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Plagiarism (Cheating) Information for Arts

University policy makes a distinction between plagiarism and cheating.

Plagiarism means to take and use another person’s ideas and or manner of expressing them and to pass them off as one’s own by failing to give appropriate acknowledgement. This includes material from any source, staff, students or the Internet – published and un-published works.

Cheating is seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in an examination or in other written or practical work required to be submitted or completed for assessment.

Essentially, plagiarism by itself is not grounds for disallowing work or failing an assessment task. Only 'cheating' – which means plagiarism that can be shown to be 'deliberate', or that involves some intent to deceive or to gain unfair advantage, or that is done despite prior warnings and instructions – can be a grounds for disallowing work.

So if the passing off was:

  • done intentionally, the student has cheated;
  • not intentionally, the only offence the student has committed is the academic misdemeanour of failing to reference a source correctly.

What will happen if you are suspected of plagiarising?

If you are suspected of plagiarising, the unit coordinator will speak to you to ascertain how the plagiarism occurred and whether there are grounds for believing it to be intentional.

You will be given an opportunity to explain the suspected plagiarism in a meeting with the unit coordinator. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you will be sent a letter and asked to respond within 10 working days.

It will be decided if the suspected case was not intentional or intentional.

If cheating is found to have occurred, you will be informed of the provisions of Statute 4.1 – Discipline as to what penalties may be applied.

Not Intentional - Plagiarism

If the unit coordinator believes that the plagiarism was not intentional, you will be sent a warning letter and one of the following courses of action will be taken:

  • the paper will be marked without penalty (deduction of marks); or
  • the paper will be marked with penalty; or
  • you will be asked to resubmit the paper and it will be marked without penalty.
  • you will be asked to resubmit the paper and it will be marked with penalty.

A copy of the warning letter will be retained on the plagiarism register.

Intentional - Cheating

If it is believed that the plagiarism was intentional, the unit coordinator will either decide to disallow the piece of work or to refer the matter to the Faculty Manager.

Work Disallowed

If the unit coordinator decides to disallow the piece of work, you will be informed of this in writing and given the opportunity to appeal.

Referred to Faculty Manager

If the unit coordinator decides to refer the matter to the Faculty Manager, you will be sent a formal 'charge letter' setting out the details of the accusation and setting a date for a hearing. You must then prepare a reply and may consult a Student Rights Officer.

If the charge of cheating is upheld, you may be subject to further penalties such as a reprimand, suspension or exclusion, and a record is kept of the fact that your work was disallowed. You also maintain a right of appeal to the university's Central Discipline Committee.

If the charge of cheating is not upheld, your work will be assessed.


Avoid Plagiarism

There are a number of resources you can access for help and advice on referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

Academic Language & Learning

The Arts Academic Language and Learning Unit offers individual guidance and group training in avoiding plagiarism, effective note-taking and essay writing.

Schools & Centres

The School/Centre teaching your unit can provide advice on the correct referencing style for your area of study.

Library Resources

The Library provides courses in referencing styles and avoiding plagiarism.