Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedure

Policy on Academic Integrity


  1. The University of Stirling is committed to protecting the quality and standards of its awards. Consequently, the University seeks to promote and nurture academic integrity and takes all forms of academic misconduct seriously whether intentional or otherwise.
  2. This policy sets out the University’s position in respect of academic integrity and exists in parallel with the Academic Misconduct Procedure which provides the process through which the University considers and responds to academic practice which may constitute academic misconduct.


3. Academic Integrity: 

The University adopts the following statement to define academic integrity:

"Academic integrity is about mastering the art of scholarship. Scholarship involves researching, understanding and building upon the works of others and requires that you give credit where it is due and acknowledge the contributions of others to your own intellectual efforts".[1]

Where a student does not act with Academic Integrity, their work may demonstrate poor academic practice or it may represent academic misconduct.

4. Academic Misconduct

The University defines academic misconduct as:

“any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community”.[2]

5. Plagiarism

“The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”.[3]

6. Poor Academic Practice

The submission of any type of assessment with a lack of referencing or inadequate referencing which does not effectively acknowledge the origin of words, ideas, images, tables, diagrams, maps, code, sound and any other sources used in the assessment. Poor academic practice is further defined and distinguished from plagiarism in Appendix 1.


7. This policy and the Academic Misconduct Procedure apply to all students of the University and therefore both taught and research programmes offered at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. It is also applicable to students undertaking a University of Stirling programme through an integrated INTO/University of Stirling route.

8. The policy and the Academic Misconduct Procedure are also applicable to students undertaking a University of Stirling programme through a collaborative, partnership or integrated route. Whilst this policy and the Academic Misconduct Procedure will apply only to those parts of study provided by or under the name of the University of Stirling, if a student receives any academic misconduct outcomes or penalties from the collaborative/partner institution, these will be counted within any determination of an outcome or penalty to be applied to the student under the University of Stirling Academic Misconduct Procedure.

9. Matters of academic misconduct are considered through the Academic Misconduct Procedure which accompanies and operates in parallel with this policy. However, where a student is confirmed to have engaged in academic misconduct and their actions may also represent non-academic misconduct and therefore an offence under  Ordinance 2, the Code of Student Discipline, the University may decide that it is necessary for action to be taken under that Code, in addition to the action taken through the Academic Misconduct Procedure. Where this is the case, action under Ordinance 2 will be progressed after the outcome of the Academic Misconduct Procedure has been determined.

Points of Policy

10. Academic integrity is central to the core business of the University of Stirling, and it is expected that all staff and students demonstrate honesty and integrity in all aspects of their scholarship.

11. The University operates an institution-wide approach to academic integrity and misconduct and seeks to nurture academic integrity through its engagements with students and assessment design and operation.

12. The University considers the five fundamental principles of academic integrity to be: honesty; trust; fairness; respect and responsibility. We expect our students and staff to:

  • Be honest in their learning, teaching, research and practice; to present work that is their own; and to make it clear when work, words and ideas are not their own.
  • Foster and promote a culture of mutual trust that is essential for creative academic environments where staff and students can collaborate, share information and ideas to enhance academic knowledge.
  • Act consistently with fairness and transparency.
  • Fundamentally respect each person and their views by valuing the diversity of opinions that exists at universities, and promoting the challenging, testing and refinement of ideas.
  • Act responsibly and work together to protect the integrity of our scholarship, teaching and research.[4]

13. Promoting and upholding academic integrity is the collective responsibility of the University, its staff and its students.

The University:

  • Ensures, via the Education and Student Experience Committee and its sub-committees, that its Academic Integrity Policy is robust and effective, easy to access and understand, and distributed widely to staff and all students.
  • Ensures that appropriate training in academic integrity, what constitutes academic misconduct and good academic practice is available to all students and staff.
  • Ensures that all academic staff have access to the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Ensures that all academic staff are provided with the appropriate training in identifying and dealing with academic misconduct.
  • Provides accurate details on a student or staff member’s academic honesty and integrity in any employer or professional body reference for a student or staff member in which such information is requested.

Academic Staff:

  • Ensure that all students for whom they provide supervision, or set and/or assess/examine work, are provided with information on what is expected of them in terms of academic integrity and the University’s Academic Integrity Policy, the academic expectations and conventions in their field, and what constitutes good academic practice.
  • Design assessments at module and programme levels in such a manner that makes academic misconduct less likely (e.g. change questions regularly, set realistic assessments in terms of level, load and submission dates).
  • Set appropriate conditions for group work and make it clear where the distinction lies between group work and individual work.
  • Cultivate a culture with their students of mutual respect for the production of one’s own work.
  • Act with academic integrity when creating and producing their own academic work.
  • Apply the Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedure consistently and fairly.


