Navigate to a section to find out more:
- Section 1 – Terms for applicants
- Section 2 – General terms for current students
- Section 3 – Health, wellbeing and support to study, fitness to practise, and disciplinary matters
- Section 4 – Academic matters (current page)
- Section 5 – Fees and charges
- Section 6 – Liability, ending the agreement and general provisions
19.1 BU’s academic expectations for you are in the Student Handbook or Code of Practice for Research Degrees which will be made available to you when you enrol. Detailed regulations apply to each course, including in relation to maximum periods for completion of courses, pass marks and adjustments, requirements for progression, submission of coursework (including the consequences of late submission), attendance at examinations and requirements for particular awards and classifications. These regulations also set out requirements and restrictions on re-assessment and re-sits, repetition of units, and caps on marks in some circumstances.
The detailed regulations are at www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Assessment. See paragraphs 20 and 21 of this student agreement for information about Academic Offences and Research Misconduct. Rarely, specific emergency regulations may be invoked in place of the usual regulations, to ensure the maintenance of robust academic standards whilst also ensuring that you are not disadvantaged by events outside of your and the University’s control. These regulations are also available at www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Assessment.
Unless you have agreed an extension with us in advance under the relevant procedure, there are important consequences if you submit work late. For example, work may not be marked or the mark may be capped. For more information, see the Exceptional Circumstances: Policy and Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Exceptional Circumstances) and the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Research).
19.2 Detailed rules apply to face to face examinations. For example:
- You may not be permitted to enter an examination if you do not have your ID card
- If you are late you may not be allowed to enter and will not be given extra time
- You must comply with the rules and instructions on phones, other devices and other materials in examinations.
For more information, see the Student Examinations Procedures Handbook (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Assessment).
19.3 Additional Learning Support will give you information about support that may be available to you including making allowances in assessment (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/als). There are deadlines that apply if you need support for assessments or examinations.
19.4 If you are an exchange student, you will continue as a candidate for the qualification of your home institution, and you will not be a candidate for a BU degree. BU will evaluate your academic performance whilst at BU using the same criteria used for our own students. The academic credits you earn at BU will be transferred to your home institution. Your home institution may include those credits in your academic transcript. To enable this, BU will provide any information about your academic performance that your home institution reasonably requests. BU will usually provide them with a transcript of your academic results.
20. Academic offences – taught courses
20.1 Maintaining fair and honest conduct is an essential requirement of the system for assessing students’ learning. There are separate policies for academic offences in taught awards (undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses) and for research. For more information, see the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Academic Offences). The procedure that applies to research misconduct is described in paragraph 21.
20.2 The definitions of academic offences assume dishonest intent. An academic offence is an attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment (including in practice) by deception or fraudulent means. The following are examples of academic offences, and it is also an offence to assist a student to do any of these things:
•Plagiarism: representing another person’s work as your own or using another person’s work without acknowledgement, and duplication or ‘self-plagiarism’, using material that has already been submitted for assessment or the submission or presentation of work as one's own which is substantially the ideas or intellectual data of another or created artificially
- Buying material or paying another person to complete an assignment, or using editors, translators or proof-readers who contribute significantly to the content
- Misconduct in examinations or tests: such as copying or communicating, using notes or other prompts, calculator fraud
- Impersonation, forgery, bribery, falsifying data
- False claims of mitigating/exceptional circumstances.
20.3 To prevent plagiarism, protect the intellectual property of both BU and its students and to assist with feedback to students, BU may use plagiarism detection software or other technology as appropriate
20.4 All academic offences are serious. A second or subsequent offence or an offence compounded by lying or deception, or aggravated in some other way may be treated as more serious even if it would usually be considered a lesser offence.
20.5 If you are studying at a Partner College, and an academic offence is suspected, the procedure in this document will apply. If an allegation of an academic offence, if upheld, would raise concerns about fitness to practise, and you are studying on certain regulated professions courses, the Fitness to Practise procedure will apply (see paragraph 17).
20.6 If you are on an ESFA funded apprenticeship programme, BU may inform your employer of any suspected or confirmed academic offences as part of ongoing progress monitoring activities.
