Penalties

Penalties for offences of plagiarism are set out in Senate Regulation 11.61 to 11.63:

The text below is an extract from Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Senate Regulation 11 (PDF). Extract correct as of August 2017  

11.61 Four categories of plagiarism have been identified and a penalty will be applied for each of these. A lesser category of poor academic practice is also recognized, which will not attract a penalty:
CategoryCharacteristicsAction

Poor academic practice (PAP)

First offences occurring in the first semester of a student’s course should normally be treated as poor academic practice

This is not a disciplinary offence and does not count as a first offence in the context of the Category 3 plagiarism definition.  PAP involves collaboration or poor citation practice where there is evidence that the student did not appreciate the rules of academic writing or where the extent of copied material can be considered so slight that it does not justify disciplinary proceedings or a penalty.  The work in question includes (among other characteristics):

  • a limited amount of material or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others in the student’s own words but without appropriate citation.
  • a limited amount of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly cited.
  • a limited amount of material or copied text that has been subjected to minor linguistic changes with or without citation.
  • a limited amount of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.
  • limited collaboration between students as evidenced by structure, source or copied text; this includes cases where the written work is original throughout.

A formal warning but no penalty is issued by the Departmental Plagiarism Officer and the student is directed to academic support within the department. 

The student is required to undertake the University’s on-line plagiarism tutorial. 
In cases of poor academic practice the mark will reflect the academic merit of the work; the mark is likely to be low.

Category 1 plagiarism and/or collusion

The work breaches the rules of academic integrity by presenting the material of others as the student’s original material.  Category 1 plagiarism includes (among other characteristics):

  • short blocks of material or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others without appropriate citation, or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.
  • short blocks of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly citied
    short blocks of material or copied text that have been subjected to minor linguistic changes and presented as the student’s own, with or without citation.
  • short blocks of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.
  • collaboration between students as evidenced by structure, sources or short blocks of copied text, (including copied text subjected to minor linguistic changes) or similar bibliographies.
    A short block of text may be as small as two continuing lines.
  • short blocks of copied code, other computer files or experimental results copied from another student or the work of others from online resources or books without appropriate referencing.

A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.

The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment. 

If this results in failure of the module, where resubmission is available, the student may resubmit the assessment for a capped module mark. 

The cap should be set at the pass mark for the programme.
Category 2 plagiarism and/or collusion

A Category 2 offence will be committed when the copied material represents a significant proportion of the work. The line between Category 1 and Category 2 offences will be determined by the level of similarity between the work and the source material on a case by case basis. Category 2 plagiarism includes (among other characteristics):

  • significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others without appropriate citation.
  • significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly citied;
  • significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text that have been subjected to minor linguistic changes and presented as the student’s own, with or without citation.
  • significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks. Significant blocks of text may be as small as several continuing lines
  • collaboration between students as evidenced by structure, sources, significant or numerous blocks of copied text, (including copied text subjected to minor linguistic changes) or similar bibliographies.
  • blocks of copied code, other computer files or experimental results copied from another student or the work of others from online resources or books without appropriate referencing.

A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.

The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment.  If this results in failure of the module, the student should be required to resubmit the assessment in order to fulfil the learning outcomes and obtain the module credits where this is required for progression purposes. No mark will be awarded. 

If this penalty does not result in the failure of the module, the module mark obtained for the module should be further reduced by 10% of the maximum available mark.

Category 3 plagiarism and/or collusion - ‘repeat offence’

A Category 3 offence will be committed if a Category 1 or 2 penalty has been applied to a student’s work on a previous occasion (i.e. a repeat offence). Contemporaneous offences or offences in which a student has had no opportunity to act upon advice arising from an earlier offence due to close submission dates etc. are not treated as repeat offences but may attract PAP, Category 1 or Category 2 penalties in the normal way.

The Plagiarism officer shall determine whether the latest instance of plagiarism is Category 1 or Category 2 in the level of severity.  The penalty to be applied shall then take into account the category of penalty of the prior offence.

If both offences are Category 1 then the penalty on the second offence is a Category 2 penalty.  If either of the two offences is a Category 2 offence then the penalty on the second offence is a Category 3 penalty.

The Category 3 penalty is as follows:
A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.

The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment.  If this results in failure of the module, the student should be required to resubmit the assessment in order to fulfil the learning outcomes and obtain the module credits where this is required for progression purposes. No mark will be awarded.

If the penalty does not result in the failure of the module, the module mark obtained for the module should be further reduced by 10% of the maximum available mark.

If this penalty does not reduce the degree classification at the end of the programme by one class, the degree class should be reduced by one class.  Where reduction in the degree class would result in undergraduate students not obtaining an Honours degree, or in Foundation degree students or postgraduate students failing the programme, their cases should be considered by a disciplinary panel.

Category 4 plagiarism and/or collusion A Category 4 offence is the most severe plagiarism where the departmental processes do not provide a sufficient penalty.  Examples include purchasing of work or soliciting to do so or multiple repeat offences.  It may also be appropriate to refer to a disciplinary panel a case which is complex and where the department is unable to establish the facts, for example a case of apparent collusion where the identification of the guilty party cannot be ascertained.  A disciplinary panel has the power to impose penalties up to and including expulsion from the University. Refer to Panel
11.62 Plagiarism in the honours-level or postgraduate project or dissertation will normally be considered as Category 2  or Category 4  plagiarism depending on the scale of the plagiarism . A Category 2 penalty applied to a postgraduate dissertation will result in failure to obtain a Master’s degree since no Master’s award can be made where a zero mark is recorded for the dissertation.  In such cases a resubmission is not offered and the Board of Examiners will consider whether an interim award is available. Where the plagiarism in the project or dissertation is very serious or a repeat offence then this will be treated as Category 4 plagiarism.
11.63 Resubmission of a student’s own work (self-plagiarism).  This occurs when a student submits material for assessment which s/he has previously submitted as part of another assessment exercise and which has been marked.  The extent of the offence would be evaluated using the above categories.

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