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There is an online guide available to ensure you correctly acknowledge your work. Plagiarism is a serious offence and if proven leads to action under University Regulation 11B, 'Procedure to be Adopted in the Event of Suspected Cheating' (


Plagiarism takes a number of forms and the following are considered to fall under Regulation 11B:

  • Plagiarism. This includes copying without acknowledgement from a printed source; copying another student's essay; reproducing a passage from another person's writing to which minor changes have been made, e.g. random alteration of words or phrases, omission or rearrangement of occasional sentences or phrases within the passage even if the source is identified in footnotes; unacknowledged quotation; disguised borrowing and near-copying.
  • Self Plagiarism. You may not copy work that you have already presented for a summative essay or dissertation in another piece of work.
  • Contract Cheating. You may not purchase or ask another person to complete an essay or sit an exam in your place. Always acknowledge any third party assistance (beyond that of your tutor), for example with proof reading or providing references. If you are unclear whether any third party assistance is acceptable please discuss with your academic or personal tutor in advance of submitting the piece of work.
  • Collusion. If you allow another student to copy some or all of your work, even if you consider this is helping them, you may be considered to have cheated alongside the student who copied the work. Whilst the Department encourages students to work together and read each other’s essays, all work submitted should be the student’s own.
  • Deliberate attempts to mask plagiarism. The Department may ask for work to be presented in other formats if it suspects students are deliberately trying to mask one of the forms of plagiarism identified above.


Students should always identify sources for specific information and, where appropriate, the ideas used in assessed essays. It is bad academic practice for a student to fail to do so, just as it would be for an author writing a book or learned article. Poor, sloppy or negligent practice may not result in action under Regulation 11B but will receive lower marks in line with the marking and classification criteria. The Department uses plagiarism software or other appropriate mean to identify plagiarism in students' assessed and non-assessed work. This also highlights cases of self plagiarism.


Process if plagiarism or poor academic practice is suspected

  • All student work is subject to scrutiny by online plagiarism detection software which may signal problems with the work.
  • The first marker/module convenor checks the work and identifies it as a suspected case of plagiarism/poor academic practice.
  • Markers may also identify work they consider plagiarism or poor academic practice independently of the plagiarism detection software.
  • All submitted work by a student suspected of plagiarism/poor academic practice is then checked and for joint degree students, their sister department is informed.
  • The case is referred to an investigation panel and the student is invited to attend along with their personal tutor.
  • The panel uses academic judgement to decide whether the case is not proven; poor academic practice; or plagiarism.
  • The outcomes of the panel are as follows:
    • Not proven. The investigation considers the piece of work is neither poor practice or plagiarism and therefore the work is marked anonymously as usual.
    • Poor academic practice. The investigation concludes the work is not plagiarised but a case of poor academic practice. The work is marked in line with marking and classification criteria taking into consideration the poor practice.
    • Plagiarism. The work is considered to be plagiarism. Regulation 11B is invoked and the Head of Department imposes a penalty commensurate with the seriousness of the plagiarism. This could include a penalty of ‘0’ for the piece of work; or a resubmission with the resubmitted piece capped at a mark of 40%; or referral to an Investigation Committee of Senate. In such cases the student has ten days to appeal against the decision of the Head of Department.


If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism or poor academic practice, please discuss with your academic and personal tutors.

Word Length and Penalties for Over Length Work

Essays and dissertations that are above the word limit will be deducted as follows:

Essays and dissertations that are above the word limit will be deducted as follows:

  • 8,000 and 9,000 word dissertations: 1 mark off for each 100 words (or part thereof) over the word limit
  • 2,000, 2,500 and 4,500 word essays: 1 mark off for each 50 words (or part thereof) over the word limit

Footnotes, bibliography and possible appendices are not included in this word-count. The title page is not included in the word-count, but titles and subtitles in the text are. You do not need an abstract or content-list, but if you do include these, they are counted in the word-count.

Late Submission and Non-Submission

Deadlines for the submission of assessed work are available here. According to University rules, late submission of an assessed essay will, unless an extension has been granted in advance of the deadline, result in a penalty deduction from your mark for the work of 5 marks per day. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and bank holidays are NOT included when calculating penalties for late submission. There is no upper limit to the total penalty for late submission. If, for medical or other compelling reasons, you require an extension on an assessed essay or dissertation please see the extension policy available here.


Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory for all students taking a CAS module. Seminar attendance is monitored, and all absences, other than those for which there is a solid reason, backed by evidence (illness of five days or less can be self-certified, but illness of longer than five days requires a doctor’s note), will be reported to the Academic Office. Students who miss three or more seminars of a particular module will normally be required by the Director of CAS to submit additional essays (usually a 2,000 word essay for every three missed seminars). Students who miss eight or more seminars in total across all of their modules may be required to withdraw from their course of study by the Academic Office.


For final year undergraduate students there are certain defined circumstances under which they are entitled to appeal if they have not been awarded a qualification or against the award of a particular degree class. First year and intermediate year undergraduates have the right to appeal only against a decision that they be required to withdraw from their course of study, and then only if they are in possession of relevant evidence which was not available to the Board of Examiners when its decision was reached.

Further details can be found in the University Regulations and on the Examinations Office website.