Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct


The University of Suffolk takes academic misconduct very seriously so it’s important that you understand what academic misconduct actually is, and what precautions you can take to ensure that you avoid being called up for a suspected academic offence.

What is academic misconduct?

If you’ve been accused of academic misconduct, it usually means that you have been accused of either plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, cheating or a failure to have ethical approval.

I’ve just received a letter accusing me of academic misconduct. What do I do?

If you are being investigated for Academic Misconduct, you will receive a letter from the University asking you to write a statement stating whether you accept or deny the allegation that has been made against you. Firstly, don’t panic. As difficult as it is, don’t automatically assume the worse is going to happen. Make an appointment or drop in to the SU to speak to someone. We can give you some advice on how to write the best possible statement, and we’ll even read a draft before you’re ready to submit it. Remember it’s always best to be honest and if the allegation is true, try to explain why it happened. Were you working on a piece of group work? Was there a problem with your reference list?

The Academic Misconduct Panel can’t take into account any extenuating circumstances when they deliberate whether or not an offence has been committed, but they may look at whether there was any intent to gain an unfair advantage and will use whatever you tell them to help them decide what penalty they should recommend.

Download a template guide for help with writing your statement here.

I’ve been invited to attend the academic misconduct panel. Do I have to attend?

If you don’t submit a statement, the Panel will take it that you are accepting the allegation. You’ll be asked if you want to attend the panel in person, but this is completely your choice. If you do decide to attend and want some support, let us know and we will be happy to attend with you.

Relevant links:

Academic Misconduct Policy

Preparation and Conduct of Examinations Policy