  • Act with academic integrity.
  • Submit for assessment/examination only work that they produced themselves and which duly acknowledges ideas, words and works of others that were used in the production of their own work.
  • Do not share their individual work with another student.
  • Secure and protect their work at all times.
  • Ensure that they act within the boundaries of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Seek relevant ethical approval before commencing research projects for dissertations and theses.
  • Proactively ensure they have a clear understanding of Academic Integrity and the University’s expectations in relation to this, including through completion of any academic integrity related training or tutorials that the University provides.

14. Where a student does not act with academic integrity, their work may demonstrate poor academic practice, or it may represent academic misconduct. One act of poor academic practice would not constitute academic misconduct, however repeated acts across more than one assessment could be considered as an infringement of academic integrity (see paragraph 16.1).

15. Academic misconduct can take several forms, although it should be noted that academic misconduct does not include differences in opinion and interpretation of research results and data.

16. The University recognises, amongst others, the following forms of academic misconduct:

16.1 Repeated Poor Academic Practice

As noted in paragraph 13, one act of poor academic practice would not constitute academic misconduct, however repeated acts across more than one assessment could be considered as an infringement of academic integrity, and therefore would require to be considered through the Academic Misconduct Procedure.

16.2 Plagiarism

Plagiarism (as defined in paragraph 5 and distinguished from poor academic practice in Appendix 1), is a specific form of cheating which usually occurs when a student is working independently on an assessment (e.g. essays, reports, presentations or dissertations). Examples of other people’s ‘work’ can include anything taken from any form of publications, internet sources, the spoken word, graphics, data and written text.

There are different forms of plagiarism including:

  • The inclusion of extracts from another person’s work without the appropriate acknowledgement of the original source(s).
  • The summarising of another person’s work without acknowledgement.
  • The substantial use of the ideas of another person without acknowledgement.
  • Copying the work or ideas of another person (including another student) with or without that person’s knowledge or agreement.
  • Attempts to circumvent the similarity checking programmes that the University uses (including the use of spinning websites to rephrase text).
  • Including material from lectures and seminars in assessments without acknowledgement of its origin.

16.3 Self-plagiarism

Students may only submit an item of written work for assessment once during their studies at the University of Stirling. Re-submission of the same work (whether in whole or in part, e.g. re-using only a paragraph from previous submitted work), is not permitted unless expressly noted in the module handbook as being appropriate, or where resubmission following enhancement of the item of written work in response to academic feedback has been permitted.  Re-submission of an item of written work in any other circumstance is not allowed and constitutes academic misconduct.

Different forms of self-plagiarism include:

  • Recycling the whole or parts of previously submitted coursework in the writing of another assessment, even if due recognition of this is given in the references.
  • Reusing the whole or part of coursework submitted in a different module in a different subject.
  • Reusing the whole or part of coursework submitted by the student to another educational institution.

16.4 Inappropriate use of proof-reading

The University of Stirling allows proof-reading of a final draft version of written work prior to submission by a proof-reader who is not the student who wrote and will be submitting the work. However third party proof-reading services may not edit and/or rewrite part or the whole of any written work, technical subject material and/or computer code, or translate written work into English from another language. Overall proof-reading must take place in line with the provisions of the ‘Statement on Proof-reading’ which is provided as Appendix 2.

16.5 Collusion

In simple terms, collusion is:

  • When one student copies the work of another student either with or without the knowledge of the original author; or
  • When two or more students work together on individual assessments.

The actions of all students involved in a case of collusion will be considered through the academic misconduct procedure, even where it is asserted that a student has copied another student’s work without the knowledge of the authoring student. This is because it is the responsibility of all students to ensure that their work is secure at all times, and therefore not available to be copied by another student.  If it is not possible to determine culpability, all students could be deemed to have colluded, and if so all students will receive the same penalty.

16.6 Falsification

Data collected from observations, experiments, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and polls are often used in academic assessments. It is academically dishonest to report anything other than the results obtained using the stated method of data collection. Falsification is the fabrication or invention of data, information or references in any formal academic exercise. Falsification includes knowingly misrepresenting data and research to show either a different process that was followed or a different end result from what was actually obtained or both. In particular, students must not:

  • Change or manipulate the method of data collection before the end of the data collection period, unless a full account is provided in the final report.
  • Change or omit data that has been collected without appropriate explanation and justification.
  • Add data collected outside the data collection period.
  • Add fictitious data.
  • Falsify data in order to make it fit a particular theory or preferred outcome

16.7 Piracy

The deliberate exploitation of ideas from others without proper acknowledgement.

