Penalties in the regulations

The general principle is that the penalty should be appropriate to the scale of the offence and to the stage reached in the student’s academic career.

A student who is deemed to have committed academic misconduct may be liable to one or more of the following penalties.

For students on awards of other awarding bodies, they may be subject to the regulations and penalties of that awarding body relating to academic misconduct.

Looking over regulations

The decision maker should give reasons for the penalty selected. They should explain why any lesser penalty was not suitable. It is good practice for the decision maker to go through the range of penalties available and consider each one from the lowest to the most severe and to record that they have done so. If the misconduct is so serious that the most severe penalty is the only option, then the decision maker should explain why that is.

Decision makers should bear in mind that being found guilty of an academic misconduct offence might have more serious implications for some students. For example, a penalty limiting a student’s progression may have an unintended impact on a student with a deteriorating health condition or an international student’s visa status. The decision maker should explain how they have taken these implications into account, as well as the student’s extenuating circumstances and other mitigating factors.

Students should have the opportunity to present any mitigating circumstances or factors that they believe should be taken into account. Those factors are not normally relevant to deciding whether a student is guilty of an offence. They should normally be taken into account, however, when deciding on the penalty if the student is found to have committed an offence. Mitigating factors might include:

  • It is a first offence;
  • The student admitted the misconduct at the earliest opportunity;
  • The student has expressed remorse;
  • The student was found in possession of unauthorised material in an exam but did not intend to gain an advantage;
  • The student has compelling personal circumstances that affected their judgment.

Academic misconduct penalties

  1. an admonition (informal warning);
  2. a reprimand (a formal written warning which will remain on the student’s record for a specified period);
  3. a reduction in the mark awarded for one or more assessments in one or more modules / units (see guidance), with the opportunity to resit where appropriate;
  4. a mark of zero / fail grade for one or more assessments in one or more modules / units, with the opportunity to resit;
  5. a mark of zero / fail grade in one or more modules / units with no opportunity to resit;
  6. a reduction in the classification of award at honours level (only where the offence relates to honours level provision);
  7. suspension from the university for a specified period;
  8. permanent exclusion from the university.
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