Academic misconduct

Oxford Brookes University manages breaches of academic regulations with a system that is designed to ensure that students suspected of academic misconduct are provided with an independent and transparent approach that is efficient, fair and speedy. Students have the right to see the evidence of their suspected misconduct, to be able to defend themselves and have the right to appeal a decision.

Academic misconduct can include (but is not limited to):

  • Plagiarism / submitting other people's work as your own - e.g. copying the words or ideas of another person with or without their knowledge or agreement and presenting it as one’s own. 
  • Falsification - e.g. the presentation or submission of false information within an attempt to gain academic credit. e.g. fabricating research results, or questionnaire responses.
  • Collusion - e.g. submitting work produced in collaboration with others, but claiming it is entirely the student’s own work.
  • Actions which enable another student to access or copy all or part of one’s own - e.g. sharing work with other students. 
  • Custom writing services  the use of materials created by third parties and/or web sites and/or Artificial Intelligence (AI) software/paraphrasing/image tools, and passed off as one’s own work. This includes all forms of contract cheating, such as the use of, running of, or participation in, auction sites and essay mills to attempt to buy or use assessments or answers to questions set. It is also an offence to provide one’s own work to others with the intention of personal gain.
  • Duplication - e.g. the inclusion in coursework of any material which is identical or similar to material which has already been awarded credit by the same student for any other assessment within the University or elsewhere, for example, submitting the same piece of coursework for two different modules.  

Please refer to the Academic Conduct Procedure in full.

Writing with a pen

Useful documents

Please refer to the Regulations for Study for additional guidance on what constitutes cheating and the Academic Conduct Referral Form if you have concerns about a student's academic integrity and if there may be evidence of misconduct.

Support for academic writing

Students are encouraged to seek support and not resort to cheating. The penalties can have an effect on your academic record and in some circumstances can impact upon your fitness to practise. 

Guidance and support for good practice can be accessed here:

Help and advice

Help and advice is available from a variety of sources across the University:


If your marker believes you may have breached the academic conduct regulations, they will refer you to the Student Investigation and Resolution Team. An academic conduct officer will then review the piece of work. They will decide whether 

  • a) the work is problematic or not. If not, the work will be marked as normal. If there are problems, the academic conduct officer will then decide:
  • b.i) if the student should engage with the Centre for Academic Development (CAD). If you are directed to CAD you will be asked to carry out a short online academic integrity module and then attend a workshop. It is hoped these will teach you good academic practice and avoid your work being referred again.
  • bii) If the work needs a full investigation. If a full investigation is required, you will be invited for an interview.

Preparing for an interview or committee

If you are asked to attend an interview or a conduct committee, you will have an opportunity to provide any evidence or documentation which you believe supports your case.

Type of evidence could include:

  • Detailed drafts and notes: Provide drafts, outlines, and notes related to your assignment. These documents can show the evolution of your ideas and the thought process behind your work. Highlight any revisions you made based on feedback or self-reflection.
  • Time-stamped files and versions: Provide copies or screenshots of different versions of your work that you have saved which show the time stamps. This can help establish a timeline and prove that you created the content independently.
  • Write a brief statement explaining your creative process, how you generated ideas, and how you ensured originality. Discuss any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
  • Research sources and citations: If you conducted research, share a list of sources you consulted and screenshots of the search history. This is useful in demonstrating that you conducted research over a period of time. Properly cited references demonstrate that you’ve engaged with existing literature.
  • Communication records: If you discussed your work with peers, lecturers, module leaders or mentors, provide records of these conversations. This shows collaboration and transparency.
  • Any evidence which supports any circumstances you were facing during the time you completed the referred assessment.

Referral guidelines for Module Leaders

Before making a referral for academic conduct concerns, please read the Academic Conduct Referral Guidelines.

The interview

If you have been invited to attend an interview, you will be sent an email advising you of the date of the interview. Please respond as soon as possible to confirm whether you can attend that date. If you do not attend the interview or engage in the process, the case could be considered in your absence. The letter should include the alleged breach and you will also be provided with the Turnitin report of your piece of work, if appropriate.

