Academic Misconduct

The University regards most seriously any acts of dishonesty relating to assessment of University courses and research. This includes cheating, plagiarism, submitting the same work in more than one unit, unauthorized collusion, examination misconduct, and misconduct in research. Academic Misconduct is outlined clearly in each of your Unit Guides.

What can happen?

Depending on the seriousness of the case, dishonesty in assessment can result in but is not limited to:

  • a caution;
  • suspension of all or any of the students rights and privileges;
  • a reduction in the marks for the assessment component;
  • a requirement to resubmit an assessment or undertake additional work;
  • failure in assessment component or entire unit;
  • suspension from the University;
  • expulsion.

In addition you may be required to attend a workshop on how to avoid Academic Misconduct in the future.

Penalties vary for different reasons:

  • Is it your 1st, 2nd or 3rd offence?
  • Was it intentional?
  • How extensive was it?
  • What level is the student? E.g. Honours, Master, PhD
  • Was it
- plagiarism or collusion in unit coursework?
- misconduct in research?
- cheating in an examination?

Aggravating factors:

  • Seriousness of the offence;
  • Degree of premeditation;
  • Impact on other students and other researchers;
  • Extent to which the offence corrupts the assessment process;
  • Repeat offence;
  • Whether or not the student would otherwise have passed the unit.

Mitigating factors:

  • First year student;
  • First offence;
  • Offence unintentional or spontaneous;
  • Role played by the offender if others involved;
  • The plagiarism is in only a minor part of the work submitted for assessment;
  • Personal circumstances at the time of the alleged misconduct that may explain it.

What is the process for a suspected offence?

Any person can report suspicions of Academic Misconduct to the Unit Coordinator.

The Unit Coordinator will either:

  • Decide not to commence any investigation;
  • Report the academic misconduct to the Investigator.

The Investigator will either:

  • Dismiss the allegation if there is no evidence;
  • Commence an investigation if deemed necessary.

If an investigation is to take place:

  • You will be sent a notice within 5 days.
  • this notice will provide a description of the allegation.
  • this notice may request you attend an interview (5 working days notice must be given).
  • You can turn down this request – this is not advised.
  • The investigation involves gathering of evidence which is then referred on to the decision maker, or arbiter.

Your right of reply

  • The arbiter will send you a notice that will include details of the allegation evidence.
  • You will have a right to respond to the allegation by being offered either a hearing, or to send in a written response.
  • You can turn down this request – this is not advised.
  • You may nominate a support person to attend any interview or hearing with you – we strongly advise you to bring someone.


  • Within 5 working days of a decision being made written notification will be communicated to you.
  • This will include the reasons for the decision and the penalty imposed.
  • You have the right to appeal to the Student Appeals Committee.
  • Written appeals should be lodged within 14 days of receiving notification of the penalty.
  • An appeal suspends any penalties for academic misconduct until the appeals process is finalised.

For further information contact Student Assist:

Domestic Undergraduate Student Assist Officer: Hazel 9360 7350 / H.Mangazva@murdochguild.com.au
International Student Assist Officer: Malena 9360 6419 / internationalassist@murdochguild.com.au
Postgraduate Student Assist Officer: Rachel 9360 6585 / rachel.beek@murdochguild.com.au


This information is for reference purposes only. The Murdoch University Policy and Procedure Manager (PPM) should be consulted for full and up to date policy information.