A section of the Assessment Regulations deals with the University's approach to Academic Misconduct. The full text is available at the current Regulation XVIII page.
What is academic misconduct?
Academic misconduct is defined in the University's General Regulations as follows:
It is academic misconduct for any candidate in the course of any assessment to engage in one or more of the following activities:
- Failing to comply with the Rules for the Conduct of Written Examinations, for example by taking prohibited materials into an examination hall.
- Assisting another candidate to gain an advantage by unfair means, or receiving such assistance, for example by impersonation or the passing off of one individual's work as another's. This includes undeclared failure to contribute to group coursework assignments.
- Misleading the examiners by the fabrication or falsification of data.
- Plagiarism; namely submitting work as the candidate's own of which the candidate is not the author. This includes failure to acknowledge clearly and explicitly the ideas, words or work of another person whether these are published or unpublished - See Plagiarism.
- Collusion; namely submitting work as the student’s own of which the student is not the sole author, or knowingly providing material for another student to submit as their own work of which the submitting student is not the sole author. (Collusion occurs when the source of the unreferenced work is another complicit student, and differs from plagiarism where the source of the unreferenced work is another person who is unaware of its use.)
- Submitting work that the student has previously submitted for formal assessment at Loughborough or any other University, unless specific provision is made in the assessment brief.
- Engaging in any other activity likely to give an unfair advantage to any candidate.
Academic misconduct procedure
Suspected incidents of academic misconduct will be defined as minor or major depending on their seriousness. Other than in exceptional circumstances, incidents occurring in an examination hall will always be treated as major.
A candidate suspected of committing a minor offence will automatically be referred for action under the major offence procedure if s/he has previously been found guilty of any offence of academic misconduct, or is suspected of an offence in more than one assessed element of his/her programme.
Any circumstances which appear to suggest that a candidate has committed a minor act of academic misconduct will be reported to the Chair and Secretary of the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee for the School responsible for the module in question, who will decide whether any action should be taken under the Minor Offence procedure. If so, the candidate will be informed in writing. The candidate will be invited to admit or deny the allegation, and permitted to defend themselves in writing and/or in person, accompanied by an individual of their own choosing.
Having taken into account the evidence and the defence, if any, the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee will decide whether the candidate is guilty of the offence, and if so, what penalty should be imposed. The candidate will be notified in writing of the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee's decision.
Candidates found guilty of minor offences will have the right of appeal against the decision of the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee on specified grounds.
Major offences will be considered by the University's Academic Misconduct Committee.
Candidates will be notified in writing of alleged major offences by the Secretary of the Academic Misconduct Committee. Candidates may submit a written defence and any other written evidence, attend the Committee meeting in person accompanied by an individual of their own choosing and call witnesses.
Having taken into account the evidence and the defence, if any, the Committee will decide whether the candidate is guilty of the offence, and if so, what penalty should be imposed. The candidate will be notified in writing of the Committee's decision.
Candidates found guilty of major offences will have the right to appeal against the decision of the Academic Misconduct Committee on specified grounds.
Potential penalties for academic misconduct
Where a candidate is found guilty of a minor offence, the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee may impose one or more of the following penalties:
- The issue of a formal reprimand.
- The reduction by any amount of any or all of the marks obtained by the candidate in the module concerned.
Where a candidate is found guilty of a major offence, the Academic Misconduct Committee may impose one or more of the following penalties:
- The issue of a formal reprimand.
- The reduction by any amount of any or all of the marks obtained by the candidate in any module in the current part of the candidate's programme.
- The withdrawal of reassessment rights in any module in the current part of the candidate's programme.
- To set a cap on any mark achieved by the candidate on reassessment in any module in the current part of the candidate's programme.
- The immediate termination of the candidate's studies.
- In exceptional circumstances, where a student is found guilty of a first offence of academic misconduct in relation to a module undertaken on a second attempt basis, the Committee may permit the student to resubmit the work in which academic misconduct was found, at the next available opportunity, with the aim of achieving the minimum level of performance to allow progression (in which case the mark for the work will be capped at that minimum level).
Students found guilty of either minor or major offences shall have the right of appeal against the decision taken and/or penalties imposed by the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee or the University’s Academic Misconduct Committee. Possible grounds for appeal include:
- That there were serious circumstances affecting the student of which the Academic Misconduct Committee was not made aware when the decision was taken.
- That there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the investigation.
- That there is evidence of prejudice or bias against the student on the part of one or more of those involved in the case.
- That the penalty imposed disproportionate to the offence.
Making an appeal
If you wish to appeal and you think you have the grounds as set out above, you must do so by completing the Regulation XVIII appeal form (updated 2020). Forms should be submitted to the Secretary to the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee either via email to J.A.Hibbert@lboro.ac.uk or in hard copy to the address provided at the end of the appeal form.
Appeals must normally be submitted within 10 working days of the student receiving notification of the decision taken. Your completed appeal form should set out the grounds for, and the nature of, the appeal, and you should ensure that you have provided any supporting evidence. The Secretary to the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee may request further information or evidence from you before initial consideration is given to your case.
Appeals against minor offences will be reviewed by the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee. The Chair may confirm, set aside or amend the decision of the Minor Academic Misconduct Committee and may confirm, increase or decrease the penalty imposed. The Chair shall convey his/her decision in writing to the student within 15 working days of receipt of the complete appeal documentation from the student by the Secretary to the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee.
Students found guilty of major offences have the right of appeal to the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee which comprises:
- one Associate Dean (Teaching) who shall act as Chair;
- one experienced member of staff who is/has been a Director of Studies;
- one member of the Loughborough Students’ Union executive;
- one member of Academic Registry staff to act as Secretary to the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee.
The Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee may confirm, set aside or amend the decision of the Academic Misconduct Committee and may confirm, increase or decrease any penalty imposed. The student shall be informed of the decision and the reasons for it in writing within 3 working days of the meeting.