Academic Honesty

The School of Social and Political Sciences is committed to the principles of academic honesty as set out in the Academic Board policy on Academic Honesty in Coursework . Students have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with these principles.

In accordance with Academic Board policy, the School’s definition of academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism: for full details see below;
  • recycling: the submission for assessment of one’s own work, or of work which is substantially the same, which has previously been counted towards the satisfactory completion of another unit of study, and credited towards the satisfactory completion of another unit of study, and credited towards a university degree, and where the examiner has not been informed that the student has already received credit for that work;
  • fabrication of data;
  • the engagement of another person to complete an assessment or examination in place of the student, whether for payment or otherwise;
  • communication, whether by speaking or some other means, to other candidates during an examination;
  • bringing into an examination and concealing forbidden material such as textbooks, notes, calculators or computers;
  • attempts to read other student’s work during an examination; and/or
  • writing an examination or test paper, or consulting with another person about the examination or test, outside the confines of the examination room without permission.

In suspected cases of academic dishonesty, students may be counselled or the matter may be referred to the Head of School.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the theft of intellectual property. The School of Social and Political Sciences is opposed to and will not tolerate plagiarism. Students have a responsibility to understand the full details of the Academic Board policies on Academic Honesty in Coursework and Student Plagarism: Coursework Policy and Procedure.

All students are required to include a signed statement of compliance with work submitted for assessment, presentation or publication certifying that no part of the work constitutes a breach of the University’s policy on plagiarism. This statement of compliance is printed on all assignment/essay cover sheets and written work will not be marked if the compliance statement is unsigned.

In accordance with Academic Board policy, the School defines plagiarism as presenting another person’s work (ideas, findings or written and/or published material) as one’s own by presenting, copying or reproducing the work without acknowledgment of the source. Common forms of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • presenting written work that contains sentences, paragraphs or longer extracts from published work without attribution of the source;
  • presenting written work that reproduces significant portions of the work of another student; and/or
  • using the structure of another person’s argument, even if the wording is changed.

Legitimate cooperation between students is permitted and encouraged but students should be aware of the difference between cooperation and collusion. Discussion of general themes and concepts is allowed but students are not permitted to read each other’s work prior to submission or cooperate so closely that they are jointly selecting quotes, planning essay structure or copying each other’s ideas.

While plagiarism is never acceptable, there is a distinction between negligent plagiarism and plagiarism that involves dishonest intent.

Negligent plagiarism is defined in Academic Board policy as ‘innocently, recklessly or carelessly presenting another person’s work as one’s own work without acknowledgement of the source’. In the case of negligent plagiarism, the School’s first responsibility is educative. Where plagiarism is deemed to arise from poor referencing practices or lack of confidence, students will be counselled, provided with strategies for improvement and referred to appropriate services for assistance. They will also be issued with a written warning explaining the consequences of any subsequent breaches of the University’s policy prohibiting plagiarism.

Dishonest plagiarism is defined in Academic Board policy as ‘knowingly presenting another person’s work as one’s own work without acknowledgement of the source’. Where dishonest intent is apparent, the School may proceed to disciplinary measures. In the most serious cases, University procedures relating to student misconduct may be invoked and can lead to expulsion.

The School of Social and Political Sciences encourages students to think for themselves. In assessing students’ work academic staff look for evidence of understanding and capacity for independent thought; it is always disappointing to discover plagiarism. Written work containing plagiarism will be assessed according to its academic merit, but may fail because it does not meet the minimum standard required.