Policy 007: Academic Integrity

Policy 007: Academic Integrity

  1. Purpose and Scope

1.1  This policy explains ACM’s requirements for students to submit work for assessments which is original or properly credited to author/owner. ACM students are provided with guidance regarding good academic practice, covering situations where plagiarism may not be intentional, but also making explicit reference to this policy and explaining matters of academic misconduct.

1.2  This policy supports ACM staff in effectively discharging their responsibility to ensure that no unfair advantage is gained through cheating, plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct.

1.3  This policy ensures that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

1.4 Students who are enrolled on an Franchised programme (Falmouth University awards) should refer to Falmouth University’s Academic Integrity policy.

  1. Policy Statement

Academic Integrity

2.1 The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) is committed to upholding academic quality and standards, by ensuring that students do not obtain awards through any form of unacceptable academic practice relating to assessment – including plagiarism, cheating, collusion and impersonation. This is fundamental to securing academic standards.

ACM, in upholding its academic standards, will ensure that appropriate actions are taken whenever formative or summative assessment work causes concerns relating to academic integrity.

2.2 ACM acknowledges the collaborative nature of creative industries, and will seek to ensure all group work is graded in a fair and equitable manner.

2.3 Where academic misconduct has been proven, this will be recorded on a student’s transcript, using the appropriate assessment board outcome coding as recognised by the awarding body.


2.4 Plagiarism is the passing off of another person’s published or unpublished work as the student’s own by unacknowledged quotation or wholesale copying. It is not an academic offence if the material is acknowledged by the student as the work of another via the provision of detailed references and a full bibliography, and the accurate use of quotation marks (in the case of written material). Students should follow the full guidance provided by ACM on quotation, referencing and the avoidance of plagiarism.

2.5 The uncredited use of any published or unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition of plagiarism. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Unintentional plagiarism can also be referred to as poor academic practice.

Plagiarism is a breach of academic integrity and also means that the work submitted has not met the learning outcomes necessary to complete the learning process. Plagiarism is unethical and can have serious consequences for an individual’s future career.


2.6 This can include being party to an arrangement intending to break or avoid the regulations such as obtaining or seeking to obtain access to examination papers prior to an exams, using notes or electronic devices during an exam, or copy another student’s work to gain unfair advantage during an exam.


2.7 This can involve unauthorised collaboration between students, failure to attribute assistance received, or failure to follow precisely regulations on group work projects. It is your responsibility to ensure that you clearly understand the extent of collaboration permitted, and which aspects of the work must be your own.


2.8  Impersonation refers to the act of one person assuming the identity of another with the intent to gain an unfair advantage for the person being impersonated, for example, by undertaking an examination on the other’s behalf. Both parties, the impersonator and the person being impersonated, would be considered culpable of being in breach of the academic integrity policy.

Poor Academic Practice

2.9 Poor academic practice refers to incorrect or incomplete referencing of external references, in line with the preferred referencing conventions currently used by an institution. ACM makes use of the Harvard Referencing System. Repeated instances of confirmed poor academic practice may be considered a matter of deliberate contravention of academic integrity.


2.10 Auto-plagiarism refers to any material which is identical or substantially similar to the student’s own material which has already been submitted for any other assessment within ACM or elsewhere.


2.11 Fabrication refers to the presentation of qualitative or quantitative data or findings in surveys or reports, which has either not been undertaken or fully completed and where the data or results have, in whole or in part, been deliberately invented or falsified.


2.12 The severity of matters relating to the academic integrity of a student’s submission of work is divided between three categories:

  1. Minor Offence
  2. Serious Offence
  3. Grave Offence


2.13 Exceptionally, where serious academic misconduct is discovered after the deadline for submission of an allegation of academic misconduct, an allegation may be pursued retrospectively under these procedures. Where a student has already graduated, the outcome may result in the revoking of a qualification already awarded.

2.13 When a student submits an assessment physically or electronically,  and where they have also provided a declaration that the work is their own. If a member of staff, or a student, or another ACM mechanism raises a concern regarding the academic integrity of a student’s formative and summative assessment, an investigation of the the submission will begin under ACM’s Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.

2.14 If a breach of academic integrity is established, the minimum penalty imposed shall normally exceed that which would follow if the student had failed the assessment.

2.15  All confirmed offences will be recorded on the student’s academic record.

2.16 All records of disproved offences must be removed from the student’s academic record.

2.17 The penalties outlined within this policy are indicative of the maximum penalties which may be imposed.

Minor Offence

2.18 An offence is considered to be in the category of a Minor Offence when the transgression is the first and sole offence:

(a) The offence occurs within FHEQ Levels 2, 3 or 4, and would therefore not affect a Bachelor’s Degree final classification, or;

(b) Where the offence occurs at Level 5 or above, and the component of assessment contributes a relatively small percentage of the overall module assessment;

2.19  Standard penalties for a minor offence

(a) Failure at module level, identified through the use of grade ‘P’;

(b) If a first attempt, to re-submit work by a given deadline with maximum grade to be a passing grade of 40, or relevant pass grade as applicable to the award.

