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This guide explains what you should do if you are accused of academic misconduct. The full details of the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure can be found in the Academic Manual (Chapter 6; Section 9).

Academic Misconduct used to be known as examination irregularities at UCL. It can relate to both coursework and examinations; whether written, oral or practical. 

You can be penalised for: 

  • Plagiarism: copying from authors, not using quotation marks or taking sections from other people’s work and altering it to make it look like your own. 
  • Self-plagiarism: using parts of an assignment you submitted earlier in the course in a second assignment. 
  • Collusion: copying from other students or allowing your work to be copied. 
  • Attempting to gain unfair advantage: paying someone to do your work or falsifying data.  
  • Cheating: taking unauthorised material into an exam.

Academic Misconduct divided into Minor and Major cases. Minor cases are dealt with by the Course or Module Leader, whilst Major cases are dealt with by either a Departmental Panel or the UCL Academic Misconduct Panel.  

The Advice Service can advise you on the relevant regulations, help you to put together your response to the allegation and attend meetings or hearings with you. To book an appointment use our contact form.

What is a Minor case? 

Minor case is a first instance of plagiarism, collusion or falsification that occurs in either the first year of a programme lasting two or more years, or in the first term of a one-year programme, in which no more than one third (approx.) of the work can be demonstrated to have been plagiarised. 

The penalty may be one of the following:   

  • An informal reprimand. 
  • A reduced or zero mark.
  • A requirement to re-submit the assignment. 

What is a Major case?  

A Major case is any irregularity which is not classed as minor. The Chair of the Board of Examiners will determine whether to refer the allegation to the Academic Misconduct Panel or to a Departmental Panel.

The following are referred to the Academic Misconduct Panel: 

  • A second or repeat offence occurring at separate examination periods. 
  • An attempt to access the assessed coursework of another candidate without that candidate’s knowledge. 
  • A sufficiently serious breach of the regulations, which could lead to the termination of the student’s registration at UCL.

The penalty may be one or more of the following:  

  • An informal reprimand. 
  • A formal reprimand which is recorded on your student record. 
  • Withholding the performance, in part or in all, of assessments you sat in the year the breach of the regulations occurred 
  • Not being permitted to re-enter for part or all the assessments you took before the expiry of a stated period of time. 
  • Only being permitted to re-enter for part or all thassessments on the next normal occasion. 
  • No degree/diploma/certificate being awarded before the expiry of a stated period. 
  • No degree/diploma/certificate be awarded to the student. 


It is possible to appeal against the decision of the Academic Misconduct Panel.

The Advice Service can assist you with making an appeal. The appeal must be submit within 10 days of the notification of the Panel’s decision so if you require support, please get in touch as soon as you receive your decision.