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Academic misconduct - CS022309

A student was suspected of contract cheating in their coursework submission by presenting material that they had bought online as their own work.

The student admitted that they had purchased the material. They said that they had been suffering from anxiety and depression, which had affected their judgment. The provider accepted that the student’s judgment had been impaired. It decided that the student’s final degree classification would be downgraded by one class.

The student appealed the decision saying that the penalty was too severe and did not properly consider the extent to which their mental health had been a factor in their decision to plagiarise. The provider dismissed the appeal.

The student complained to us.

We did not uphold the student’s complaint (we found it “Not Justified”).

We decided that the provider had followed its procedures and that the penalty it imposed was in line with its published procedures. The provider considered the student’s mitigation when deciding which penalty to impose and, instead of withdrawing the student from their studies which was the standard penalty for contract cheating, the provider applied a lesser penalty which we concluded was reasonable in the circumstances.