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Academic Misconduct and How to Avoid It

Deadline season is upon us, but your Advice team are here to help you avoid Academic Misconduct!

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At this time of year, you may be working towards completing your assessments for your Autumn term units. This can be a stressful time for students and unfortunately can lead to academic misconduct taking place. We want to ensure you are equipped in understanding what academic misconduct is, and how you can avoid it!

What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic Misconduct refers to any form on academic cheating, either intentional or unintentional. UAL defines academic misconduct as ‘any act which gains, attempts to gain or helps others in gaining or attempting to gain an unfair academic advantage.’ For example, poor referencing or lack of referencing due to mistakes would be considered as misconduct by UAL. UAL take any form of academic misconduct seriously.  

Plagiarism is a common form of academic misconduct. Plagiarism is where a student steals another person’s ideas and presents them as if the ideas were their own. In written work plagiarism is often flagged by Turnitin, a checking software that compares your work to others at UAL, students at other universities across the world, online sources, and publications. During your time at UAL, you will be encouraged to reference the work of other artists, writers, designers, or performers who influence your work and tutors will expect to find reference to the sources of your ideas in supporting documentation such as sketchbooks or initial drafts. Tutors may also investigate plagiarism in practical assessments if they think you have copied concepts, submitted someone else’s work, or received hands on help from others when working on your project when you should not have. As long as the source of the ideas is acknowledged, then this is not plagiarism.

How can I Avoid Academic Misconduct?

When working on your submission, you should reflect on the following:

  • How do you reference?
  • How do you take inspiration from other work?
  • How do you take notes?
  • What is your essay writing process?

UAL recommend students use Cite Them Right Online, as this is the University’s approved online tool for Harvard referencing. This lists the correct way to reference any source, from books, journals and essays to works of art, computer programmes and web pages.

The UAL Academic Support team are also here to support students during their time at UAL, if you need advice and guidance on a range of academic concerns. This includes advice and guidance on areas such as research and library skills, reading, writing, digital skills, and language development. More information about what the UAL Academic Support team can help you with can be found here.

It's also important to note that bots on social media that promise to help you to complete your assignments are everywhere, but using their services often leads students to being scammed out of hard-earned money, and a plagiarism accusation too. Please be mindful of these bots when on social media!

What can I do if I am Suspected of Academic Misconduct?

If you have been accused of misconduct, you’ll be sent a letter (or email) from your tutor inviting you to a meeting to investigate this further. Here at Arts SU Advice Services, we can support students throughout the Academic Misconduct process.

We can:

  • Advise you on the process.
  • Read over any documents you receive and help you make sense of them.
  • Help you structure what you’ll say if you are invited to a panel.
  • Accompany you to any meetings you may have.  

If you have been suspected of academic misconduct and would like to have a chat about your next steps, then you can book an appointment with Arts SU Advice services here. You can find out more information about the Academic Misconduct process on Arts SU website.


Contact the SU Advice Service

Email us

Usually the fastest way to contact us is to email using our contact form.

We always aim to reply within 5 working days, but often reply much sooner.

We generally answer in chronological order but if your issue is very time sensitive please mark your email 'Urgent' and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Book an appointment (new clients only)

If you prefer to speak to someone directly, and you have not spoken to us previously about the issue, you can book an appointment with an Advisor.

If you already have an Advisor assigned to you and you would like to speak to them please just email them directly - this will be usually be much faster than using the booking form!

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