In your university work at some point, you’ll need to include sections or ideas from other people’s work. Whether it’s from an article on the internet or books from the library, it’s important to make it clear which words and ideas are yours, and which ones are from someone else. More details about plagiarism can be found in the University’s academic conduct policy.


What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using, without acknowledgement, someone else’s words, ideas or work.


How does the University identify plagiarism?

The university uses two types of text comparison for assignments – one is Copycatch and the other is Turnitin. Plagiarism usually takes place in two ways. The first one is misuse of information from the web or other sources. This could be cutting and pasting large sections of text directly from the resource into your assignment without referencing where it came from. The other one is working too closely with individuals to help solve or answer a task or question. This could result in a joint answer which may or may not be intentional. This form of plagiarism is called collusion. Therefore, the University uses two types of text comparison software to detect potential cases for plagiarism.

Both Copycatch and Turnitin will produce two reports for the module team. The module team will take all factors into consideration when looking at these reports. If they’re concerned, they may recommend that you need additional help and support with your academic writing. If the report is showing more serious concerns or plagiarism, they may refer this to the Academic Conduct Officer to review.


What happens if I get accused of plagiarism?

  • Try not to panic! We know that this can be a scary process but our Individual Representation team can help support you through it
  • Firstly your TMA or EMA result will be postponed with a note that it is being investigated for plagiarism
  • The assignment will be examined thoroughly, and if it appears plagiarism has occured, you will then receive an email from the ACO (Academic Conduct Officer)
  • You will need to respond to this with your explanation of how the possible plagiarism has occured. Our Student Advisors at the Individual Representation service can offer support with this
  • The ACO will review this and make their decision as to what happens next
  • If you are unhappy with the decision you can appeal it, however there are certain grounds for appeal. One of our Student Advisors will be able to help you


Our tips for avoiding plagiarism

  • Read the guidance on referencing (through the University’s library site)

  • The Developing Good Academic Practice module provides a detailed explanation on good academic practice, which you may find helpful.

  • Ask your tutor for help straight away if you’re not sure what you’re doing

  • Be sure to acknowledge your sources – otherwise it will be considered as plagiarism

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare, research and write your work

  • Keep a record of all the sources you have read and looked through

  • Thoroughly look through your tutors’ feedback on assignments, which may include notes to help with your referencing.