16.8 Impersonation

Students must not impersonate another student, nor allow themselves to be impersonated at any time whether in a learning and teaching activity, in an assessment or at University meetings. Furthermore, it is also unacceptable for a student to coerce another to produce coursework or sit an assessment under exam conditions on their behalf.

16.9 Use of unfair means in an assessment taken under exam conditions

Students must not use any unfair means in any assessment taken under exam conditions. Therefore, means including the following are unacceptable during an assessment taken under exam conditions:

  • Unauthorised notes or information resources in any form.
  • The use of a mobile phone unless authorised by the invigilator.
  • The use of an electronic device, with the exception of digital exams where students are permitted to use their own devices.
  • The use of unauthorised calculators or dictionaries.
  • The use of smart watches.
  • Reading from another students work.
  • Communicating with another student unless the activity is specifically permitted.
  • Attempting to circumvent or circumventing online exam firewalls.

16.10 Bribery

All forms of bribery are illegal in the United Kingdom in terms of the Bribery Act 2010. In the context of this policy, attempting to improperly influence a member of staff in order to achieve an academic outcome through any means such as the giving of money or gifts, constitutes academic misconduct.

16.11 Contract Cheating

Contract cheating takes place when a student submits work for assessment that was completed by a third-party either for payment or for free. It is a broad category that includes, but is not limited to, work bought from so-called essay mills, and customised work commissioned from ghost writers. A further example would be a friend or family member completing an assessment for a student. Work in this category covers the whole spectrum of assessment types. Any form of contract cheating constitutes academic misconduct, often of the most serious form.

16.12 Dishonest Practice

Dishonest practice includes a wide variety of activities that aim to obtain an unfair advantage through:

  • The making of false declarations to Faculties, Academic Staff members, Boards of Examiners or Appeal Panels.
  • The submission of documents which have been forged in any way.
  • Attempting to gain or gaining access to examination or class test papers prior to their release and/or sharing examination or class test papers prior to their release.
  • Deliberate avoidance or refusal to engage with the relevant ethics review and approval process.

17. Where the University considers that a student’s work may demonstrate academic misconduct, this will be considered in line with the Academic Misconduct Procedure that accompanies this policy.

18. Decisions taken under the provisions of the Academic Misconduct Procedure on whether or not an allegation of academic misconduct is confirmed, and on the classification of academic misconduct offences, constitute academic judgement.

19. Some assessments will involve students working together on a particular project, on a group work basis. Such assessments may require students sharing ideas, research and having a joint responsibility for the development of a project. Group work is designed to build teamwork skills and necessitates group members collaborating with each other to develop specific aspects of the assessment. Where the assessment is based on a single piece of work produced by the group as a whole, students are expected to cooperate fully in all phases of the project. However, any part of the work which should be completed individually and which contributes towards an individual student’s formal assessment must be produced by that individual student. Any collaboration at this stage constitutes collusion.

20. Learning to express oneself in written English is an essential part of studying at a university. The University recognises this is a learning process and that some students may benefit from guidance offered by so-called third party proof-reader (i.e. friends, family, fellow students, etc.). Appendix 2 sets out an explanation of what the University allows in terms of proof-reading of students’ written work.

Academic Misconduct Procedure

Academic Misconduct Decisions

21. Decisions on whether or not an allegation of academic misconduct is confirmed are determined on the balance of probabilities and as noted in paragraph 18, constitute academic judgement. This means that even in circumstances where the available information or evidence may not be 100% definitive, a decision will be made on whether it indicates that academic misconduct is more likely to have taken place than not. It is not required to prove intention for academic misconduct to be confirmed as having taken place. Information to inform decision-making regarding academic misconduct is obtained, for example:

  • When similarity checking software (such as Turnitin) flags up sections in assessments that are derived or taken verbatim from other published sources which are not acknowledged in the text.
  • If a member of staff is able to locate specific source(s) that have been copied without due acknowledgement.
  • If there is evidence from a student’s previous portfolio of work (including assignments and examination scripts) that the work is not the student’s own.

