Don’t risk your degree by cheating

Surely no one at the University cheats in their studies?

Well, sadly, it does happen. And the penalties can be serious. You could be formally reprimanded, lose marks, fail your assignment all together, or even have your studies terminated.

Understand what you can/can’t bring into your in-person exams

You are not allowed to bring certain materials into an exam venue when sitting an in-person exam. If you are found to have any of these items with you whilst sitting your exam, you could be found guilty of being in possession of prohibited materials. When entering the exam venue, please check carefully to ensure you do not have any of the following with you: 

  • Revision notes or other materials, including any notes written on your body or on other objects such as pencil cases or water bottles. 

  • Blank paper – if you wish to make any rough notes during your exam, you must do this in the answer book provided. 

  • Any internet-enabled devices, including (but not limited to) mobile phones, tablets and smart watches. 

  • Dictionaries, unless they are a translational English-Native Language dictionary (eg English-Chinese) which has been specifically approved by your School and accompanied by an authorisation letter. 

  • For some exams, calculators are not permitted. Please check with your module leader. 

For some exams, additional information (such as formula books or sheets) has been provided as part of the question paper to support you, and in some you will also be allowed to take in some key notes with you. If you are unsure at all about what you can bring in with you, you should contact your module leader well in advance of your exam who will be able to clarify what you can bring into the exam and what will be provided for you.  

If, on the day of your exam, you inadvertently bring prohibited materials into an Examination Hall you should immediately alert an invigilator who will be able to advise you. 

Get your referencing right

Make sure you know how to reference for your subject. You need to reference diagrams and tables as well as text.

If you don’t get your referencing right, it’s called poor scholarship. Incorrect referencing could mean a drop of around 10% in your mark.

If you copy from an external source and don’t reference it at all, you’re committing plagiarism – stealing someone else’s work, words or ideas and claiming they’re your own. You’ll be committing academic misconduct which could result in a formal reprimand or mean you lose some or even all of your marks.

Check with your tutor which referencing method they’d expect you to use. Read the guidance on referencing on the Library website. If in doubt, ask your tutor or the academic librarians for advice.

Don’t copy other people’s work

Never copy someone else’s work – even a very small part of it.

The University has a range of software programmes, such as Turnitin, that can match text, computer code, mathematics formulae and diagrams, and remember everything ever submitted, including all previous student assignments.

If you copy someone’s work, that’s plagiarism and you’ll be subject to the University’s academic misconduct procedures.

Don’t copy yourself

Submitting the same work, even just part of it, for different assignments is known as self-plagiarism. It incurs the same penalties as copying someone else if you don't reference your own work correctly.

And you can’t gain credit twice for same piece of work even if you do reference yourself correctly!

Don’t share your work with others

Never share any part of your work – your notes, your references, your completed assignment, or your revision materials – with anyone. Not your friends, other students, or companies. If you do, you’re potentially allowing someone else to cheat and you’re guilty of collusion or assisting another student to gain an unfair advantage. Both you and the person you’ve shared your work with will be committing academic misconduct. And you could still get into trouble even after you graduate.  

This is the same for when you are sitting your online exams – you must not communicate with anyone when you are taking the exam, share answers or work with anyone else, including over chat functions like WhatsApp or other social media. If you do, you could be found guilty of academic misconduct.  

Don’t claim someone else’s work is yours

Allowing or paying someone else to produce work for you, which you then submit as your own, is known as contract cheating. It doesn’t matter if your friend wrote it as a favour, a member of your family completed it for you, or it was a service you paid for.

Even if they only change your work slightly by adding references, rewriting some of the text or including a diagram, for example, it’s no longer all your own work and you could be charged with academic misconduct. And you would have your studies terminated and not gain your degree.

If you need help and advice…

If you’re struggling with your studies, talk to us. It’s always best to be honest.

There are a number of people at the University and Students’ Union who can offer you help, advice and guidance.

If you’re concerned in any way about your studies, coursework or exams, speak to your personal academic tutor or your lecturer or contact Student Services at the University.

If you think you might be cheating or you’ve received an allegation letter from the University, you can contact LSU Advice in the Students’ Union for independent, confidential and non-judgemental advice. Email

If you suspect that another student is cheating, you should speak to the Dean or Associate Dean for Teaching in your School.

Cheating is never the answer and it’s just not worth the risk to your degree.

Further information