20.7 Anyone involved in procedures relating to academic offences can be supported or represented by a third party (but not normally a legal adviser) at each stage: see the Third Party Involvement: Procedure for more information (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Complaints). You can also contact SUBU Advice (+44 (0)1202 965779 or email [email protected]).
20.8 Academic offences: taught courses: initial step: If we suspect an academic offence, the Faculty will consider it and review other evidence, including your other work. We may meet you to discuss it. If you are found to have demonstrated poor academic practice, then we will tell you and give you advice and guidance to prevent further offences. If there is evidence that an academic offence may have occurred, then we may refer your case to a senior academic for investigation, hold an Academic Offences Panel in your Faculty or a University Academic Offences Board, depending on how serious it is.
20.9 If the suspected academic offence is minor, then you may be referred to an investigation by a senior member of academic staff (the Chair of the investigation) within your Faculty. You will be asked to submit a written statement, and to discuss the case with the Chair. The Chair may also discuss your case with other members of Faculty staff, as required. You will normally be informed of the outcome of the investigation within 20 working days of being notified of the suspected academic offence. The Chair may apply a penalty if an academic offence is found to have occurred, or may refer your case to the Academic Offences Panel in your Faculty or University Academic Offences Board if the suspected academic offence is found to be more severe
20.10 Academic offences panel/University academic offences board: If we hold an Academic Offences Panel or a University Academic Offences Board, we will write to you about the arrangements for the hearing.
The Academic Offences Panel/Board will normally take place within 20 working days. We will normally give you ten working days’ notice. If you are not able to attend, we will try to re-schedule it, but in some circumstances a hearing may go ahead without you.
You must provide your evidence to the Academic Offences Panel/Board five days before the hearing. Exceptional circumstances will not usually be grounds for excusing an academic offence. We may not be able to consider exceptional circumstances unless you raised them under the usual procedure and within the timeline set out in the Exceptional Circumstances: Policy and Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Exceptional Circumstances).
Normally, we will tell you the decision of the Academic Offences Panel/Board within one hour of the end of the hearing. We will tell you if there is a delay, or if the Academic Offences Panel/Board is adjourned, for example to gather more evidence, and keep you informed of progress. We will write to you about the outcome, normally within five working days.
We direct all students who have committed an academic offence to learning resource information to enhance their understanding of good academic practice and of how to avoid future offences. This is recorded in the student’s record.
20.11 Penalties for academic offences: The Chair or Academic Offences Panel/Board may apply a penalty set out in the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards. The penalty will depend on the seriousness of the offence and whether it is aggravated in some way. See the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Academic Offences) for more information. In exceptional cases, the Academic Offences Panel/Board may conclude that the specified penalties are not appropriate and will use its discretion when setting a penalty.
The Assessment Board will consider the outcome of the Academic Offences Panel/Board as part of its review of your overall performance (see paragraph 19 on Assessment).
Penalties may, for example, include:
- Written warnings
- A requirement to resubmit work, re-sit an examination, repeat a unit or a level
- A mark of 0% or a capped mark for an assessment, unit or level
- Withdrawing you from your course, in some cases without any credit. See paragraph 28 (Financial arrangements on withdrawal, suspension or other interruption) for more information about fees, refunds and access to funding if you are withdrawn.
See paragraph 28 (Financial arrangements on withdrawal, suspension or other interruption) for more information about fees, refunds and access to funding if you are withdrawn.
20.12 Academic offences appeals: The decision of the Chair or Academic Offences Panel/Board is one of academic judgement and you cannot appeal against the decision itself. You can only appeal about matters relating to processes and procedures. If you wish to appeal, you must email [email protected] within ten working days of the date we write to you with the outcome of the Academic Offences Panel/Board.
If the appeal is not within the scope of the policy, we will write to you and give you the reasons. If the appeal is within the scope of the policy, the matter will be referred for hearing again by a new investigation or Academic Offences Panel/Board. We will write to you about the outcome of this hearing.
21. Misconduct in academic research
21.1 All staff and students have a general obligation to preserve and protect the integrity of research at BU. Advice on concerns about research integrity and allegations of misconduct in research, including research elements of taught courses are dealt with under the Research Misconduct Policy and Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Research).