Points of Procedure

22. In respect of poor academic practice, where a single example of poor academic practice is demonstrated, the staff member assessing the piece of work should advise the Divisional Chief Examiner of this. In line with the provisions of this procedure and Academic Integrity Policy, this will not constitute academic misconduct however, in conjunction with the staff member, the Divisional Chief Examiner will record the poor academic practice via the Portal and advise the student of the matter, either by email or in a meeting between the student and the Module Coordinator, at the discretion of the Divisional Chief Examiner. In all cases, the student will be advised:

  • of the poor academic practice issue(s);
  • regarding what constitutes good academic practice, or signposted to sources of guidance and support in order that the student can learn from this;
  • of the opportunity for the student to correct the poor academic practice and hand-in a corrected version of the assessment within the timeline advised by the staff member/Divisional Chief Examiner (normally approximately three to five working days). It is important to note that no sections of the work should be revised, other than those in which there is poor academic practice. The opportunity to correct poor academic practice is not an opportunity to undertake further work on the assessment and a student cannot gain advantage in terms of the outcome of the assessment through this process of correction. The grade awarded cannot be higher than that determined in respect of the original submission. In these circumstances, the assessment will then be treated as if the corrected version was the first version submitted for re-assessment purposes;
  • that if the student does not correct the work, all the sections in the assessment that contain poor academic practice will be excluded from marking, and the grade/outcome will be awarded solely on the basis of what is the student’s own work. In these circumstances, the student would continue to have an opportunity for reassessment in line with the Assessment Policy and Procedure; and
  • that any further examples of poor academic practice would constitute academic misconduct and as such would be considered further through the Academic Misconduct Procedure.

23. If an invigilator suspects candidate irregularity during an assessment under examination conditions, including during a respite break, the invigilator will inform the candidate, remove any possible prohibited material and endorse the candidate’s script. The candidate will be allowed to complete the assessment. At the end of the assessment the invigilator will inform the candidate that, in accordance with relevant regulations, a report will be made to Academic Registry to include a record of observed possession or usage of prohibited material, and that the student will be called to an academic misconduct meeting at a later date.  Personal electronic equipment should be returned to the candidate at the end of the assessment. In the event that the student refuses to hand over the prohibited material, the student will be asked to leave the assessment. Invigilators should ensure that there is minimal disruption to other students.

24. Academic Registry will receive a report from the invigilator as soon as possible after the event which will be circulated to the relevant Divisional/Subject Chief Examiner in order that this Academic Misconduct Procedure can consequently be followed.

25. In respect of text-based assessments submitted electronically, the University makes use of similarity checking software to check originality. Undergraduate, and postgraduate taught and research (taught elements only) students in all years for all modules, are allowed open access to the similarity checking programmes to check the originality of their written work on all text-based assessments prior to final submission.

26. Final copies of all text-based assessments must be submitted electronically through the Canvas Assignment Tool or other tool as specified by the University, by the due date.  The University protocol is that assessments will be checked for originality after they have been marked.

27. While similarity checking software is an important tool in detecting some forms of academic misconduct, ultimately academic judgement will be exercised in determining if academic misconduct had indeed taken place. In all cases where similarity checking indicates that academic misconduct may have taken place, this procedure should be invoked and followed.

28. In the case of postgraduate research work that has been submitted for examination or for purposes of progression or compulsory assessment prior to final submission, assessment of that work should cease at the point academic misconduct is suspected, pending the outcome of consideration of the matter in line with this procedure. If academic misconduct is suspected in the thesis during the examination process, the examination process must be stopped immediately, even if this is on the day of the oral examination. If academic misconduct is suspected in the thesis after the oral examination has taken place, but before the award has been made, the award or conferment process should be suspended pending the outcome of consideration of the matter in line with this procedure.

29. In all suspected cases of academic misconduct, the student should be invited to attend a meeting of the Academic Integrity Panel, and made aware of the allegation against them in advance of the meeting.

30. The Academic Integrity Panel will act under authority delegated to them from the Education and Student Experience Committee and in line with this procedure to consider and make a decision on the specific case.

31. The Academic Integrity Panel membership will comprise the Divisional/Subject Chief Examiner who will act as Chair, and one other academic member of staff from the relevant Division, normally the Module Coordinator. Where the suspected case of infringement involves more than one module in different Divisions, or relates to processes regulated at Faculty level the meeting will be chaired by the Faculty Chief Examiner.

32. The purpose of a meeting of the Academic Integrity Panel is for the Panel members to make a decision on whether or not academic misconduct has taken place, classify any offence that is confirmed, explain the penalty system and if appropriate, counsel the student about forms of academic support. It is not the business of the meeting to seek to determine motivation.

