School of Media, Arts and Humanities - for students and staff

Examination and Assessment Regulations

CAO process guides (staff)
Academic Misconduct

Referring cases of academic misconduct to School Investigating Officers

This process is for colleagues currently involved in marking. The process ensures that cases of student academic misconduct are distributed fairly amongst the investigating officers across the School of Media, Arts and Humanities.

If markers/module convenors need to refer a case of suspected academic misconduct, please follow the steps below:

1. Marker/convenor compiles and completes the evidence file and an Academic misconduct cover sheet .

  • The responsibility for compiling the evidence file lies with the marker and the convenor
  • For guidance on completing the coversheet and evidence file, refer to the FAQ below

2. Module convenor emails the student concerned with a Notice of Advice :

  • Use this student friendly wording [DOC] in the main body of the email
  • Attach the Notice of Advice  as a Word or PDF attachment
  • Avoid sending the Notice of Advice on a Friday, over the weekend, or before a public holiday, as the student will not have access to support

3. Email with the subject line ‘Academic misconduct case referral’ and attach the completed evidence file to your email. The CAO team will refer the case to one of the School’s Investigating Officers for review.

FAQs and Useful links

University Guidance 
How to complete the Academic Misconduct cover sheet
  • Marker/convenor completes Section A of the form:
    • Ensure that you enter the published assessment mode and weighing (e.g. Essay 75%)
    • Ensure that the type of allegation is stated on the form (e.g. plagiarism/collusion/personation), and the estimated percentage believed to not be the student’s own
    • Briefly summarise the nature of the case in the email to if it is not self-evident from the student work and sources
  • For plagiarism or collusion:
    • Enter a mark as indicated on the form for a ‘first case’ or ‘not first case’. 
    • If you’re not sure if it is a ‘first case’, leave this section of the form blank and provide the mark (for work believed to be the students own or correctly referenced) in the body of the email to Any previous academic misconduct will be ascertained by CAO/Investigating Officer as part of the investigation. The form can be updated following the investigation.
    • Refer to ‘Entering a mark and feedback on Canvas/Sussex Direct’ for further guidance.
  • For all other types of misconduct (e.g. personation or exam misconduct)
    • Enter the full mark on the form (without taking account of the suspected misconduct).
What to include in the evidence file

The convenor/marker should ensure that the evidence file includes the items below, as this will assist the investigating officer with the investigation and speed up the process. This evidence will also be required if the case is considered by an Academic Misconduct panel.

  • Completed academic misconduct coversheet.
  • A copy of the student assessment with clearly highlighted passages of suspected text:
    • For plagiarism – include copies of sources, with plagiarised portions highlighted and cross-referenced to the student’s work (e.g. comments in the margin of both documents – source and student’s work).  This is especially important where the plagiarism is conceptual and not verbatim copying.
    • For collusion – the identical or similar portions in each student’s work should be highlighted and cross-referenced.
    • For personation – provide clear evidence that the student did not complete the work themselves.
  • Copies of all sources that are suspected to be plagiarised:
    • Note that the Investigating Officer will not have access to Canvas to view sources, so they must be provided with the evidence file.  Marked up Sources will also be needed if the case goes to panel.
    • A Turnitin Originality Report  should be provided for all Canvas Turnitin submissions. Copies of the plagiarised sources should be downloaded from the Originality Report and provided (e.g./preferably as PDFs) marked up, i.e. with highlighted sections and margin comments containing student script page numbers with the evidence file.
    • Where sources are identified as University of Sussex student papers, please contact Academic Misconduct to request theoriginal.
    • Written assessments to Canvas Online may also be run through the Turnitin check function on Canvas in order to obtain a Turnitin Originality Report.
    • Note that Turnitin matches may not reveal the full extent of the misconduct, e.g. they may fail to pick up paraphrasing and ideas plagiarism.
  • A copy of the assessment task/rubric (if not included with the submission).
  • Evidence that Academic Misconduct is addressed in Canvas sites / module materials.
  • Statements on the students’ engagement/attendance (if available).
  • A statement on any formative assessments/tutorials available to students.
  • A record of any meeting with the individual student about the alleged misconduct.

Where the School confirms that personation is likely to have occurred – the investigating officer will additionally append a separate personation form with the evidence file.

Entering a mark on Canvas / Sussex Direct

Entering a mark for the misconduct:

  • For a ‘first case’ of plagiarism or collusion (major or minor):
    • Enter a mark for work believed to be the student’s own or correctly referenced (plagiarism), or a mark for work not the same as another student’s (collusion)
  • For a subsequent case of plagiarism or collusion (not first case):
    • Minor: Enter a mark given for work believed to be the student’s own or correctly referenced (plagiarism), or a mark for work not the same as another student’s (collusion)
    • Major: no mark given (enter a mark of 0)
  • For all other types of misconduct (e.g. personation or exam misconduct)
    • Enter the full mark (without taking account of the suspected misconduct).

Publication of marks for the assessment:

The investigation should not delay the publication of marks for the rest of the cohort. If the marks for the cohort need to be published by a marking deadline and the likely outcome of the investigation is unknown, the convenor may temporarily enter a mark of 0 on Canvas/Sussex Direct. The mark can be updated following the outcome of the investigation.

The Notice of Advice to the student informs them that they may not receive a mark when marks are published (pending the outcome of the investigation). 

Note that the convenor may also ‘unrelease’ the mark for the individual student on Sussex Direct. However, it will be automatically released by the system when marks are ‘sent to exams’. See guidance for releasing marks to students.

If you are unsure what mark to enter and need advice, please contact the CAO team.

Entering feedback on Sussex Direct

Suggested wording for feedback comments on Canvas/Sussex Direct:

Please note that your assessment is being investigated for academic misconduct, which may delay the release of your mark. The module convenor has sent you an email which explains what will happen next. We appreciate this might be upsetting, but please try not to worry. If you have any questions or concerns, or need some support, please get in touch with the MAH Student Experience team who will be able to talk to you by email, by phone or on Zoom.

Student E-submission Errors and Re-submission Requests

E-submission error guidance (students)

If students experience technical difficulties with an e-submission:

  • If the assessment deadline has not passed, encourage students to contact IT Services for advice
  • After the deadline (e.g. in the late period), refer all queries to MAH professional services at

E-submission file replacement UoS Powerpoint (002) (1)-1.ppsx 

  • Note that professional services (CAO team) consider student requests on a case-by-case basis, in line with the university policy. Please avoid giving assurances to a student about our ability to accept work offline.  The CAO team will give advice to students.
  • Students who are unable to submit an assignment due to exceptional circumstances (e.g. illness or bereavement) should be encouraged to submit an EC claim.
AQP exam regulations

Regulations for examinations and assessment

Academic Quality and Partnerships (AQP)

Ethical Review Guidance