Part C: Academic Discipline Procedure

Preamble

This procedure relates to alleged breaches of the following academic regulations:

•             Regulation 20 (behaviour in the examination or course test)

•             Regulation 23 (conferment of qualifications)

It describes the stages up to a referral to SSDC, if such a referral is made.

Guidance:

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 13 (Engagement), please refer to the Student Engagement Procedure or, in the case of postgraduate research students, the PGR Procedure on Attendance, Engagement, and Progress.

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 14 (professional misconduct) please refer to Part D below.

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 15 (conduct of research and research ethics), please refer to the University’s Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Misconduct in Research.

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 16 (intellectual property, data protection, and copyright), please see Part B of these University Disciplinary and Investigative Procedures and Powers and refer the matter to the Student Life Manager in the first instance although if serious this can be referred onto SSDC and would fall under the Academic Mode. The reason that this Regulation is usually dealt with by the Student Life Manager or University Disciplinary Officer is for want of a low level process for academic matters. However, there may be alleged breaches which are serious in nature or extent and if may in such cases be more appropriate for any alleged breach to be treated as an aspect of Regulation 15 (conduct of research and research ethics).

It is not anticipated that any disciplinary proceedings will result from a breach of Regulation 17, which requires students to correctly note the time and place of examinations and course tests and the requirement to submit work to deadline. A failure to comply with these requirements would instead affect the student’s progression and marks.

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 18 (plagiarism and collusion), please see the University Policy on Plagiarism and Collusion.

For the procedure for addressing alleged breaches of Regulation 19 (illegible or gratuitously offensive assessment submissions), please see the University Policy on Illegible or Gratuitously Offensive Assessment Submissions.

In all cases, please refer to Parts F, G, and H of these University Disciplinary and Investigative Procedures and Powers, which deal with referrals to SSDC and the conduct of SSDC proceedings, penalties where a breach has been proven, and appeals, respectively.

1.            Alleged breaches of Regulation 20

1.1                         If you are suspected of any form of cheating, the invigilator should:

Step A: Immediately inform you that you are suspected of cheating.

Step B: Request your student card, which you must provide in accordance with Regulation 10.1.3.

Step C (applicable only where there is a reasonable suspicion that you have brought unauthorised materials into an examination or course test room): Ask you to empty your pockets of all contents and turn your pockets inside out; remove outer items of clothing; pull back long hair to reveal ears and/or neck; roll up sleeves or trousers; remove socks and shoes. You must do this in accordance with Regulation 20.9. If you request, and if this is reasonably practicable, we will try to ensure that this search is carried out by a person of the gender of your choice and in a private room.

Step D: (applicable only where there is a reasonable suspicion that you have brought unauthorised materials into an examination or course test room): Confiscate any materials they believe to be unauthorised.

Step E: Mark your answer booklets with the time at which the suspicion arose.

Step F: Tell you to wait behind at the end of the examination in order to be interviewed by the venue’s invigilation manager.

Step G: Thereafter allow you to continue with the examination or course test.

Step H: At the end of the examination, interview you about the suspected breach of the General Regulations and provide you with a handout about the procedure.

Step I: Notify the University Assessments & Quality Office, so that disciplinary proceedings can be started against you.

1.2          The University Assessments & Quality Office must then inform Head of Learning and Teaching (Quality) who will classify the alleged offence as low, medium, or high level with the assistance of the classification table set out below. There is no appeal from the decision as to classification.

 

Classification of offence level to give penalty starting point
Indicative elements of a low level offence

Your experience as a student, which relates to the expectation that you should be aware of the seriousness of your actions:

  • You are a student in your first semester of a higher education course in the UK
  • There are significant cultural considerations and/or extenuating circumstances
  • You have no previous disciplinary record of cheating

Type of Breach:

  • Considered technical

Your intentions:

  • Breach without genuine intention to gain advantage
  • The degree to which you have actually gained advantage is irrelevant to the evaluation of your intentions or the type of breach.

Examples: Turning over the question paper or writing before the examination starts will usually be considered a low-level breach.

Indicative elements of a medium level offence

Your experience as a student, which relates to the expectation that you should be aware of the seriousness of your actions:

  • You are not in your first semester of a higher education course in the UK
  • You may have a previous disciplinary record of cheating in an examination or course test

Type of breach:

  • Breach is more than technical. This may be evidenced by possession of, or access to any unauthorised materials, and/or failure to comply with instruction of invigilators acting in accordance with their reasonable suspicion.
  • Multiple breaches in the same examination or course test

Your intentions:

  • Breach  was not substantially premeditated or was a naïve attempt to gain advantage
  • The degree to which you have actually gained advantage is irrelevant to the evaluation of your intentions or the type of breach.

Examples: Possession of an electronic device such as a mobile phone will usually be considered a medium-level breach.

Indicative elements of a high level offence

Your experience as a student, which relates to the expectation that you should be aware of the seriousness of your actions:

  • You are not in your first semester of a higher education course in the UK and you are considered to be an experienced student.
  • You may have a previous disciplinary record of cheating in an examination or course test

Type of breach:

  • Breach is more than technical. This may be evidenced by  possession of, or access to substantial  unauthorised materials, and/or  failure to comply with instruction of invigilators acting in accordance with their reasonable suspicion, and/or  commissioning or otherwise allowing another person to pass themselves off as you.
  • Multiple breaches in the same examination or course test

Your intentions:

  • Premeditation.
  • The degree to which you have actually gained advantage is irrelevant to the evaluation of your intentions or the type of breach.

1.3          The Head of Learning and Teaching will then:

1.3.1      in the case of an offence classified as a low level offence, issue a warning letter which will be copied to your Adviser and to your Head of School, which shall remain on your file for the duration of your studies at the University. There is no appeal from a decision that a low level offence has taken place.

1.3.2.     in the case of an offence classified as a medium level offence, refer the matter to the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee in accordance with the procedure set out at Part F paragraph 7. The Chair may at their discretion deal with the matter summarily.

1.3.3      in the case of an offence classified as a high level offence, refer the matter to the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee in accordance with the procedure set out at Part F paragraph 4.

Guidance: Medium level offences may be dealt with summarily by the Chair in accordance with the process set out in Part F paragraph 7. High level cases cannot be dealt with summarily and must be referred to SSDC.

 

2.            Alleged breaches of Regulation 23 (conferment of qualifications)

2.1          Regulation 23 provides that you must not describe yourself as holding a degree or other qualification granted by the University unless the qualification has been awarded to you at Graduation or by special Resolution of the Senate.

2.2          Where a student describes themselves as holding such a qualification when they are not entitled to do so, the Director of Student and Academic Services should refer the matter to the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee in accordance with Part F paragraph 3 of these Procedures and Powers.

2.3          The Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee shall consider the matter in accordance with Part A paragraph 3 and Part F paragraph 4 of these University Disciplinary and Investigative Procedures and Powers.