33. Meetings of the Academic Integrity Panel will normally take place in person. However, in some circumstances, the University may decide that it is appropriate for a meeting to proceed virtually, through electronic means.

34. The student will be provided the opportunity within the meeting to respond to the allegation of academic misconduct and to provide both verbal and written information that is relevant to their response. The student has the right to be accompanied at the meeting by one member of the University of Stirling community which includes a fellow student, staff member, or a representative from the University of Stirling Students’ Union. This meeting is not a legal proceeding and therefore a student may not be accompanied by an individual who is legally qualified, including where the individual is a member of the University community.

35. In cases of alleged contract cheating, at the meeting the student should be invited to:

  • Comment orally on the work they had submitted – e.g. defend/explain the main arguments presented in the written work; provide a short summary of the written work; discuss one aspect of the topic; and/or
  • Write a short (100-200 word) summary of the main focus or arguments of the essay. It may be beneficial to compare the work with assessments previously submitted by the student at the University; and/or
  • Translate a short (100-200 words) section into the target language (in language and translation modules).

36. No recording of the meeting is permitted.

37. Faculties should ensure that these meetings are convened in a timely manner, normally no longer than 10 working days after the suspected academic misconduct had been identified unless there is good cause or the point of the academic year does not support this. Students should be given notice, by email, of the meeting at least five working days before it is due to take place and must notify the Faculty/Divisional/Subject Chief Examiner of the name of any accompanying person at least two working days before the meeting.

38. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that a non-threatening approach is adopted at meetings, and that any Agreed Record of University Accessibility Adjustments (ARUAA) considerations are taken into account where required and appropriate adjustments made.

39. The failure of the student to attend the meeting will not prevent the Academic Integrity Panel from deciding on the matter and taking appropriate action in accordance with this procedure, and the Academic Integrity Policy.  Where a student has documented good cause for being unable to attend the proposed meeting, but indicates that they wish to attend, a suitable revised meeting date must be arranged.

40. In determining the severity of an act of academic misconduct, the Academic Integrity Panel will be guided by matters such as the level of study and the extent of the academic misconduct.

41. In cases where a student has submitted more than one assessment with poor academic practice within the same eight week period, all cases will be treated as a single case. Therefore, if this was the first such instance, the Academic Integrity Panel would not determine that academic misconduct had taken place, and the student would be allowed the opportunity to learn from this process.

42. Where an Academic Integrity Panel concludes that academic misconduct has occurred, in communicating the decision verbally at the end of the meeting, the Panel will notify the student why the work submitted constitutes academic misconduct, the penalty system should be explained, and guidance should be offered to the student on where to seek help and support.

43. In cases where a student is found to have submitted work that constitutes academic misconduct in more than one assessment within the same four week period, and where these are the first occurrences of academic misconduct, and each instance is subsequently categorised as a Minor or Moderate offence, the appropriate penalty will be applied in respect of each offence, but the offences will not be concluded to represent an offence at the next higher level. In respect of all Major or Serious offences, more than one offence will always constitute an offence at the next higher level, regardless of when the academic misconduct took place.

44. If the Academic Integrity Panel establishes that academic misconduct did take place, and the offence is categorised as Serious or Gross, the Chair should explain to the student that the case will also be reported to Academic Registry and may also be investigated under Ordinance 2: the Code of Student Discipline. In addition, it should be made clear that the decision of the Academic Integrity Panel and any associated penalties will stand, regardless of whether or not student disciplinary action is progressed, and any outcome determined through that action.

45. All confirmed offences will be reported to relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory bodies (PSRBs) and Fitness to Practice Panels where this is considered relevant and required.

46. Following the conclusion of a meeting of the Academic Integrity Panel, the Academic Misconduct Report Form should be completed and submitted online by the Chair of the Panel, within five working days of the meeting. 

47. Submitting the form attaches it to an e-mail which is sent to the student as a record of the meeting and also to Academic Registry in order that Academic Registry can then ratify and record the offence. Academic Registry will also subsequently inform both the student and the Faculty of the penalty to be applied.

48. All confirmed instances of academic misconduct should be notified to the relevant Board of Examiners through established Faculty procedures.

Classifications and Penalties

49. Where an academic misconduct offence is confirmed, the Academic Integrity Panel is required to decide how the offence should be classified. This classification will inform the penalty to be applied.

