The University is committed to developing high standards of academic practice among its students and to safeguarding the standards of its academic awards. It regards any form of academic misconduct as an extremely serious matter.
cheat i.e. fail to comply with the rules governing examinations e.g. by making arrangements to have unauthorised access to information;
collude i.e. assist another student to gain an advantage by unfair means, or receive such assistance;
fabricate i.e. mislead the examiners by presenting work for assessment in a way which intentionally or recklessly suggests that factual information has been collected which has not in fact been collected, or falsifies factual information;
personate i.e. act, appear, or produce work on behalf of another student in order to deceive the examiners, or solicit another individual to act, appear, or produce work on their own behalf;
plagiarise i.e. incorporate within their work without appropriate acknowledgment material derived from the work (published or
unpublished) of another;
deceive i.e. intentionally or recklessly present fabricated or misleading information (e.g., relating to medical and compassionate circumstances) in order to gain advantage in regard to an assessment or progression or procedural requirements."
For full guidelines download The University of York Academic misconduct Policies, Guidelines and Procedures for all programmes of study.
Within a case of suspected misconduct, where the student has used unacknowledged work from the public domain (for example, from a book, journal article or website), the principle of ‘absolute liability’ is applied. This means that the student is held responsible for having inappropriate material in their work, regardless of whether or not they intended to plagiarise the sources. This rule also applies to cheating in exams, for example when a student takes in a ‘crib sheet’ it is assumed that they knew this was wrong. The exception to this is when the misconduct is established solely on the balance of probabilities and a number of sources might have been used but it is not certain which ones. Additionally, when a student has unknowingly had their work taken and plagiarised, absolute liability should not be applied to this student but only to the student who has stolen the work.
There are three courses of action the Department could take:
1. Pedagogical approach: formative work
Formative work does not count towards an award, transcript mark or progression decision. If academic misconduct has occurred in a piece of formative work (and there are no wider issues of dishonesty - e.g. forging documentation) Departments can warn the student of consequences should the same misconduct occur at a summative level. A note will be placed on the student file.
2. Formal warning
When the piece of (summative) work affected contributes less than 0.5% to the award, no formal warning has previously been issued and there are no wider issues of dishonesty, Departments can issue a formal warning. The student is informed and asked for a response to the allegation. If the student agrees with the allegation, a meeting with the Department takes place. The student will receive a written warning and details of training opportunities. A record of the case will be kept on their file and the student will be told that any further occurrences of plagiarism will be subject to full academic misconduct procedures, which could mean termination of enrolment.
3. Full investigation
This procedure is instigated when the summative piece of work affected contributes to more then 0.5% of the award, a wider issue of dishonesty has been found or this is a second case of academic misconduct. An investigating sub-committee is set up on behalf of the Board of Examiners, chaired by the Chair of the Board of Examiners. The evidence will be reviewed and the student interviewed. It will be decided whether academic misconduct has or hasn’t occurred. If it has, the nature and extent of the misconduct in relation to the work as a whole will be decided. Other work completed by the student may be considered. Mitigating circumstances are considered if raised by the student.