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School of Chemical Sciences

Academic honesty

Cheating is viewed as a serious academic offence by The University of Auckland. The University will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat. Penalties are set by the Discipline Committee of the Senate and may include suspension or expulsion from the University.

What is cheating?

Cheating, in the context of University coursework and examinations, is the act of attempting to gain an unfair advantage by violating the principle that lies behind all University work: that of intellectual and scholarly integrity. Work students submit for grading, both in coursework and during examinations, must ultimately be their own work, reflecting each student’s learning and performance.

To cheat is to be intellectually dishonest by passing off as your own, work that has been done by someone else. It is also unjust in that it devalues the grades and qualifications gained legitimately by other students. All staff and students have a responsibility to prevent, discourage and report cheating.

Some examples of forms of cheating are listed below.

  • Copying from another student during a test or examination, whether or not there is collusion between the students involved.
  • Using the work of other scholars or students when preparing coursework and pretending it is your own by not acknowledging where it came from. This is called plagiarism. Course coordinators, lecturers or tutors are the appropriate people with whom you should discuss how to use and acknowledge the work of others appropriately.
  • Making up or fabricating data in research assignments or the writing up of laboratory reports.
  • Impersonating someone else in a test or examination or arranging such impersonation.
  • Submitting the same, or a substantially similar, assignment that you have done for assessment in more than one course.
  • Misrepresenting disability, temporary illness or injury or exceptional circumstances beyond one’s control, then claiming special conditions.
  • Using material obtained from commercial essay or assignment services, including web-based sources.

Group work

On the whole, the University requires assessment of the work of individual students. On those rare occasions where the work of a group of students is assessed, group members need to make sure that the workload is shared equally. Course coordinators will determine their own procedures for dealing with cases where the final piece of work reflects unequal participation and effort.

Student support

Typically students cheat because they are having difficulty managing workloads, feel that the course content is too difficult or experience difficulties with the language of the course. None of these reasons are justification for cheating.

There are many people and services at the University to assist students. Options of people to approach include:

  • the course convenor or coordinator, your lecturer, the tutorial head or lab demonstrator
  • the Head of Department
  • the Faculty-level official
  • Student Learning Centre or Library staff
  • AUSA or other students’ association representatives
  • health and counselling services staff.

Students should also consult ReferenCite, the University’s major academic referencing resource:


The following website provides further information about the key principles and practices underlying academic honesty, and related resources:

Academic honesty and plagiarism