21.2 There is a separate academic offences policy for taught courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate. See paragraph 20 for more information. We will only take action against undergraduate and postgraduate students on taught courses under the Research Misconduct: Policy and Procedure if they are suspected of a serious breach of research ethics.
21.3 Research misconduct includes (but is not limited to):
- Fabrication: making up results or other outputs and presenting them as though they were real
- Falsification: manipulating research processes or changing or omitting data without proper cause
- Piracy: deliberate exploitation of ideas from others without proper acknowledgement
- Plagiarism: copying or misappropriating ideas (or their expression), text, software or data (or a combination) without permission and acknowledgement
- Misrepresentation: a deliberate attempt to represent falsely or unfairly the ideas or work of others, whether or not for personal gain or enhancement
- Academic fraud: deliberate deception which includes the invention or fabrication of data and/or experimentation
- Improprieties of authorship: including improper inclusion or exclusion of individuals as authors; misrepresentation or duplication of substantially similar material that has previously been the focus of your own published research findings without due referencing
- Non-compliance of research governance: failure to comply with appropriate internal and external requirements such as regulatory, financial, legal and/or ethical approval
- Serious breach of research ethics as defined in the Research Ethics Code of Practice: Policy and Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Research) that is not dealt with through student/ staff disciplinary or other BU procedure
- Facilitating misconduct in research: deliberate concealment of research misconduct by others or collusion in such research
- Inciting others to commit research misconduct: deliberate encouragement of others to conduct research in an untruthful or unfair manner
- Improper dealing with allegations of research misconduct: failing to address possible infringements such as attempts to cover up research misconduct and reprisals against whistleblowers.
21.4 Allegations of research misconduct should be made to the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality. In the absence of the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality, an academic member of BU’s University Executive Team will act on their behalf. Where an allegation of research misconduct is made, we will take reasonable steps to:
- Protect the anonymity of a person who alleges research misconduct if they request this and we consider this to be appropriate
- Make sure that someone making an allegation of research misconduct is not victimised for having made the allegation
- Protect the reputation of a person accused of research misconduct unless and until the misconduct has been established under this procedure
- Conduct any investigation in line with the principles of confidentiality set out in the Research Misconduct: Policy and Procedure.
21.5 If there is an allegation of research misconduct against you, the steps in paragraphs 21.7 to 21.9 will be followed and you may be suspended or your research may be put on hold until the investigation is completed.
21.6 Anyone involved in procedures relating to research misconduct can be supported or represented by a third party (but not normally a legal adviser) at each stage: see the Third Party Involvement: Procedure for more formation (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Complaints). You can also contact SUBU Advice (+44 (0)1202 965779 or email [email protected]).
21.7 Misconduct in academic research: first step: The Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality will review the allegation to determine if it falls under the scope of the Research Misconduct: Policy and Procedure. If it does, the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality will write to you setting out the full substance of the allegation and ask the Executive Dean of your Faculty to carry out a preliminary stage investigation. You have the right to respond in writing within five working days and request a meeting. Any such meeting is intended to assist the preliminary investigation and will not be a formal hearing. The Executive Dean of your Faculty will inform the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality of their findings and, following a review of the information, the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality will decide whether:
- There is no case to answer and no further action need be taken
- Minor infractions have occurred which do not constitute research misconduct but guidance should be given to prevent a reoccurrence
- There is sufficient evidence to indicate the possibility of research misconduct and a formal investigation is required.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality will write to you with their decision and provide you with details of the evidence on which the decision was based.
21.8 Misconduct in academic research: formal stage: Where this stage is invoked, you will be required to respond in writing to the allegation of research misconduct. If you admit the research misconduct, the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality may conclude the investigation. If you do not admit the research misconduct, an investigation team will be appointed. The investigation team will interview you and, where appropriate, the person who made the allegation. Where the allegation of research misconduct is upheld or partially upheld, the investigation team will make a recommendation to the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality If you admit the research misconduct or the allegation of research misconduct is upheld or partially upheld, the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality will decide whether to inform your examiners, take disciplinary action under the relevant policy or take other action.
