What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) is where a student either:

i) presents work for assessment which contains the unacknowledged published or unpublished words, thoughts, judgements, ideas, structures or images of some other person or persons. This includes material downloaded from electronic sources, and material sourced or contracted from a third party; or

ii) presents for assessment work which that student has previously submitted for assessment as part of the same or another module or course, or at another institution. This is known as self-plagiarism, and relates to the principle that a student may not receive credit for the same piece of work more than once unless specifically required to resubmit work as a requirement of re-assessment. 

Every student is expected to understand the rules regarding correct referencing. Whenever you submit a piece of coursework, you agree to the following:

“I confirm that I understand what plagiarism is and have read and understood Section 10 of the Handbook of Academic Regulations. The work that I have submitted is entirely my own (unless authorised group work). Any work from other authors is duly referenced and acknowledged.”

See Part 3 Section 10 of the Handbook of Academic Regulations for more details on plagiarism.

How do I correctly reference my work?

There is a particular style and format that you’ll need to use when you reference your work and this may differ between courses. Check with your Course Leader the correct referencing style when you begin your studies.
Have a look at our Referencing your work web page for more details and to download the Referencing Guide.

What sources should I acknowledge in my work?

You’ll need to reference all your sources. This includes academic books and journals, and any information you use from anywhere on the Internet.

How we detect potential plagiarism

In line with other higher education institutions, the University employs text-matching software, such as Safe Assign and Turnitin, to help identify potential plagiarism in assignments. The software does not detect plagiarism per se but does highlight text similarities. Academic judgement will still be used to decide whether or not potential plagiarism exists in an assignment.


university of westminster students union logo

Students' Union

Find out about and get involved with the Students' Union.