Academic Misconduct

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Academic Misconduct



If you've been written to about suspected Academic Misconduct, please read these pages to understand what this means and what to do next. We will outline the process of how your work will be investigated, and the penalties that may be applied depending on the findings.

The investigation process is used to decide if you have used methods in your work that give you an unfair advantage over other students. This includes plagiarism and collusion. We recommend that you read the university's full regulations on Academic Misconduct.

ARU's Academic Honesty Policy states that:

'To be honest in your work you must acknowledge the ideas and work of others you use, and you must not try to get an advantage over others by being dishonest. . . . You can show good practice when you do your work independently, honestly and in a proper academic style, using good referencing and acknowledging all of your sources. ' (Anglia Ruskin University, Academic Honesty Policy, 2014).


Timeline of events:


Initial Reporting of Suspected Academic Misconduct 

  • Work suspected of academic misconduct can be raised up to 20 working days after the submission deadline for normal assessments, and 30 working days for major projects. This can be extended if new evidence is provided.


Stage 1 - Faculty Investigation
  • Your work is looked at by an Academic Integrity Lead from your faculty. They will decide if there is enough evidence that academic misconduct has occurred.

  • You may be invited to attend a viva-voce examination to show understanding of your work.


  • No further action is taken- when the Academic Integrity Lead believe no Academic Misconduct has taken place.

  • Where the Academic Integrity Lead believes that Academic Misconduct has occurred, they determine the extent of the alleged academic misconduct and places it into one of the following categories of academic misconduct below:




You will be written to within 15 working days (which can be extended by a further 10 working days, if required, The student will be notified of this extension) to categorise your level of Academic Misconduct (A, B or Exceptionally Serious).


Meeting with Academic Integrity Lead 


  • If this is your first incidence of academic misconduct you will be invited to a meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead to help you to learn where you have made a mistake and help to avoid future mistakes

  • If this is your second or subsequent incidence of academic misconduct you will be directed to meet with your Module Leader to discuss good academic practice.

  • You will be invited to take ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course. If this is your first allegation of academic misconduct (at category A or B) when you pass the course the default penalty is reduced to the next immediate lower category (eg: the penalty for a caegory B is amended to the penalty A) . Please read the penalties below.



Within five working days of either meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead (where this is the first allegation of academic misconduct) or  from the date of the formal notification where this is the second or subsequent allegation of academic misconduct , the student provides a response to the allegation which:

      A)  Accepts the allegation and, only for the student’s first incidence of academic misconduct the student either:

           • confirms that they have completed ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course


           • declines the opportunity to undertake ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course 


     (B)  requests more time (normally 5 working days) to seek (further) advice from the Students’ Union Advice Service;



     (C) denies the allegation completely or challenges the category of academic misconduct to which the allegation has been assigned 

  • If you appeal the allegation or category the allegation is referred to the Academic Registrar for consideration under Stage 2: a Panel hearing,

  • If having met with the Academic Integrity Lead a student fails to provide a response, the student is deemed to have accepted the allegation but not undertaken ARU’s Academic Integrity Course and the prescribed penalty is applied accordingly.

  • In the event of the student declining or failing to attend the meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead, the student looses the opportunity both to deny the allegation and challenge the category of academic misconduct to which the allegation has been allocated (and, therefore, the level of penalty). The student is deemed to have accepted the allegation but not undertaken ARU’s Academic Integrity Course and the prescribed penalty is applied according

  • The student's academic record on ARU's student record system is amended accordingly (but no reference to the academic miscondusct appears on the academic transcript)


Stage 2: Panel Hearing

  • At a panel allegations are heard and the student is given an opportunity to present their case.


          (i) the alleged academic misconduct did not occur or;

          (ii) the category is too high.

  • On receipt of notice to deny or challenge academic misconduct the student is required to submit to the academic registrar a written statement which details the reason for denying or challenging within 15 working days. Failure to provide a statement will lead to cancellation of stage 2 hearing and penalties being applied.
  • The Panel hearing is formal. It takes place as soon as possible, and no later than two months after the student has responded to the meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead in Stage 1 .
  • If the student does not appear at the hearing, the Panel may proceed to deal with the allegation in the student’s absence. In reaching its decision, the Panel sits in private and considers whether the case has been proved. If the Panel concludes that the case has not been proved, the allegation is dismissed and no further action is taken.

  • If the Panel concludes that academic misconduct has been proved a penalty is applied. 

  • The student is notified in writing of the outcome of the panel hearing within 10 working days.

  • In all cases where academic misconduct is proved , the student subsequently meets with an Academic Integrity Lead to discuss the academic misconduct to help prevent future errors. 


Extenuating Circumstances

  • If during Stage 1 or 2 of the process, the student provides evidence of extenuating circumstances that directly led to  academic misconduct being committed, such information does NOT impact on the decision as to whether or not the academic misconduct has occurred. However, if the Director of Studies or Academic Integrity Lead (during Stage 1) or Panel (during Stage 2) believes that, as a result of the extenuating circumstances, the prescribed penalty is exceptionally inappropriate, the Director of Studies (following consultation with two other Directors of Studies and the Academic Registrar) or the Panel can, at their discretion, review the default penalty and propose the immediate next lower penalty (including a reduction in the value of misconduct points allocated to the case) in light of the extenuating circumstances presented by the student. The application of the lower penalty must be supported by relevant documentary evidence.

  • You cannot submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim on an assessment task for which a penalty has been applied. The penalty for the academic misconduct is therefore applied.



  • Each category for academic misconduct has an assigned penalty as described in the table below
  • When a student with work containing academic misconduct in category A or B, and it is their first incidence of academic misconduct, completes the on-line Academic Misconduct Course, the default penalty is reduced to the immediate next lowest category. For category B cases this will now receive the penalty for A, for category A cases the piece of work is referred to the marking process. Work with an allegation of Exceptionally Serious cannot have the penalty reduced.

  • Where the academic misconduct includes misconduct in research, the student is required to destroy data collected for the research (if the process has started). If the penalty permits a further opportunity to be (re)assessed, the student is required to:

                       * resubmit an ethics approval for a new project;

                       * receive education about the importance of obtaining ethical approval or of the importance of good conduct in research.


Misconduct Points

  • In addition to the penalty which is applied for an individual case of academic misconduct, students will receive 'misconduct points'  which are stored on the student's record (see table below). If students have multiple academic misconduct cases at B or exceptionally serious during their studies they will accumulate further 'misconduct points'.
  • If a student reaches 9 (or more ) misconduct points they are referred to study support services and their personal development tutor is notified.
  • If a student reaches 12 (or more) misconduct points the recommended penalty is expulsion. This must be considered by the Vice-Chancellor.  A student who is expelled under academic misconduct processes receives a detailed transcript detailing the credit they have attained. However, as part of the penalty, any immediate award that the volume of academic credit attained may attract is not conferred.



Office of the Independent Adjudicator

If a student is not satisfied with the decision of the Panel Hearing, the student may make representation to the OIA. For these purposes, where appropriate, the Academic Registrar will issue to the student a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’ required under OIA procedures.