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Cheating in a University Test

It is critical that every piece of work that you submit is your own work. Cheating in a University test, which includes assessed essays and dissertations, is not tolerated by either the University or the Department. If you do cheat, your work may be awarded a mark of 0%.

Plagiarism – What is it?

One type of cheating that is becoming more common is plagiarism. This is the use of another person or persons’ work without acknowledgement. It may include direct transcriptions of text or could be the presentation of ideas from a source as your own.  It is critical that you always remember to acknowledge your sources, making appropriate use of citation and bibliographies.
  • Quotations must always be acknowledged with a specific page reference every time they occur.
  • Direct quotations must be placed in quotation marks.
  • An idea taken from a secondary source must be given a detailed reference.
  • It is not acceptable to just cite a source in the bibliography; if you are using quotations or ideas from a specific source you must cite the reference accurately.

When you submit an assessed essay you must sign the following declaration:

“I am aware of the Department’s notes on plagiarism and of Regulation 11B in the University Calendar concerning cheating in a University test. The attached work submitted for a University test is my own.”

Full details of Regulation11B can be found here.

Plagiarism – What could happen?

If a tutor suspects plagiarism they will notify the Head of Department. Having examined the work the Head of Department may impose a mark of 0% - there are cases when this has happened and it can have serious consequences for your work, e.g. most essays count for 50% of your module mark.

If you are second-year or third-year student your case may be considered by a Senate Disciplinary Committee. If plagiarism is detected in one essay, all other essays will be re-examined for evidence of plagiarism. The University has a range of plagiarism software that can be used to do this.

  • Very few students are deliberately dishonest, but can let themselves down through poor scholarly practice. Make sure that you always provide appropriate references. It is important to engage with other people’s ideas, however it is also important that you remember to credit their work.
  • Sources that need citing include on-line sources. If you consult the internet you need to provide the URL.


Advice on good scholarly practice can be found in most books on academic writing. We recommend Le Ban and Babington, The Broadview Guide to Writing, 3rd edition, which is available from the University Bookshop. Alternatively, consult www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/citex.html.