School of Mathematics Teaching

Academic misconduct

The University takes academic misconduct very seriously and is committed to ensuring that so far as possible it is detected and dealt with appropriately.


Plagiarism can be defined as the act of including or copying, without adequate acknowledgment, the work of another in one's own work as if it were one's own. 

Full University information on plagiarism

IAD guidance on plagiarism

Using any published source whether private, public or from the internet without providing a full reference, or using other students' work are disciplinary offences which could lead to reduced or no marks being awarded for the work, and in extreme cases to immediate termination of studies.

Electronic submission and self-checking for plagiarism

If you are required to hand-in typeset work, then this will often be done through a plagiarism detection software such as "Turnitin". This will compare the text of your submission against the following sources. 

  • Turnitin's student paper repository 

  • Current and archived internet 

  • Periodicals, journals and publications 

The final submission that you make via Learn will be checked for plagiarism against the sources above and submissions from other students on the Programme. It will also be retained in Turnitin's student paper repository. 

Information Services Turnitin Guidance


We wish students to learn and practise good scholarship. The aim of the School of Mathematics' plagiarism guidance is to make sure that there is a fair and rigorous assessment while making the most out of collaborating from group study. The University's Academic Misconduct policy applies fully. Students are responsible for reading and adhering to this policy.

Full University academic misconduct guidance and policy

In cases of poor scholarship (for example, poor referencing or acknowledgement of help, etc.) Course Organisers may determine a mark that fairly reflects the student’s own contribution. In cases where academic misconduct is suspected the Course Organiser and School Academic Misconduct Officer may arrange to meet with a student or pass directly the case on to College for investigation.

The School of Mathematics distinguishes between assessments which are mostly of formative intent, and summative assessments. The main purpose of formative assessment is to aid learning through attempting work and receiving feedback. Summative assessments are primarily used to assess learning that has taken place. Interpretations of this by Schools may differ, and you should find relevant guidance for your external courses. 

Summative assessment

Individual pieces of work that contribute more than 5% to the assessment of a given course are considered to be summative. Such work must reflect only your understanding of the content. For summative work the following guidelines apply: 

  1. Submitted work including (but not limited to) arguments, standard results, and sections of computer code must be clearly identified, cited and referenced.
  2. While working as a group is both allowed and encouraged, you must hand in a separately created piece of work that reflects their own understanding.


  • A student hands in work containing a part that is identical or substantially similar in expression, structure or reasoning to another submission or other source, not clearly indicated as such (for example, through use of quotation marks and providing a citation). This is an offence under University regulations. 
  • Two students hand in work with a part or parts that are substantially similar in expression, structure or reasoning. If this goes beyond the similarity that could reasonably be expected in separately written accounts of earlier collaborative work. This is an offence under University regulations. An offence is unlikely to be committed if collaborating students separately write their own independent accounts of any joint work without reference to jointly produced notes. 

Formative assessment

Individual pieces of work that contribute 5% or less to the assessment of a given course are considered to be mostly formative in intent. Its main purpose is learning from attempting the work and receiving feedback. For formative work the following guidelines apply:

  1. Where the work submitted by a student is the result of cooperative working with other students in the class, this is not regarded as collusion or plagiarism provided that the submitting student was fully involved in the intellectual creation of it.
  2. It is not necessary for students to acknowledge help from tutors or other University students. 


  • Two students' submissions for a piece of work contributing 5% or less to the overall course grade may be substantially similar in presentation. If this is the result of joint work then this is not an offence. You are however strongly encouraged to acknowledge the collaborative working in your submission, for example on a submission cover sheet or other citation. If however one student copied the completed work from the other, then both students have committed an offence under University regulations. 
  • A student encounters a solution to a problem in a book, online, from another student or any other source, and reproduces it (or something very analogous to it) in their submitted work. This is an offence under University regulations. To avoid the offence, the student must re-express the arguments in his or her own words. One way to achieve this is by the student studying the original work and then writing their own version without repeatedly looking at the source.


By their nature, primarily formative assessments have limited effects on grades. You are expected to hand in work that reflects your own understanding, even if that is different from the group consensus. This is so that you can obtain useful feedback on your own thoughts.