Before the Hearing
You may see an AM appear next to your results on e:vision. This is your first indication that you may be called in for a meeting to discuss an allegation of Academic Misconduct for that assessment.
You will be contacted by letter and by email to your University email address. You should receive this at least 7 days before the hearing is scheduled to take place. The letter will indicate the time date and location of the hearing. Hearings are scheduled to last for 20 minutes.
Hearings will not be rescheduled unless there is a valid reason, supported by documentary evidence. If you don’t attend a decision will be taken in your absence. You will be advised that you can bring one person with you to provide support this could be a friend, family member or request representation from the Students’ Union.
You will be informed that an audio recording of the hearing may be made for the purpose of accurate record keeping.
You will be advised that the University applies the “civil” burden of proof which requires upon examination of the evidence, a demonstration that it is more likely than not that academic misconduct has occurred.
You will not normally be invited to an Academic Misconduct hearing unless there is a body of evidence to support the suspicion of academic misconduct.
The letter will contain information about which piece of work is affected and the type of misconduct that you are suspected of.
This could be:
Examples and explanations of these can be found above.
What do I need to do?
- Confirm that you will attend by contacting the Conduct and Appeals Unit - details of how to do this will be in the letter.
- Check the time and location of the hearing– make sure you know where you have to go.
- Notify the Conduct and Appeals Unit immediately if you do not wish an audio recording to be made, so that a note taker can be arranged instead.
- Notify the Conduct and Appeals Unit immediately of any Special Needs that should be accommodated within the conduct of the hearing, so that arrangements can be made.
- We strongly recommend that you seek advice from the Students’ Union. If you wish to have an attendee from the Students’ Union with you, this must be arranged in advance - information on how to make the request can be found here.
- Thoroughly review your own copy of the work in advance of the hearing and identify any areas that you think may have given rise to the suspicion of academic misconduct.
- Are there any un- referenced passages? (plagiarism)
- Can you identify any sections that have been “cut and pasted” from source material and not correctly referenced? (plagiarism)
- Is there any extensive paraphrasing? (plagiarism)
- Could this work be similar/identical to that of another student? (collusion)
- How closely did you work with others? (collusion)
- Did you show/give someone else a copy of your work? (collusion)
- Did you have access to someone else’s work – did you use this in your own work? (collusion)
You should carefully consider the circumstances at the time you did the work; it is very likely that you will have some insight into what may have gone wrong.
An Academic Misconduct Hearing is a formal meeting. You should be aware that the University of Wolverhampton is committed to upholding academic standards and takes academic misconduct very seriously.
Who will be there?
At a Stage One hearing the panel will consist of two (max 3) staff, including:
- Senior academic representative from the School to which the module belongs. This will normally be an Associate Dean, Head of Department or their nominee.
- Deputy- Head of the Conduct and Appeals Unit
If an audio recording is not being made there will also be a note taker present. Only members of the panel will address you directly during the hearing.
What will happen in the Hearing?
You will be introduced to the Panel members. You will be asked to confirm your identity and advised to speak clearly for the recording. If you have bought somebody with you for support, you will also be asked to confirm their identity for the record.
The Panel will discuss with you, your understanding of plagiarism /collusion /cheating (depending the nature of the suspected academic misconduct to be addressed).
The Panel will ask you a range of questions, to establish an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the suspected academic misconduct.
You will be shown the evidence under consideration and the Panel will discuss this with you.
Where you are aware that academic misconduct has occurred we would recommend that you admit this early on in the proceedings so that the Panel can focus on advising you of the consequences and on how you can avoid it in the future.
At all times you will be treated with respect, but you should be aware that on occasion you may find the questions challenging as the Panel seeks to identify the truth of the situation.
Can others speak on my behalf?
Your friend/family member/Students’ Union officer is there to provide you with support and should not normally address the Panel directly. However, they may consult with you and you can ask for “time out” (either inside or outside of the meeting room) to discuss any relevant matters. For example they may wish to remind you of something you had forgotten to say.
What happens next?
You may be informed of the possible outcome of the hearing during the meeting. However, the Panel are required to consider and evaluate both the evidence and your comments fully before coming to a decision and this may require further deliberations outside of the hearing.
The Conduct and Appeals Unit will formally advise you of the outcome by letter and by email to your University email account; this will normally be sent within 7 working days of the hearing.
The letter will confirm whether or not the Panel found the case proven and if so it will clearly state the penalty to be imposed and may also contain further advice where appropriate.
The penalty applied will be in line with the University's policy on Academic Misconduct Penalties found on page 9 in the Regulations and Procedure for Academic Misconduct.
You may find it helpful to discuss the outcomes of the hearing with the Students’ Union after the event.
The letter you receive will include details on how to appeal against the decision...but please note that appeals will only be considered on the following grounds:
- That an administrative error or material irregularity has occurred in the conduct of the investigation.
- That there were personal circumstances which you believe would have affected the decision taken by the panel had they been made aware of them. You must have a good reason not to have revealed the circumstances to the Stage One hearing.
Further information on the appeals procedure is available on page 5 in the Regulations and Procedure for Academic Misconduct.
Depending on the nature of the penalty you may also need to seek academic advice from the School or Student Registry with regard to your programme of study.
The Conduct and Appeals Unit maintain a record of all academic misconduct. Penalties for academic misconduct are progressive and repeated offences can lead to exclusion from the University.
A variety of information on Academic Misconduct can be found on the University of Wolverhampton's Academic Misconduct webpage