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Cheating and Unfair Practice

When a student tries to gain higher marks in an exam or assessment by cheating this is called unfair practice.

As you undertake assessments, examinations, essays and practical work, it is important that you understand the rules of unfair practice.

What is unfair practice?

Unfair Practice is defined in the University’s Unfair Practice Procedure. Unfair Practice is defined generally as 'any act whereby a person might obtain for him/herself or for another, an unpermitted advantage or a higher mark or grade than his/her abilities would otherwise secure'.

Unfair Practice can take one or more of a number of forms in relation to non-examination and examination conditions. Examples could be taking notes or electronic devices into an examination, or presenting other people's work as your own in an assessment.

Categories of unfair practice

Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when work that is submitted for assessment contains the words or ideas of others without the original source being properly attributed or acknowledged.

It includes attempts to pass off work that has been produced by fellow students as your own, your own work that you have used for previous assessments, or words or ideas that are found in textbooks, in articles, on the Web, or in any other format.

Collusion

Collusion takes place when work that has been done with others is submitted and passed off as solely the work of one person. When working with others you must ensure that you are clear about what can be done in collaboration with others, and what must be solely your own efforts.

Self-plagiarism

As advised above, if you should copy work used in a previous assessment for another piece of work, this will still constitute plagiarism.

Examination misconduct

This can include but is not limited to;

  • Opening the question paper or writing in your answer book before the exam has started.
  • Trying to continue writing once you have been told to stop.
  • Taking in notes or electronic devices on you that are not permitted (including mobile phones, or pre-programmable calculators).
  • Talking to other students.

Assessment Misconduct

This can include but is not limited to;

  • Presenting other people's work as your own
  • Presenting group work as your individual work.

If I am accused of unfair practice

Examination

If the assessment is an exam then the invigilator who suspects unfair practice will inform you that they will be reporting you to the Superintendent of Examinations and will confiscate any evidence. This will include mobile phones or electronic devices: these are not allowed in exam venues unless expressly permitted within the exam rubric. The Superintendent will decide either to:

  • Refer the case to a Committee of Enquiry;
  • Take no further action.

The Committee will consider the evidence submitted to it on the allegation of unfair practice, determine whether the allegation has been substantiated and if appropriate, apply a penalty.

The Committee has the following range of options to choose from:

  • A formal reprimand;
  • Study skills training;
  • The cancellation of marks for an assessment or module or year of study;
  • A recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor that your progress is postponed for a year;
  • To reduce your degree classification by one class or to not award you a distinction;
  • A recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor that you are disqualified from all future assessments.

If you are not happy with the decision, you are able to appeal this.

Assessment

If staff believe you may have committed unfair practice you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Unfair Practice Coordinator and the member of staff who identified the possible unfair practice. The arrangements for this meeting will be explained to you at the time.

If the assessment is summative (it does count towards your end of year mark) then the Chair of the Examining Board can decide to:

  • Take no further action;
  • Ask you to undertake study skills and warn you of the possible future consequences;
  • Require you to undertake study skills and set the mark for your assessment to zero;
  • Refer the case to a Committee of Enquiry.

If the assessment is formative (it doesn't count towards your end of year mark), then the Chair of the Examining Board can decide to:

  • Dismiss the concern;
  • Require you to undertake study skills training;
  • Place a note on your student record which will remain throughout your studies.

Remember, the University considers it your responsibility:

  • To check and ensure that you have referenced your work correctly;
  • To check you are not bringing any unauthorised material into the exam room;
  • To ensure that the work you submit for an individual assignment is your own and is not from colluding or copied from others or previous work submitted.

How can Student Advice help?

If you are facing an allegation of unfair practice, you can speak to Student Advice in confidence about your case and a Student Advice adviser can help you to prepare your response to the allegation. Student Advice is independent from the University so we can offer you confidential and impartial advice.

It is important that you contact Student Advice as soon as you receive a letter about unfair practice, whether it’s from your School’s Unfair Practice Co-ordinator or the Superintendent of Examinations. A Student Advice adviser can explain the procedure to you, attend any meetings with you and help you draft a response to the allegation.
 

List of Unfair Practice Coordinators 

School

Unfair Practice Coordinator

Contact Details

Architecture

Kathryn Wilkinson

WilkinsonK2@cardiff.ac.uk

Bioscience

Barbara Evans

EvansB@cardiff.ac.uk

Business

N/A

CARBS_StudentCases@cardiff.ac.uk

Chemistry

Mark Elliot

ElliotMC@cardiff.ac.uk

Computer Science

Xianfang Sun

Sunx2@cardiff.ac.uk

Dentistry

Fiona Kiely

kielyf@cardiff.ac.uk
02920744221

Earth

Lesley Cherns

cherns@cardiff.ac.uk

ENCAP

Michelle Adridge

aldridgem@cardiff.ac.uk

Engineering

TBC

TBC

Geography and Planning

Gareth Enticott

EnticottG@cardiff.ac.uk

Healthcare

Jayne Foley

Amanda Holland

Anna Sydor

foleyj@cardiff.ac.uk

HollandA4@cardiff.ac.uk

SydorA@cardiff.ac.uk

 

History, Archaeology and Religion

Kate Gilliver

GilliverK@cardiff.ac.uk

Journalism, Media & Culture

Nick Mosdell

Mosdelln1@cardiff.ac.uk

Law

Demetra Arsalidou

ArsalidouD@cardiff.ac.uk

Mathematics

Nikolai Leonenko

LeonenkoN@cardiff.ac.uk

Medicine

UG: Carmen Van der Berg

PGT: Sharron Heathcote

UG: vandenbergcw@cardiff.ac.uk

PG: HeathcoteS@cardiff.ac.uk

Modern Languages

Angharard Brown

browna23@cardiff.ac.uk

Music

Cameron Gardner

Gardnerc1@cardiff.ac.uk

Optometry

Ashley Wood

Wooda2@cardiff.ac.uk

Pharmacy

TBC

TBC

Physics & Astronomy

TBC

TBC

Psychology

Margaret Walby

 

WalbyM@cardiff.ac.uk

Social Sciences

TBC

TBC

Welsh

Lisa Sheppard

SheppardLC@cardiff.ac.uk

 

 
A Student Advice adviser can explain the procedure to you, attend any meetings with you and help you draft a response to the allegation.