Please be advised that DSU Advice can provide you with advice and support. They can be contacted on 0116 255 5576 or via email at DSUAdvice@dmu.ac.uk.
Academic practice officers
If you are suspected of committing an academic offence you will be called to a meeting with an Academic Practice Officer (APO). APOs are based within in each faculty and it is their role to advise on how to prevent bad academic practice and academic offences and to deal with serious cases.
You have the right to be accompanied by a member of De Montfort University Students' Union, university staff or your family but not normally a solicitor or barrister acting in a professional capacity. If you prefer, you can make a written statement instead of attending the meeting.
At the meeting, the APO will discuss the alleged offence with you. The APO may also suggest further training or remedial work. If the APO considers you guilty, they will impose an appropriate penalty.
If your offence is a second offence, or is otherwise deemed serious, it will be referred to a panel.
If you are a research student, the role of the APO will be undertaken by your Faculty Head of Research Students.
Penalties that can be imposed by APOs include:
- Setting aside the component or assignment concerned and requiring you to complete it as if for the first time
- Failure of the component. You will be reassessed and the mark capped if appropriate and not disproportionate in effect
- Failure of the component and the module. You will be reassessed in the module.
- APO will, following discussion with a colleague from the Academic Support Office, submit your case to the Academic Offences Panel
Academic Offences Panel
Second instances of offences will be referred to the Academic Offences Panel. The panel is chaired by a senior member of academic staff and consists of an independent member of the Academic Board or Research Degrees Committee, the President of the students' union (or nominee) and a nominee from Student & Academic Services.
You will be given at least 14 days written notice of the hearing, which will take place whether you attend or not. You have the right to appear and make your case and to be accompanied by a representative who may speak on your behalf. The representative may be a member of the students' union, DMU or your family but may not normally be a solicitor or barrister acting in a professional capacity. The APO will appear and make the case against you.
The panel will decide whether, on the balance of probabilities, the offence occurred or not. If the panel does decide that an offence occurred, one of the following penalties may be imposed, depending on the seriousness of the offence and the panel's views on your evidence in mitigation:
- Expulsion, to incorporate failure of any and all assessments or examinations taken during that session
- Reduction of the degree classification achieved or to be achieved by one class (applicable to final level students only)
- Suspension from the university for one year (or part thereof) and failure in that academic year (or specified part thereof) and the student to retake the assessments with or without attendance as determined by the panel
- Failure of that academic year (or specified part thereof) and the student to retake its assessments, with or without attendance as determined by the panel
- Refer back to the APO for reconsideration under their powers
Right of appeal
You have the right to appeal against a panel decision on the following grounds only:
- There is new and relevant evidence that you were exceptionally unable to present to the panel hearing
- The panel failed to follow the procedures set out in the regulations and their decision may have been different had they followed the procedures
- There is evidence of prejudice or bias in the decision reached by the panel.
The appeal procedure is explained in the university's General Regulations and Procedures Affecting Students.