In preparing for the upcoming examination period it’s important that you make yourself aware of the concept of academic integrity (which includes undertaking assessments honestly, in a responsible manner and respecting others’ ideas) and familiarise yourself with the online assessment rules and guidance.
Failure to comply with the University’s rules (whether that be intentional or not), and/or academic misconduct (including collusion and plagiarism), could result in sanctions that could affect the outcome of your degree. Make sure that you take the time to read and understand the assessment instructions. If there is anything you don’t understand you should ask your School Administration Office, personal academic tutor or module lead rather than your friends or course mates on the programme.
A helpful video on academic integrity can be found at Academic Integrity - student experience: Assessment Support Hub (bham.ac.uk). The guidelines on good practice and how to conduct yourself in online examinations can be found here. You should read/watch all the resources to help you to avoid any possible sanctions.
All assessments will be checked to identify any potential academic integrity concerns. An investigation may be commenced if there are any concerns about your work, for example, that it appears that you have worked with others (including other students) when it is not permitted (colluded) or you have plagiarised. Examples of plagiarism include copying from someone else, having somebody else prepare your assessment or failing to reference other published work/resources appropriately. Note that if you are aware of peers breaking academic integrity rules, you should contact the module lead.
An investigation would involve an interview with either the Academic Integrity Officer in your School or an Investigating Officer from Student Conduct Complaints and Appeals, depending on the type of assessment and the nature of the concerns about your work.
The Module Lead, Marker or another academic from your programme may also be in the interview. You may be questioned about the assessment, including the content and your understanding of the subject, as well as about how you completed the assessment. You have the right to take a ‘friend’ for support at these meetings and Guild Advice can support students to prepare for the meeting.
Following an interview, a decision will be made about the next steps. If you have been interviewed by an Academic Integrity Officer they will decide whether or not plagiarism has occurred and if so, what category of plagiarism. For moderate plagiarism a sanction may be imposed. The Academic Integrity Officer may also decide that serious plagiarism (Academic Misconduct) has occurred and refer your case to a College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee, which will consider the case at a hearing and can impose a sanction.
Alternatively, where you have been interviewed by an Investigating Officer in Student Conduct Complaints and Appeals, your case could be referred to a College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee, which will consider the case at a hearing and can impose a sanction. Any sanctions imposed will depend upon the seriousness of the academic misconduct and can include reducing the mark to zero without an opportunity to resit, reducing the degree classification and withdrawal from the University.
Further examples of plagiarism and exam irregularities can be found on the intranet and in the Code of Practice on Academic Integrity here.