21.9 Misconduct in academic research: appeals: If you wish to appeal the decision, you should email [email protected], providing full details of the grounds for appeal, within ten working days of the date of the written notification of the decision by the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education and Quality. If we take action against you under disciplinary or assessment procedures you can appeal under those procedures.
A Research Misconduct Appeals Board will consider your case for appeal and we will write to you about the outcome within five working days of the date of the hearing. The decision of the Appeals Board is final and there can be no further appeal within BU. If you are not satisfied following the appeals procedure, you can complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (the OIA). You must have completed all stages of our procedure first, and the OIA will not look at all complaints (for more information see www.oiahe.org.uk).
22. Academic appeals
22.1 An academic appeal is a request for a review of a decision of an academic body charged with making decisions on student progression, assessment and awards. There are separate policies for taught awards (undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses) and for postgraduate research awards. There are some differences between the details of the two policies, which are highlighted below. For more information see:
- Taught courses: Academic Appeals: Policy and Procedure for Taught Awards (see www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Appeals)
- Research awards: Academic Appeals: Policy and Procedure for Research Awards (see www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Appeals).
If you are an exchange student, our appeals policies and procedures will not apply to assessment outcomes for units studied at your home institution, or to your final award outcome issued by your home institution.
If you are on a non-integrated Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funded apprenticeship programme where the End Point Assessment is undertaken by an external organisation, the BU academic appeals policy does not apply. If you wish to appeal the decision of an external End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), please contact the relevant EPAO (your Programme Leader can advise you who this is) or the ESFA helpdesk on 08000 150400 or [email protected].
22.2 Disagreement with the academic judgement of the examiners is not grounds for appeal. We will only consider an appeal if you make it on one of the following grounds:
- There was a material irregularity or significant administrative error in the assessment process
- The assessment was not conducted in accordance with the regulations for the course
- Your performance was affected by illness or other mitigating factors (see paragraph 22.3)
- Bias or the perception of bias in the assessment process/consideration of the appeal.
- There was a material irregularity or significant administrative error in the assessment process of such nature as to cause doubt as to whether the result might have been different had there not been such irregularity
- There is evidence of bias, prejudice or improper assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners or in consideration of the appeal
- Your performance was affected by illness or other mitigating factors (see paragraph 22.3)
- That arrangements for supervision did not meet those outlined in the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (see www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Research).
22.3 You must tell us about mitigating factors under the relevant procedure before the Assessment Board meeting for taught courses, or before or during the meeting of the Research Examination Team for research elements. If you did not do this, you cannot appeal based on these factors. For more information, see the Exceptional Circumstances: Policy and Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Exceptional Circumstances) and the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Research).
22.4 The academic appeals procedures have three stages: early resolution, a formal stage and a review stage. Most appeals can be resolved directly by your Faculty. You can ask for a review only if you have completed the formal stage. You can be supported or represented by a third party (but not normally a legal adviser) at each stage: see the Third Party Involvement: Procedure (www.bournemouth.ac.uk/important-information, under Complaints).
22.5 Even if your appeal is successful, you need to complete and pass all elements of your work before progressing to the next stage of your course. You will not receive your degree or other academic qualification until all outstanding examination or assessment appeals have been resolved.
22.6 Academic appeals: formal stage: You must appeal within ten working days of the publication of the results of the Assessment Board for taught courses, or the date of the written decision for research awards. Except in exceptional circumstances, we will not consider an appeal that we receive after this deadline. To appeal, you should email or write to the Faculty. Contact details are available on the website; please mark your letter or email as an appeal. Many appeals can be resolved informally. The Faculty will respond, normally within 15 working days. We will tell you if there is a delay and keep you informed of progress.
22.7 Academic appeals: review stage: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at the formal stage, you may ask for a review of the formal stage outcome by completing the relevant form. You should send your request to [email protected] within ten working days of the formal stage response.
We will consider whether the appeal is within the grounds set out in the policy (see paragraph 22.2). If your appeal is not within these grounds, we will write to you and give you the reasons.
If the appeal is within the grounds set out in the policy, we will review the matter and try to resolve it for you. We will normally write to you with our response within 20 working days. We will tell you if there is a delay and keep you informed of progress.