1. What does this mean?
It is unfair practice to do anything whereby you may gain an
unfair advantage in any formal examination or assessment.
Whether you worked alone or with others, any action that falls
under this definition will be investigated.
If you would like assistance and support during an unfair practice
process contact the Students’ Union.
2. What sort of things would be deemed unfair practice?
Although this is not an exhaustive list, the sorts of things that are
seen as unfair practice are:
This is where you may have used someone else’s words or
ideas as your own without acknowledging that it is not your own
original work. You may have used quotations from someone
else’s published work (eg, textbooks, articles, the Web), but
haven’t used quotation marks and acknowledged the source.
You may have also used someone else’s words or ideas and have
changed them slightly to pass them off as your own work without
referencing the source.
If you submit work which has been undertaken by or with others,
but you pass it off as only your own work without acknowledging
their involvement. It is possible that both parties can be found at
fault here if the originator is aware of the action.
Fabrication of data
If you make up false claims relating to data, experiments,
False special circumstances
If you give false evidence to the Exam Boards about special
circumstances which may be affecting you.
3. What about in exam conditions?
You could also be accused of unfair practice during a formal exam
setting. For example, if you tried to copy from or communicate
with another candidate OR have any unauthorised material on
4. What happens?
If the Deputy Dean of Learning and Teaching (DDLT) believes that
a case exists, they shall inform Academic Registry indicating the
appropriate options to be given to the candidate. If no case exists,
and the candidate is aware of the investigation, the candidate
shall be informed by the School that the matter is closed.
5. If it is decided that a case of unfair practise exists
If the unfair practice concerns any assessment totalling 20 credits
or more, your case will automatically be taken to a Committee of
Enquiry. If the unfair practice concerns an assessment totalling
20 credits or less you may either:
• Accept a fixed penalty
• A formal reprimand
• Cancellation of mark for the relevant assessment
• Unfair Practice Penalty Fee
• Opportunity of reassessment capped at 40% (bare minimum
6. My case has gone straight to a Committee of Enquiry – I haven’t been given the option of a ‘fixed penalty’, why?
Occasionally the Chair of the relevant Exam Board will require a
case to go straight to Committee if:
• the work concerned is worth 20 credits or more.
• the case is perceived to be too serious for a Fixed Penalty.
• this is not the first offence to be considered.
• in a case of collusion.
If your case concerns a dissertation, it will always go to the
Committee of Enquiry which will convene as soon as possible,
normally within 8 working weeks.
7. Will I have to attend this enquiry?
You will be told the date, place and time of the Enquiry and will be
invited to attend. You can bring one other person to the committee
in a support capacity. If you are going to be accompanied and/
or represented you will need to inform the meeting Secretary of
the name of the person in writing in advance of the meeting. If
you decide not to attend the Enquiry it will still go ahead in your
absence, or you may choose to be represented at the meeting.
You can seek advice from the Students’ Union and be represented
by the Vice President at the Committee.
At the committee you will have the opportunity to listen to all
the evidence of the alleged unfair practice and to ask questions,
call witnesses and submit other evidence, including mitigating
circumstances if you wish.
Please Note – Respond to all communication from the regulations department within
the time frame specified in letters.
8. What if the Enquiry comes to the conclusion that I have committed an act of unfair practice?
The Committee shall impose a penalty on you: the penalties
available to the Committee are found in the Unfair Practice
procedures in the Academic Handbook.
You will be informed of the findings of the Committee and
the penalty they are going to impose and will have written
confirmation within 5 working days. The penalty will be recorded
on your student record.
If the allegation was found to be unsubstantiated then you will
be informed and all record of the case will be removed from your
9. I am not happy with the outcome of the Committee of Enquiry; can I appeal their decision?
You may appeal if:
• You feel that the unfair practice procedure was not conducted correctly and
may have had a bearing upon the outcome.
• You had exceptional personal circumstances which were not known at the
time of the Committee of Enquiry but can be shown to be relevant to the unfair
• If you have new evidence and have good reason as to why it could not be
presented at the time of enquiry.
An appeal must reach the Academic Registry no later than 14
days after the Committees decision has been despatched to you.
If you are unhappy with the findings you can make a complaint
to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Any complaint
made to the OIA needs to be submitted within 12 months of
receiving your Completion of Procedures (COP) letter from the
Please see the OIA website for further details www.oiahe.org.uk
57-75 Kings Road
Tel: 0118 959 9813