstances form. This is a disciplinary offence which is also actionable under the University's Disciplinary Policy as a breach of the Regulations for Student Conduct: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/Calendar/G4_Student_Disciplinary_Procedure.pdf
ii. It is an offence to commence or continue research without the appropriate ethical clearance. A breach of the University's research and ethics policies (Code of Good Practice in Research) is the failure to comply with the University's guidelines and policies on ethical clearance for research.
iii. It is an offence of academic misconduct not to disclose information, when asked, in respect of prior knowledge, competence or experience which is relevant to a module for which the student has applied or registered.
It must be emphasised that the most serious view is taken within the University of cheating and other academic misconduct, whether in written examinations, in-class tests, practical assessments (laboratory work or placements for example) or coursework. Any such case will be treated as a disciplinary matter and will be referred to the School Director of Teaching and Learning (in respect of students registered on taught programmes) or the School Director of Postgraduate Research (in respect of students registered on research programmes) who may impose a penalty or refer the matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Academic Misconduct (SCAM) which has the power to impose more severe penalties including expulsion from the University
This Statement was approved by UBTLSE on 31 March 2020 (updated April 2020).
Academic Misconduct and Exceptional Circumstances
The University’s long-standing standard practice is that a student’s medical or personal circumstances shall not constitute grounds for exonerating a student from an offence of academic misconduct, other than in the exceptional case where a student’s capacity for rational judgement has been severely impaired.