Department of Physics

Academic honesty

Make sure you are aware of The University of Auckland's rules and regulations in relation to plagiarism and academic honesty.

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 including coursework and 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.


Examples of forms of cheating

  • 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/coordinator, lecturer, tutorial head, lab demonstrator
  • Head of Department
  • Faculty level official
  • Student Learning Centre or Library staff
  • AUSA or other students’ association representatives
  • Health and counselling services staff.

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

For further information about the key principles and practices underlying academic honesty and related resources visit Academic integrity.


Disputes procedures

If students experience a dispute during their time at the University, initial advice and support can be accessed via:

  • Auckland University Pacific Island Students' Association (AUPISA)
  • AUSA Advocacy
  • Class representatives
  • Faculty student associations
  • Ngā Tauira Māori (NTM – Māori Students Association)
  • Post Graduate Students Association (PGSA)
  • Residential Assistants
  • Staff members
  • Tuākana and other mentors
  • UniGuides

It may be that these services provide sufficient support to allow the dispute to be resolved at this stage.

Find more information on Dispute resolution

If this is not the case and the student’s dispute is with a staff member, the student should approach that staff member’s manager. If the student’s dispute is with another student, the Proctor should be approached at this stage. The Proctor’s role is to assess disputes and make a judgment on appropriate next steps. These may include referral to an external mediator.

The University Proctor and can be contacted by emailing