Plagiarism & misconduct

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is passing off the ideas or words of someone else as though they were your own. It applies equally to the work of other students as to published sources.

Copying and pasting from the web and/or other sources in order to produce a piece of work is a form of plagiarism, and is unacceptable at University.

How do Cass Business School and City, University of London deal with plagiarism?

  • The University and the School take a serious view of plagiarism, and will act to ensure that students found breaching its guidelines are dealt with severely. This action can lead to expulsion from the University.
  • Taking plagiarism seriously is in the interests of the vast majority of students who work hard for their degree through their own efforts, and is essential in safeguarding the integrity of the University's awards.
  • Tutors and examiners will routinely look out for any indication of plagiarised work, and may make use of specialised detection software if appropriate. Where plagiarism is suspected, this will be investigated rigorously, and reported to an Academic Misconduct panel (see section of the Handbook on Cheating and Academic Misconduct).

How to avoid plagiarism

All your work is marked on the assumption that it is your work. The words, diagrams, computer programs, ideas and arguments should be your own. However, much coursework will be based on what you have read and heard. It is important that you show where, and how, your work is indebted to these sources:


Never copy anything without explicit acknowledgement as described below under 'quoting'. This includes copying the work of other students.


A quotation directly from a book or paper is acceptable, provided that it is referenced properly:

  • Start and end quotations with inverted commas.
  • Reference all sources in one of the standard formats described in the section on referencing in your handbook and Moodle
  • Whatever system you follow, you should list the sources used in a bibliography or reference section at the end of each piece of work.

Keep in mind

  • It is not enough to just cite an article once and then continue to refer to it throughout the rest of your work without proper references. If you do not make a correct citation every time you refer to or quote someone else then you are plagiarising.
  • It is also unacceptable to just list material you have read at the end of your work and not in the body of the text itself. You must make a reference within your work.


  • Paraphrasing means grasping someone else's idea or argument and then putting it into your own words.
  • It does NOT mean copying whole sentences or phrases and replacing some words with others of similar meaning which is a form of plagiarism.
  • If you do paraphrase you must acknowledge this in every paragraph. There are many ways in which you can do so. "Smith goes on to argue that ..." or "Smith provides further proof that ..." are two examples.
  • As with quotation, full details of the source used must be given at some point in the work.

General Indebtedness

If your ideas draw heavily from a few sources you should reference the sources.

  • If the ordering of evidence and argument or the organisation of material reflect one particular source, then you have to state this
  • When in doubt, seek advice from your tutor to ensure that the presentation of your work is in line with University requirements.

Allowing Work to be copied

Copying the work of another student is no different from plagiarising published sources. If you knowingly allow your work to be copied, you will be subject to the same penalties.

Penalties for plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very serious offence against scholarship. Penalties will be set by individual departments. In each case, the penalty will apply to the relevant component of the assessed work. Offenders will be referred to academic misconduct procedures, with a note being placed on their student record.

Repeated incidents could lead to expulsion from the University. If in doubt seek advice from their Personal Tutor or Programme Director.

Academic misconduct

Academic misconduct is any action that produces an improper advantage for the student in relation to his/her assessment, or that deliberately and unnecessarily disadvantages other students. It can be committed intentionally or accidentally.

Plagiarism, cheating in an examination, collusion, impersonation, falsification or fabrication, duplication or self-plagiarism, ghosting and disruption are non-exhaustive types of academic misconduct.

Find our more about these types of academic misconduct:

Investigation of cases of suspected academic misconduct

The University actively pursues all cases of suspected academic misconduct. This safeguards the integrity of its awards as well as the interests of the majority of students who work hard for their award through their own efforts. Decisions on the severity and extent of misconduct are matters of academic judgement.

Technologies may be used to support academic judgement in cases of suspected academic misconduct, for example: to investigate suspected cases of academic misconduct already identified via other means; or to check the work of a whole cohort or a defined sample of students.

Any suspected cases of academic misconduct are reported to a panel which considers the evidence (including representation from the student(s) involved) and reports its findings to the Assessment Board. It will also recommend a penalty to the Assessment Board, or, for serious cases, recommend that investigation should proceed to a University disciplinary panel.

Cheating in Examinations or Invigilated Tests

Examination Offences

Failure to abide by these instructions will constitute an examination offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Regulations governing Academic Misconduct. A candidate will be liable to Disciplinary Proceedings as laid down in the Ordinances and Regulations and for irregular conduct relating to an examination including:

  • The introduction of any unauthorised material or device into the examination room.
  • The possession and/or consultation and/or access to written, printed or electronically stored unauthorised material during an examination.
  • Aiding or attempting to aid another candidate during an examination.
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from another candidate or person during an examination.
  • Attempting to read the work of another candidate.
  • Removal of examination stationery from the examination room (exam papers may only be removed if authorisation is given by the head invigilator).
  • Indiscipline during an examination.
  • Plagiarism.
  • Impersonation.
  • Any deed (verbal or physical) deemed inappropriate or considered as an examination offence by an invigilator.