50. Different penalties are applied for different forms of academic misconduct. The general principles underpinning the approach to the determination of penalties under this procedure are that: the penalty should be appropriate to the offence; and the purpose of the Academic Misconduct Procedure is not solely punitive, in that opportunities should be taken to facilitate a student learning from the experience so that it minimises the likelihood of repetition in the future.

51. Academic misconduct offences may be classified as follows:

  1. Minor
  2. Moderate
  3. Major
  4. Serious
  5. Gross

52. A brief range of examples of the kinds of misconduct which may be categorised under each of these classifications, and possible penalties that may be associated with each is noted in the table provided in paragraph 53. It is important to note however that each case of academic misconduct will be considered on its own merits and the Academic Integrity Panel has the authority to decide on the classification of offences as it considers appropriate to the circumstances. Therefore, an academic misconduct offence may be classified differently to what is set out in paragraph 53, depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, the information included in the table should not be considered to be exhaustive and is provided for the purposes of exemplification only.


Examples of misconduct, classification and potential penalties
ClassificationExamples of MisconductExamples of Potential Penalties
  • One or more previous acts of poor academic practice.
  • One act of poor academic practice where the student has a previous academic misconduct offences recorded against them

Formal academic integrity warning.

The student will be provided an opportunity to correct poor academic practice and hand in a corrected version within a specified timescale, prior to the assessment being marked. The assessment would then be marked as normal, as if the corrected version was the first version submitted. If no corrected version is submitted, a mark of zero will be awarded for the assessment, with reassessment allowed in line with the Assessment Policy and Procedure if necessary/applicable.

  • Plagiarism cases where a piece of work contains sections from other sources without due acknowledgement.
  • Self-plagiarism.
  • Inappropriate use of proof-reading.
  • One or more previous academic misconduct offences, classified as a Minor or higher level offence.

The original mark/outcome, if any, is held back until a new and acceptable (i.e. academic misconduct free) version of the work is submitted. Resubmission must be made within one month of being requested.

For taught provision, the final mark will be capped at the pass mark. The work must be re-submitted to either receive a capped pass mark or a fail mark. If the student makes no attempt to redraft the work, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Reassessment is allowed in line with the Assessment Policy and Procedure if necessary/applicable.

  • Plagiarism cases where the majority of a piece of work is taken from other sources without due acknowledgement.
  • Piracy.
  • Circumventing of the similarity checking programmes.
  • Collusion.
  • Use of unfair means in an assessment taken under exam conditions.
  • Third-party editing of written text.
  • One or more previous academic misconduct offences, classified as a Moderate or higher level offence.

Allocation of zero for the module and no reassessment allowed.

PGR thesis not accepted in its present form but the student given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the thesis within six months. 
  • Impersonation.
  • Dishonest Practice.
  • One or more previous academic misconduct offences, classified as a Major or higher level offence.

Allocation of zero for the module, no reassessment allowed, and unable to graduate with honours or masters.

Thesis not accepted in its present form, student given the opportunity to amend the affected portion only for resubmission for an award at a lower level.

  • Falsification.
  • Bribery.
  • Contract Cheating.
  • One or more previous academic misconduct offences, classified as a Serious or higher level offence.

Termination of studies and no award possible.

Thesis rejected and no degree possible to be awarded. 


54. The University of Stirling Academic Appeal process exists to provide an opportunity for a student to request a review of a decision made regarding an academic matter. Where a student wishes to submit an appeal, they are required to do so on the appropriate appeal form, and an appeal will only be considered by the University where there is both: a right of appeal in respect of the decision the student wishes to be reviewed; and grounds for appeal.

55. There is no right of appeal against a decision made on the basis of academic judgement, where this judgement has been applied in line with the relevant policy and/or procedure.

56. The grounds for appeal are that the decision: was unreasonable because it did not adequately take into account all the factors affecting the student’s performance; is procedurally incorrect or has been taken in the absence of all the relevant information (for example, the existence of a medical condition).  Appeals are not considered on the grounds that academic performance was adversely affected by factors such as ill-health if there is no contemporaneous, independent, medical or other evidence to support this.


[1] Statement credited to the University of Tasmania, Academic Integrity, 2010.

[2] University of California at Berkeley, ‘Academic Integrity: Definition’,

[3] Oxford English Dictionary, ‘Plagiarism’,

[4] Defined by the International Center for Academic Integrity. T. Fishman (ed.), The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity (second edition, ICAI, Clemson University). Text adapted from this document.