Academic integrity

Information about what academic integrity is, why it matters and UWE Bristol’s assessment offences policy.

What is academic integrity?

The University and the wider academic community share the values of honesty, mutual trust, fairness, and respect. This ensures that the academic work we produce and disseminate is authentic, ethical and reliable. This is what is meant by ‘academic integrity’. Academic integrity is important for both the reputation of the University and for yourself.

You demonstrate your own academic integrity when you sit examinations, produce essays, lab reports, portfolios and presentations – any work that shows that you have understood your modules, that you can use the ideas and work of other people, and can think independently and develop your own argument. These skills are crucial to getting a good degree and you will continue to use them in your professional life. Developing your study skills is crucial to having academic integrity and avoiding assessment offences.

Resources for supporting academic integrity

Good academic practice is crucial to having academic integrity and avoiding assessment offences. You need to have the skills to produce work for your course that show that you have understood your modules, that you can use the ideas and work of other people appropriately, and can think independently and develop your own argument.

Acknowledging where you use the work of others by referencing is a key skill for good academic practice, but it is not the only one. Good academic practice also involves skills for good research and note-taking, developing your critical thinking and evaluation skills to present your opinion, as well as understanding the structure and language of academic writing. You can also enhance your skills to succeed in exams. We have support to help you to develop all of these key skills.

Why academic integrity is important

We talked to UWE Bristol students and asked them why they feel that academic integrity is so important.

“I want to earn my grades and I want to make sure that it is my work and effort that allows me to graduate from university. If I haven't earned it myself, then it isn't worth anything.”

“It's important to credit people for their work. I wouldn't want people to use my ideas without crediting me.”

“I believe I am more than capable of writing my own work, and am proud of what I do/can achieve.“

Student reading while using a notebook computer in a study space.

Reading and note taking

Develop your academic reading skills and improve the notes you make while reading and during lectures.

Group of students working on laptops at the Business School.


The key to avoiding plagiarism is referencing the sources you use in your writing.

Student sitting in a booth studying

How to improve your work before submitting

Being able to read your own work and spot areas for improvement is a skill that will be useful throughout your studies and working life.

Students using computers in the library.

Check your work for plagiarism

Use our SafeAssign service to check your own work for plagiarism.

Group of students sitting around a table going through a presentation about google analytics

Working in a group

The Library has created this resource list to help with group work and team working.

Two students laughing together in university accommodation

Time management

Time management is about sorting out your priorities and making sure you achieve them in the time you have.

Student working on a laptop

Copyright and sharing resources online

Guidance on using online learning platforms to access and share e-resources.

Student using a laptop in the library

Workshops to develop your study skills

From making notes to structuring your writing, we offer a number of study skills workshops to students.

Student walking outside in the winter sun

Get wellbeing support

If you are feeling overwhelmed do talk to someone.

Assessment offences

Assessment offences happen when you do not demonstrate academic integrity and your work is not ethical and honest. Examples include cheating in an exam, buying an essay to submit as your own work or not referencing the sources you used in your work.

Assessment offences can be intentional or unintentional and may be committed for several reasons, including personal problems with time management, insufficient understanding of the relevant assessment instructions, a combination of these or something else. Seeking support with these issues in advance of submitting your work will help to ensure that you do not commit an assessment offence.

Understanding the University rules and requirements around assessment offences is your responsibility.

Academic Conduct Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedures (PDF)

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