Referencing & Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct refers to any form of academic cheating.

Plagiarism is the form of cheating you may hear referred to most often. It is defined as stealing another person's ideas and presenting them as though they were your own.  Examples include:

  • Submitting assignments downloaded from the internet
  • Commissioning another person to produce a piece of work without acknowledgement
  • Cheating in examinations
  • Copying from a text-book, journal article, thesis, essay or website without providing adequate reference to the author
  • Reproducing original artwork, designs, film, sound or performance and presenting them as though they were your own
  • Copying someone else’s essay, programme, database, web-page or multimedia presentation without acknowledging their work

Throughout your studies, you will be encouraged to reference the work of other artists, writers, designers or performers in your work. Tutors will expect to find reference to the sources of your ideas in supporting documentation such as sketchbooks or initial drafts. This is an essential and valuable part of your education. As long as the source of the ideas is acknowledged, this is not plagiarism.

How to avoid academic misconduct and plagiarism

The University of the Arts London takes all cases of cheating very seriously. 

Such an offence is likely to lead to failure of that assignment and/ or unit and serious or repeated offences may lead to failure of the whole stage of the course, suspension or even expulsion. In addition, a breach of copyright may lead to legal action.

Make sure that, for any assignment, you refer to Cite Them Right Online, the University’s approved online tool for Harvard referencing.

This lists the correct way to reference any source, from books, journals and essays to works of art, computer programmes and web pages.  You can find examples of how to do this below.

Quick guide to referencing

Always acknowledge anyone else's ideas that you use in your work by quoting the source of the information:

  • In an essay or assignment, when quoting another person's words "put their words in quotation marks" and properly reference the author within the text and in the bibliography
  • In computer software show where the information has come from in the acknowledgements or credits, e.g. programme design - A Brown, or Graphics - J Smith
  • When using an artefact, put a caption against the object, e.g. "original photograph by Cartier-Bresson"
  • If presenting an original piece of work based on an existing design or work of art, quote the source, e.g. "after Rodin", "after Eckersley"
  • If using a strategy of `appropriation' (i.e. the deliberate and conscious use of the style and images of another artist) make sure you tell your tutors what you are doing and why and acknowledge the strategy when submitting work for assessment
  • In a group project make sure all the members of the group are listed. If individuals undertake specific work within the project, make sure that this is acknowledged
  • In examinations do not copy another person's work. Do not quote passages from a text-book or journal without acknowledging the source

What will happen if I am suspected of academic misconduct?

If your tutor suspects cheating in an assignment, s/he will make a report to your Course Leader, who will determine how serious the offence is. If the misconduct is moderate or serious, you will be asked to meet with your Course Leader to discuss the allegation. 

You will then be invited to attend a misconduct hearing. You may take a friend along with you for support. The panel is made up of 3-4 members of staff who have experience of dealing with Academic Misconduct cases. A representative from the Students’ Union will also be there, and a clerk will record the meeting.  The panel will ask you questions about your work and its authenticity, and you will also be able to bring evidence for the panel to consider.

The Panel must come to one of two conclusions: The Panel is satisfied that misconduct has taken place or the Panel is not satisfied that misconduct has taken place.  If the Panel is not satisfied, you will be sent a letter confirming that your case is closed. 

If the Panel is satisfied that misconduct has taken place, the Board of Examiners will agree the level of the offence and an appropriate penalty.  Depending on the severity of the offence, you may be asked to resubmit the work, repeat the unit or even the whole year. All resubmissions and repeats will be capped at D-.  A repeat unit or year requires payment of full fees.

Further details can be found on the Course Regulations website.