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Academic Integrity refers to the Universities policy on suspected plagiarism. There are two stages to the Academic Integrity process within the University: The Preliminary Interview/Discussion and The Panel stage. 

The process is slightly different for exam misconduct, you should click here for more information. 

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Hopefully this page can answer some of the questions you might have about both processes. 

How can the Students' Union support me?

We know that being suspected of plagiarism can be hard for some students so, we are able to support you in understanding the process you are going to go through, the questions the panel and interviews might ask you so you feel prepared and, we can even come to the Interview and Panels with you so you have the support you need.

We get booked up early so if you would like support, we suggest you email us as soon as possible and title your email Academic Integrity Interview or Panel: ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk

Why have I been accused of plagiarism?

For coursework submissions: The marker of your work or the exam invigilator has identified a cause of concern, most commonly related to the way you have referenced or that you may not have paraphrased correctly. The marker and your department's 'Academic Integrity Officer' want to discuss their concerns with you and give you the chance to explain how you put your work together and where you went wrong.

They might decide you need to attend a further meeting – an Academic Misconduct Panel which could result in penalties. 

Stage 1: Academic Integrity Interview/Discussion

The meeting that you have been invited to is the first stage in the academic integrity process. This discussion is an opportunity for academics to raise the areas of concern with you, and equally, for you to explain how you put your piece of work together.

You can be accompanied by a friend or member of the Students' Union Advice team if you wish.

They may ask you questions such as your understanding of plagiarism, how you put your work together and if you have any drafts of your work that you can show to the panel

How can I prepare for the interview?

Read the University Regulations for Academic Integrity. This explains the different stages of the process and what the outcomes of the interview can be. These can be found on here.

You may wish to consider the following, in order to prepare you:

  • Read through your TurnitIn report and try to think of where the problem might be
  • Look at the Academic Skills and Development (Formerly SPLASH) webpage to help you understand more about plagiarism and how to avoid it - https://www.surrey.ac.uk/academic-skills-and-development ​You may wish to make an appointment with them before your interview to see where you have gone wrong
  • Look back at sources you used and gather any notes/draft versions you have for the piece of work to be discussed as you may be asked to explain how you produced your work. Having evidence of how you put the work together will help you. 
  • If you have had 'special circumstances' at the time of your submission, you will need to gather evidence for this. The evidence needed is defined in the regulation

Remember that you have to be honest with the University. Dishonesty could lead to further action such as a disciplinary with the University.

What is the outcome of an interview?

Following the interview/discussion, academics can reach one of three outcomes:

  • There is no case to be heard and so your work is marked as normal.

  • Your work contains areas of poor academic practice but can be marked as normal – it is likely that you will receive recommendations to seek support with your academic writing alongside this.

  • That the academics are unable to make a desision and/or suspect your work may be a result of academic misconduct. If this is the case they will refer you to an Academic Misconduct Panel

Stage 2: Academic Misconduct Panel 

If you have been invited to an Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP), then you should have already been to your interview and know what the issues within your work might be. When you recieve your invitation letter, they will also send you the interview notes. You should check that these are an accurate reflection of the interivew discussion. 

If you have missed your interview, your case will have been referred straight to panel. Please check back through your University emails to find out when this took place.

The panel is the second stage of the Academic Misconduct process within the University. You will be emailed a formal invitation to your panel with at least 5 days notice. This will say the time, date and location of the panel and who will be sitting on your panel. 

What can I expect in the panel?

The panel is made up of three AIO's (Academic Integrity Officers) and there will also be a secretary to the panel to take notes. The AIOs will ask you similar questions to the interview

If you have any concerns about the panel membership or see a potential conflict of interest or bias, you should raise this now.

You can be accompanied by a friend or member of the Students' Union Advice team if you wish.

Below is an outline of what you can expect at your panel:

  • When you arrive at the panel you will be welcomed by the secertary who will explain how the panel will run.

  • You will then be asked into the room and introduced to the panel.

  • The panel will ask you questions similar to those you were asked in your interview and will be looking to understand how you put your work together or what happened in your examination.

  • When the panel has no further questions, you will be asked to wait outside whilst they discuss your case.

  • You will then be asked to return to the room once a decision has been made - you will be informed of the outcome verbally on the day.

  • Following the panel, you will receive written confirmation of the outcome via your University email address.

How can I prepare for the panel?

You can prepare in a very similar way to the interview - begin by reading the regulations if you have not already. These can be found here.

You may wish to consider the following, in order to prepare you:

  • Read through your TurnitIn report and try to think of where the problem might be
  • Look at the Academic Skills and Development (Formerly SPLASH) webpage to help you understand more about plagiarism and how to avoid it - https://www.surrey.ac.uk/academic-skills-and-development ​You may wish to make an appointment with them before your interview to see where you have gone wrong
  • Look back at sources you used and gather any notes/draft versions you have for the piece of work to be discussed as you may be asked to explain how you produced your work. Having evidence of how you put the work together will help you. 
  • If you have had 'special circumstances' at the time of your submission, you will need to gather evidence for this. The evidence needed is defined in the regulation
  • If it helps you feel more confident, you can prepare a statement to read to the panel

Remember that you have to be honest with the University. Dishonesty could lead to further action such as a disciplinary with the University.


What are the outcomes of a panel?

The panel can reach the following conclusions:

1. There is no case to be heard and so your work is marked as normal.

2. Your work contains areas of poor academic practice but can be marked as normal – it is likely that you will receive recommendations to seek support with your academic writing alongside this.

3. That the academics decide that your work is a result of academic misconduct and there is no evidence of special circumstances you will be given a penalty. Usually, if this is your first instance of academic misconduct then your work will be awarded zero and your module capped at the pass mark. 

If you have evidence of special circumstances, the panel will take this into consideration. 

Penalties can be increased if your case is deemed to be of high severity. For example, if this is your second case of academic misconduct or, for contract cheating (purchasing an essay) or impersonation.


You can appeal the outcome of an Academic Misconduct Panel, if you have valid grounds to do so. Have a look at our Appeals page


I need further advice:​

You can make an appointment with one of our Academic Advice team. Appointments are for a maximum of 30 minutes, Monday - Friday 10-4pm.

Please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk with the following information:

Name​, Course, Year of study, Details of your case (including your Turnitin Report and invitation letter), What you need advice on, Date and time of your interview.


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