The University is committed to fair assessment procedures for all students. Our academic integrity policy is designed to uphold the highest standards of honesty in your assessed work at all times. When the principles of academic integrity are breached, it is called academic misconduct.
The University is committed to educating its students about academic integrity and ensuring that its importance to the quality of everyone’s education is widely understood. The student academic integrity policy sets out the principles that underpin fair assessment and ensures the quality of all academic awards made by the University. It tells you what is expected of you when you submit work for assessment.
When the principles of academic integrity are breached, it is called academic misconduct. Academic misconduct falls broadly into two categories:
When there is a suspicion that academic misconduct has occurred, the University will initiate its academic misconduct process. The academic misconduct procedures tell you exactly what will happen if there are grounds to suspect you have breached the student academic integrity policy.
Academic misconduct covers a number of behaviours and activities. The following is a summary only; for a full explanation, please read the student academic integrity policy and the academic misconduct procedures.
Everyone has a role to play in maintaining academic integrity at the University. As part of our 'whole community' approach, everyone is responsible for understanding academic integrity and role-modelling it to others.
In order to distinguish between your own work and that of others, you should ensure that you:
When writing a report or an essay, it is important that each time you use someone else’s ideas from a book, article, TV programme, newspaper report or conference proceeding, you tell your readers immediately in the text. This is called a ‘citation’. You should do this in all academic work including, but not limited to, essays, reports, case studies, presentations, academic posters, code and music.
The citation links to a reference list, usually provided in a bibliography at the end of the work. (Failure to provide a reference may expose you to charges of plagiarism.)
Expectations of standards of citation and referencing should conform to those agreed institutionally, or at course level. Unless your course follows a referencing system aligned to your professional field, you will use the Harvard style of bibliographical citation and referencing. The current version of Harvard defined by the University is detailed in the Cite Them Right publication (Pears and Shields, 2019). This publication covers most systems of citation and referencing and is available in the library, or you can purchase your own copy from the Bookshop. You can also access the electronic version of the publication via your Blackboard.
The University recognises that some disciplines require alternative systems, e.g. to meet professional standards at a national level. Where this is the case, you will be given clear guidance on using the alternative system equivalent to that provided for the University standard.
The detection and assessment of academic misconduct is primarily a matter of academic judgement. However, Turnitin is a tool used by educational institutions worldwide to assist academic staff in their decision-making when establishing individual cases where action must be taken. An add-on to Turnitin, to help spot the signs of contract cheating, is currently being piloted.
Turnitin is a form of software that compares the work you submit with a database containing millions of other texts, including essays submitted to other institutions, journal articles, webpages, eBooks and other open access information. This is referred to as ‘similarity checking’.
Turnitin is used to similarity check all Undergraduate level and Master's level coursework, unless your tutor specifically tells you otherwise.
Where Turnitin is used for similarity checking, the University’s academic integrity policy requires that the University will:
Specific arrangements for your course will be communicated by your course tutors, typically in the course handbook.
The penalties for academic misconduct can be serious. It is important that you read the University’s student academic integrity policy and academic misconduct procedures.
Students who are suspected of academic misconduct will have the relevant piece of work and personal circumstances investigated according to approved University procedures (see the assessment procedures manual).
These procedures aim to be clear and unambiguous and are based on the principle that judgements about misconduct offences are academic ones. The procedures set out several possible courses of action and are designed to ensure that all students in the University are treated consistently.
The procedures are also designed to ensure that all investigations into suspected misconduct are carried out fairly, thoroughly and impartially. This is achieved by the convening of independent panels of academic staff to investigate the alleged misconduct and, where appropriate, impose a suitable penalty.
Students facing charges of misconduct must:
In the event of an academic misconduct investigation, students always have the opportunity to explain their position and are strongly encouraged to seek support from Christ Church Students’ Union as soon as possible. The Students’ Union offers independent and impartial advice to students going through University procedures - before, during and afterwards.
If you agree in writing, the Students’ Union or a Student Support and Wellbeing Adviser may act on your behalf.
You may also wish to seek advice from your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT).
There is also a right to request a review of the outcome of any investigation. The University will tell the student how to do this as part of the outcome.
We are here to support you develop the academic skills you need to succeed in your studies.