(c) If a second attempt, any retake of this, or a replacement, module to receive a maximum grade of 40, or relevant pass grade as applicable to the award.

(d) Written warning that further offences will have serious consequences for the student’s final qualification

Serious Offence

2.20 An offence is considered to be in the category of a Serious Offence when:

(a)  The transgression occurs at any FHEQ Level;

(b) It is a first infringement offence, with documented and agreed mitigating circumstances.

2.21  Standard Penalties for a serious offence

  • A failing grade for the module affected.

(b) If a first attempt, to re-submit work by a given deadline with maximum grade to be granted for the module of  (40%), or relevant pass grade as applicable to the award.

(c) If a second attempt, or if external requirements apply, or for substantial plagiarism in a project or dissertation module, to retake the module involved, with re-registration for the module and a new project title (where applicable), with a maximum grade of 40, or relevant pass grade as applicable to the award.

2.22 Grave Offence

(a) May occur at any FHEQ Level

(b) No documentary mitigating circumstances

(c) Includes offences such as: impersonation in examinations, a second or subsequent offence, substantial plagiarism in a dissertation

2.23 Standard penalties for a grave offence

(a) The reduction of a degree by a class and/or award a lower level qualification; or

(b) repeat of academic level in which the offence occurred; or

(c) Termination of the student’s enrolment on the ACM course or programme, which incorporates failure of any and all assessment taken that academic year, or academic level as applicable.

Fee and delivery implications

2.24 Requirement to retake a module, or substitute module may incur additional fees and possible disruption to student’s original delivery schedule. Interruption or termination of enrolment to programme of study may also incur issues with regard to student loan access and/or funding. Students should refer to the  Student Finance Policy for details regarding fee liability.  


2.25 If a student wishes to appeal a decision made by ACM regarding academic integrity, they should follow the Student Appeals policy and procedure.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

2.26 Students will be provided with information about what constitutes good academic practice during their classes and via their student handbook, and will be reminded of this in advance of assessment periods.

2.27 It is the responsibility of Pathway Leaders to ensure that all students and teaching staff are made aware of this policy and the consequences of breaches of academic integrity.

2.28 The responsibility for raising concerns about possible poor academic practice lies with the assessment marker in the first instance. However, all ACM staff members and students should raise any concerns they may have regarding the academic integrity of an assessment with the relevant Programme Manager.

2.29 The External Examiners, Internal Verifiers and Lead Internal Verifier provide additional points of scrutiny.

2.30 Once the facts have been established, it is the responsibility of the Programme Manager to judge the seriousness of the situation and exercise discretion accordingly, taking into consideration any precedent or extenuating circumstances where appropriate.

Appropriate Academic Conduct

2.31 Academic Staff are responsible for informing students:

(a) Students are only permitted to submit their own original work for assessments.

(b) Students should not allow others to see the text they have produced for their   assignments and should exercise caution about sharing their ideas and draft copies with other students;

(c ) Students should not allow others access to electronic versions of their work;

(d) Students should take care to ensure the originality of their own assessment submissions and should always be able to demonstrate that work is their own and correctly sourced and referenced.

  1. Responsible Parties


3.1 The policy lead is responsible for the cyclical monitoring and review of the policy in liaison with the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager. The Academic Integrity lead is:

  • Group Head of Education

3.2 Decisions and appropriate actions in support of the implementation of the Policy will be authorised by the following designated staff:

  • Head of Quality and Student Experience
  • Programme Managers
  • Education Strategist
  • Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager
  • Module Leaders
  1. Reference Points

4.1 Internal:

  • Deferral of Assessment Policy and Procedure
  • Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure
  • Student Disciplinary Appeals Policy and Procedure


4.2 External:

  • Middlesex University Regulations, Part F: Academic Honesty
  • Middlesex University Regulations 2016-2017 ‘Student Conduct and Discipline’
  • QAA Quality Code, Chapter B4: Enabling Student Development and Achievement
  • QAA Quality Code, Chapter B6: Assessment of Students and Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Supporting Academic Integrity: Approaches and Resources for Higher Education, HEA JISC
  • UALab Regulations 2016 – 2017: Academic Misconduct


  1. Date of Approval and Next Review

Version:                       1.2

Approved on:              28 Jul 2017

Approved by:               Academic Board

Next Review:                01 Aug 2018

Download – POL_007_Academic Integrity_180521



Posted in: Middlesex Policies, Polices, UOTA Policies