If you're suspected of committing an academic offence

If you're suspected of committing an academic offence, your department, school or centre is formally required to investigate the allegation. 

Meeting to discuss the allegation 

If you receive an email about an allegation asking you to attend a meeting, this is because a concern has been raised about work that you have submitted for and it is being investigated. You will be invited to a meeting either with an adjudicator from your department, the faculty or an Academic Offences Committee who will discuss the concern with you and to give you the opportunity to respond.

Notification of the meeting will be sent to you at least one week in advance, along with a copy of the evidence. You should follow the instructions in the invitation and confirm your attendance as soon as possible.

Help and support 

If you have an academic offence allegation made against you, help and support is available to you.

SU Advice can help you get a better understanding of the Academic Offences Procedures (.pdf) and also help you understand your rights and prepare your response in the meeting.

The Student Services Hub can direct you to the Student Progress Team that can advise you on the Academic Offences Procedures, or to any other relevant support and wellbeing services that may be required.

Reasonable Adjustments

If you have a disability or an ongoing medical condition, and you are having difficulties in taking part in these procedures, then we can also consider making individual arrangements for you. To find out if this is available for you, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Disability Service via the Student Services Hub.

What happens at the meeting?

On the day of the meeting, you should arrive at the time on your invitation to ensure you are seen. Make sure you know the location of the room or use the FindYour Way campus map to find it. 

During the meeting, the details of the concern will be explained to you and you will be able to ask any questions you need to in order to ensure you fully understand the allegation.

You will then be given an opportunity to respond to the allegation and can present any explanation, defence or mitigation. You will also likely be asked questions about your response.

Once the discussion is complete, the decision will be confirmed to you, either immediately and/or after the meeting in writing.

Bringing someone with you to the meeting 

You can bring someone with you to the meeting, but they must be a member of the University of Essex. This means they must be either a current student or staff member here, or a member of SU Advice. Unfortunately, you cannot ask a family member, friend or another person, unless they fall into the above categories.

If you can't attend the meeting 

Meetings are not normally rearranged and should take precedence over other appointments. If you cannot attend the meeting, you may submit a written statement for consideration, along with any evidence.

Penalties and implications of an academic offence

The adjudicator will first decide whether an academic offence has been proven or not, but the penalties for proven academic offences can have serious implications on your continuing studies. The full range of penalties can be found in the penalty guidelines of the Academic Offences Procedures (.pdf).

If an academic offence is proven against you, then you will be informed of the penalty and you can find out what implications this may have on your academic progress. You may be prevented from applying for certain placements for Study Abroad or work placement, and you may have your University scholarship or bursary cancelled.

If you receive professional accreditation as part of your course (such as holding a Qualifying Law Degree), then relevant professional bodies may be informed of any academic offences, and this may affect your status.

Students who are subject to the Fitness to Practise Procedures (.pdf) may also be referred to other University authorities to be handled in accordance with these separate procedures.

As well as having a formal penalty applied, you may be told to complete the online Academic Integrity and Plagiarism course AND/OR to attend an Academic Integrity Tutorial. In such cases, completion and attendance is compulsory.


You may only appeal if you have valid grounds and must do so within 10 days of receiving written confirmation of the penalty. Find out more about appeals against an academic offence penalty.

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.