Swansea University

1. Definition of Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct

Academic integrity reflects a shared set of principles which include honesty, trust, diligence, fairness and respect and is about maintaining the integrity of a student’s work and their award. Academic integrity is based on the ethos that how you learn is as important as what you learn.

Academic integrity is based upon a number of core principles. For students, this means:

  • Taking responsibility for their own work and studies;
  • Respecting the opinions of others, even if they do not agree with them;
  • Respecting the rights of others to work and study within the ‘learning community’;
  • Acknowledging the work of others, where it has contributed to their own studies, research or publications;
  • Ensuring that the individual’s contribution to group work is represented honestly;
  • Supporting others to behave with academic integrity;
  • Following the ethical requirements and where appropriate professional standards appropriate to the discipline;
  • Avoiding actions which would give an unfair advantage over others;
  • Ensuring that the results of research or experimental data are represented honestly;
  • Complying with the assessment requirements.

Academic integrity is the guiding principle for all student assessment; from taking exams, making oral presentations, or writing assignments; dissertations or theses for assessment.

Academic misconduct includes: plagiarism; collusion; breach of examination regulations; fabrication of data; impersonation of others or the commissioning of work for assessment (this list is not exhaustive.)


It is academic misconduct to commit any act whereby a person may attempt to obtain for himself/herself, or for another person, an unpermitted advantage. This shall apply whether candidates act alone or in conjunction with another/others. An action or actions shall be deemed to fall within this definition whether occurring during, or in relation to, a formal examination, a piece of coursework, or any other form of assessment undertaken in pursuit of an academic or professional qualification at Swansea University.

The University has a range of procedures and methods for detecting academic misconduct:

  • in examination conditions (see 2.0).
  • in non-examination conditions (see 3.0).
  • in research degrees (see 6.0).
  • after an Award has been bestowed (see 8.0).

The University may employ appropriate means of detecting and investigating cases of academic misconduct, for instance, through the use of plagiarism detection software or by means of an academic integrity/viva (see 3.1 below.)  Colleges may also choose to implement a system of random vivas in subject areas.

A Director of Academic Integrity is appointed by the University to promote academic integrity and to deal with all University level cases. The Director of Academic Integrity is supported in their role by the Deputy Director of Academic Integrity who may assist them or deal with cases of academic misconduct on their behalf, in accordance with this Procedure.   Accordingly, all references within these procedures to the Director of Academic Integrity shall include the Deputy Director of Academic Integrity.

In investigating allegations of academic misconduct, the Director of Academic Integrity, on behalf of the University, reserves the right to consult with other universities or organisations, where appropriate and to share relevant information.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, examples of academic misconduct are shown in sections 2.0 to 2.4 and 3.0 below.