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Academic dishonesty and plagiarism

  1. Overview
  2. Contract cheating and impersonation
  3. Detecting and reporting academic dishonesty
  4. Investigation

Detecting and reporting academic dishonesty

University staff, students and affiliates can report cases of academic dishonesty.

All text-based or written work that is submitted for assessment needs to be passed through text-matching or similarity-detection software. This software may also be used for other assessment items, such as presentations or programming code.


The main software used for text-based items is Turnitin. This checks your work for originality or similarity against a range of sources including:

  • work previously submitted for the same assignment, or archived in one of Turnitin’s databases
  • professional publications such as scholarly journals, specialist periodicals and news media
  • internet sources, including government and company websites, blogs and some social media sites.

Once Turnitin has scanned your work, it produces an originality report that relevant academic staff will consider. You won’t usually have access to this report.

Turnitin helps assessors identify similarities between your work and other sources. There is no ‘score’ that constitutes plagiarism – this is up to the assessor’s academic judgement. Similar text may be the result of quotations or references, which is not plagiarism. However, plagiarism may occur where ideas are copied and not acknowledged even though the text isn’t copied.

Reporting academic dishonesty

Any member of the University or wider community can report an instance of academic dishonesty, whether it is perceived or actual.

As a student, you can contact the Office of Educational Integrity to report an incident. You can do this anonymously and your report will be treated confidentially.

You can also report academic dishonesty involving students or staff engaged in research-related activities to the Research Integrity and Ethics Administration at

Last updated: 27 June 2022

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