Academic Misconduct - Falmouth

The SU Advice Team is here to support you through the process of dealing with academic misconduct. We can help you understand what will happen and the possible outcomes.
Student talking to member of SU staff.
The information set out in this Academic Misconduct Guide is general guidance for Falmouth University students. It should not be seen as a definitive statement of the University's Academic Misconduct policy and procedure. A copy of the University's Academic Misconduct policy and procedure is available here.

What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct is when you do something unfair or dishonest in your exams or assignments that gives you or someone else an advantage. It includes things like copying someone else's work, pretending someone else did your exam for you, or making up data or results.

Examples of academic misconduct are

  • Plagiarism: Using someone else's work or ideas as if they were your own
  • Self-plagiarism/duplication: Submitting the same work you already submitted for another assignment without permission.
  • Taking someone else's work without asking
  • Changing or making up data or results
  • Collusion: Working with someone else on an assignment that should be your own work.
  • Contract cheating: Paying someone to do your work and then submitting it as if you did it.
  • Getting someone else to pretend to be you in an exam.
  • Cheating in exams, like having unauthorized material or trying to see the exam questions beforehand.
  • Making false claims about personal difficulties or using fake evidence to get special treatment.
  • Not following rules for research and ethics when doing studies.

What should you know about plagiarism?

Your university should have taught you about plagiarism, which is a big part of academic misconduct.

They should have covered things like how to reference correctly, when it's considered plagiarism even if you didn't mean to do it, and how to use quotation marks and indentation when quoting text.

They should have also explained that buying essays or using other people's work without giving credit is plagiarism.

Remember, there are consequences if you're found guilty of plagiarism.


How can the SU Advice Team help you?

The SU Advice Team is here to support you through the process of dealing with academic misconduct. We can help you understand what will happen and the possible outcomes. 

We can direct you to other support services like study skills sessions and wellbeing support: click the links for ASK sessions & Wellbeing Support

We can also attend panel meetings with you as silent supporters, taking notes but not speaking on your behalf. 

After the meetings, we can help you understand what happened and the next steps.

How does the Academic Misconduct Procedure work?

Falmouth University categorizes academic misconduct into two types: minor offenses and major offenses.

Minor offenses
These can include things like poor citation or referencing, collaborating too much with another student, or behaving inappropriately during an exam.

Major offenses
These are more serious and can include allegations made when you're in your final undergraduate year or above, collusion (working together on an assignment that should be your own), contract cheating (getting someone else to do your work), or if you've already received a warning before.

If you've been accused of academic misconduct, you'll receive:
An email explaining what the accusation is and a report of your work.

You'll also get a "Response Form" to fill in and return, along with any evidence you have, by a specified date.

The email should also include the latest Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedure, both of which can be found on the Student Regulations Page here, under the heading ‘Academic Integrity’.

If you admit the offense
The Academic Misconduct Panel will review your case and the evidence provided, including your written statement. They will then decide on a penalty.

If you deny the offense
The panel will arrange a meeting to discuss your case with you. They will review the evidence, your written statement, and any supporting evidence before deciding on a penalty.

Please see our SU Guide on writing an effective academic misconduct response statement here


Review of your other work

Your other work may be reviewed too if the university believes it's necessary. They will let you know if this is going to happen

What is a Viva?

Before your case goes through the formal stages of the Academic Misconduct Procedure, you might be asked to attend a viva with your course team. A viva is a way for them to assess your knowledge and understanding of the work you submitted. They will ask you questions about your work to determine if you're the author of the work and if it should be referred to the formal academic misconduct procedure.


The severity of the offense determines the severity of the penalty. Admitting the allegation can speed up the process and may result in a lesser penalty.

Universities take academic misconduct seriously because academic integrity is crucial in higher education and ensures the value of degrees. Penalties for proven academic misconduct range from a formal warning letter to reassessment for a capped mark and in very serious cases, it can even lead to expulsion from the university.

The Academic Misconduct Panel decides the penalties based on factors like your history, the extent of the offense, your level of study, the value of the assignment, evidence of intent to deceive, and your response to the allegation.

Graduation and Academic Misconduct

If you have any outstanding allegations of academic misconduct, you won't be allowed to attend graduation ceremonies. You can only participate once the investigation is concluded and any required actions are carried out.

Transferring courses

If you have an ongoing investigation or disciplinary action related to academic misconduct, you won't be allowed to transfer to or apply for another course at the university until the procedure is concluded.

Appealing an Outcome

If you're not satisfied with the outcome of the misconduct investigation, you have the right to appeal.

You can do this by following the university's Appeals Procedure within 20 working days of receiving the formal outcome letter.

There are two grounds for appeal:
1.Extenuating circumstances that affected you but weren't disclosed during the investigation, or
2.Procedural irregularities/errors in the investigation process.


See here for our guidance on the Appeals Process.

Falmouth University Resources

For more information on the Academic Misconduct Process, you can visit the Falmouth University Student Dashboard here

The Academic Skills Teamcan provide you with free advice on academic skills and correct referencing techniques. Visit the Academic Skills Website to learn more or

Additionally, FX Plus offers Wellbeing Support and resources on their website here.

Reached the end of the process and still not happy with the result?

Once you have exhausted the Universities appeals process, you should be issued with what’s called a ‘Completion of Procedures’ letter. The University will no longer be able to consider your case.

But if you are unhappy with the result, you may wish to take your complaint to the OIA:

Falmouth University subscribes to an independent scheme for the review of student complaints provided by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

You will need to raise any complaint with the OIA within 12 months of receipt of your Completion of Procedures letter. The OIA will normally only consider cases that have been through the University’s own procedures first.

To find out if you are eligible and how to make a complaint to the OIA, visit their website here.


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