Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating / Submission of similar work

Cheating is regarded as a very serious offence by the university. Cheating is defined as 'seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in an examination or in other written or practical work required to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment'.

Essays, assignments and other work are submitted on the basis that they are your own work. Where any such work is identical with, or similar to, another student's work, an assumption of cheating may arise.

Assisting to cheat means assisting a student with an examination or other written or practical work with the intention that the student will thereby obtain an unfair advantage. If you present work for assessment in a unit which was presented at another time in that unit or at any time in another course or unit, or present as your own work that is nearly identical to that of another student, which has been copied in whole or in part from another person's work, has been presented by a previous student, or has been presented by a student at another institution, this may be interpreted as cheating. Where work submitted for assessment by two or more persons is the same or substantially the same, the work so submitted is prima facie evidence of cheating by those persons.

If you wish to undertake work in conjunction with other students, you must receive written permission from your lecturer that you have been permitted to do so for the particular piece of assessment.

The taking of any unauthorised material into examinations such as notes or unauthorised dictionaries will be regarded as cheating.

In the case of suspected non-examination cheating, the statute requires all chief examiners to either disallow such work by not giving it an assessment, or report the matter to the relevant faculty manager, who may refer the matter to the Faculty Discipline Committee for a hearing. In situations where the Faculty Discipline Committee or the chief examiner disallows a piece of work you may have submitted for a unit, you will not be considered to have completed that component of the unit. Cheating is likely to lead to failure in the unit concerned, and in some cases to additional penalties, including exclusion from the university.

Collusion and collaboration

Collusion is the presentation of work which is the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. It is accepted that students will assist each other with problems associated with their studies and discuss issues with each other. Sometimes advice may be sought by one student from others relating to minor issues of comprehension, interpretation, or further explanation of a point made by the lecturer during class. All assigned work, however, must be undertaken by you independently and you must not work in groups (two or more) unless specifically requested to do so by the lecturer. In such situations, the lecturer is to be notified of the names of the group members and normally they will be awarded the same mark.


Plagiarism is the use of another person's work or idea and/or manner of expressing them as if it were your own by failing to give appropriate acknowledgment. Plagiarism occurs if you fail to recognise that ideas have been borrowed from any other source such as the internet, published books or periodicals. Examples include:

  • phrases and passages are used verbatim without quotation marks and without a reference to the author or a web page
  • an author's work is paraphrased and presented without a reference
  • other students' work is copied or partly copied
  • other people's designs and images are presented as the student's own work
  • laboratory results of someone else are used without appropriate attribution
  • items for assessment are written in conjunction with other students (without prior permission of the relevant staff member)
  • when a piece of work has already been submitted or assessed in another unit or semester.

If there are no substantial factors to indicate that plagiarism was accidental or unintentional, plagiarism - non examination - will be treated as cheating.

A member of the teaching staff who has reasonable grounds to believe that non-examination cheating has occurred, is required to report the matter to the chief examiner.

Anti-plagiarism strategies

The following strategies will help you avoid plagiarism:

  • when taking notes, distinguish as clearly as possible between the ideas you find in the sources and your own ideas
  • in notes, as well as the essays you write from, place quotation marks around all material that is copied out directly and note the source
  • give a reference - according to the preferred system of the department to whom you are submitting the work - for any idea that is not your own, even if it is paraphrased or summarised in your own words and does not appear in quotation marks
  • never download material from the internet or other electronic source directly into your essay - treat it the same way you would any other printed source.

The university may use electronic plagiarism detection software to compare work submitted for assessment against various databases, which may include the world wide web, electronic reference materials and other student work submitted for assessment.

If you are at all uncertain about what is required talk to your tutor or lecturer.

Penalties for misconduct

The penalties imposed for a charge of general misconduct range from one or more of the following:

  • a reprimand
  • a fine not exceeding $500
  • suspension from the university for a specified period
  • exclusion from the university
  • payment to the university of a sum sufficient to make good any damage caused by the student.

There are clearly defined avenues of appeal against the findings of misconduct should you be found guilty of such an act.