What happens when I overstep the mark?

A student suspected of plagiarism must be informed in writing by the marker and given a chance to deny the allegation in person. 

If the student admits the plagiarism, the marker must suggest a penalty in line with the Plagiarism Penalty Scale, and a note of the incident must be made on the student’s record. 

If the student does not admit the plagiarism, or disputes the degree of seriousness he/she must go the disciplinary hearing route.

Important information:

  • The Penalty Scale applies to all work submitted for assessment.
  • An important criterion for judging seriousness is “quantity”; however, the general principle is that the penalty should be appropriate to the seriousness of the incident.
  • The quantity is the independent professional judgement of the lecturer and not the Turnitin percentage.
  • When investigating an incident, the following is important:
    • the significance of the plagiarised content on the assessment of the submitted work
    • the extent or amount of the plagiarism in the submitted work
    • the year and level of the student
    • the background of the student
    • whether the student has taken up any of the opportunities provided by the University to enhance students’ understanding of plagiarism
    • whether the student has previous incidents of plagiarism (see information about the Plagiarism Register below)
    • any apparent intention by the student to deceive


The Plagiarism Register

The University maintains a Plagiarism Register to enable the monitoring of offenders and ensure the consistent application of penalties. The Register is held and maintained by the Legal Office.
Students need to know that penalties can be serious enough to affect their academic progress. In extreme cases penalties could result in expulsion or failure to graduate at all.
  • Lecturers complete the Form for the Reporting of Plagiarism Incidents.
  • The information provided by the student will be checked by the Legal Office after the form has been submitted by the lecturer concerned.
  • If the Legal Office is satisfied that the information provided by the student regarding previous incidents is truthful, it will confirm the incident as well as the penalty in a letter to the student.
  • If the Legal Office is not satisfied with the information provided by the student, it will proceed with disciplinary steps against the student.
  • A note of all allegations, the outcome and the penalty of all cases of plagiarism will be made on the student’s record.
  • This information may be used by the University when it is asked to provide a reference for the student.


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