During the interview, the academic conduct officer will further explain the reason for the referral and the alleged breach. This will then be your opportunity to explain your piece of work, provide any further evidence and ask any questions. For the interview, you are able to have someone accompany you, for example a friend. Please refer to the academic conduct procedure for more information on this.

Please do not panic! We understand this might be an unsettling time, but we want to assure you there is lots of support and advice available.

If you are unsure on the process or would like some guidance or advice, please consider contacting:

Possible outcomes

After an interview, you may be:

  • Found not to be in breach of any regulations and your work will be marked as normal.
  • Given a penalty – this could be any of the penalties under section 4.2 of the academic conduct procedure. 
    • Please note that if, as a result of an academic conduct investigation, your work is awarded penalty 4.2 e (The award of no marks for the assessment or module and/or the removal of a resit opportunity, where appropriate), any future attempts at the assessment will be capped at the pass mark, including where a student retakes the affected module at a later date.
  • Referred to a University Conduct Committee, if the breach is considered to be severe.

The conduct officer will explain the reasons for their decision in the outcome letter. Please note that until the case is concluded (either after the interview or after a conduct committee), it is likely that your programme will show a 'DD' for the module or piece of work.

If a student is found in breach of the regulations, following an outcome given by an academic conduct officer or University Appeal Committee, they have a right to appeal that decision. Further information on this can be found under section 9 of the Academic Conduct Procedure

For more information, please consult the Academic Conduct Procedure in full.

Please note, any penalties issued under these regulations normally take precedence over any outcome of an exceptional circumstances (ECs) or academic appeal (AA) application, so if you have been found in breach of academic conduct procedures, you might not receive an allowance via ECs or AA.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Your responsibility to do your own work and give credit to others for their work applies to whatever is used in the production of assignments, including sources or Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT or Quillbot.

Oxford Brookes students are required to use the form in Moodle to declare which AI tools you have used and how you have used them. You will be emailed a receipt copy of your completed declaration which you must then paste into an appendix at the end of your assignment.

You should also check your module guidance or with your Module Leader to see if AI tools can be used for your assessment(s) as there may be some assessments where AI tools cannot be used.

Remember that AI tools should not be used to replace you as the author of your work. If you gain an unfair advantage using AI tools inappropriately, you may breach the Oxford Brookes academic conduct regulations:

There is more on how to use AI appropriately, when completing your assessments, on our Artificial intelligence page.

Use AI with CAUTION (a useful acronym)

Check your prompts. The information you get out is only as good as the requests you put in.

Approach any information the AI tool produces cautiously (be a critical reader).

Understand that Large Language Models (including ChatGPT) are designed only to summarise, predict and generate texts. They won’t do the thinking for you.

Take the time to verify any claims made and check the reliability of any sources.

Identify any use of AI tools (including large language models such as Chat GPT) in the student declaration form (below). Always declare your use of AI tools and explain how you used them.

Observe the principles of Good Academic Practice at all times.

Never submit chunks of text produced by AI as your own work. You may be in breach of the academic conduct regulations.

Centre for Academic Development (CAD)

We want students to learn about academic integrity and how to properly create academic work. Therefore, if a student is referred for academic misconduct and they are in their first year at the University at any level and the breach is minor, the outcome may be an educational route. This means a referral to the Centre for Academic Development (CAD) instead of a full investigation.

Students will be required to complete an online course and attend a Good Academic Practice workshop to help them understand academic integrity. This is intended to support and educate the student to reduce the likelihood of their work being referred again.

Please note that engagement with CAD is compulsory and the student's grade will remain as “DD” on their Student Record until CAD notifies the Student Investigation and Resolution Team that the student has completed the full course.

If the student does not engage with the Centre For Academic Development’s, Good Academic Practice process by the deadline given, the maximum mark the assessment will receive will be a capped mark, set at the pass grade.