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Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science

Academic integrity

Moodle courses

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This is a comprehensive course covering all aspects of academic honesty and plagiarism that you might need to know about during your studies. It consists of short videos and lessons followed by short reflective tasks and knowledge check quizzes. If you are accused of academic misconduct, your department will usually ask you whether you have completed this course, or they may mandate that you must complete this course as a remedial action.

Skills@EssexAcademic Integrity and Referencing

These are shorter versions of the main Academic Integrity and Plagiarism course, for anyone who just needs a quick introduction or a refresher. The whole Skills@Essex programme is great for dipping in and out of for help with various aspects of your academic work from effective reading and notetaking strategies to maths and stats support at point of need, all of which can also help develop your understanding of academic integrity and good academic practices.

Essex preparation programme (EPP) and Master’s preparation programme (MPP)

These are short courses you may have completed before you began your studies at Essex. If you are an undergraduate student thinking about doing a Masters, you may want to think about completing the MPP before you progress to the next level of study. These short courses cover learning, writing, reading, searching, and researching skills as well as sections for academic integrity. 

Workshops at Library logo with students viewing documents

Workshops at Library sessions are designed to support you in your studies and future careers. They are offered as part of the Academic Skills programme available to current Essex students via CareerHub. Workshops for PGRs and Early Career Researchers can be found on our Newcomers page.

Our workshops that support your academic integrity cover topics such as avoiding plagiarism, ethical use of AI, how to reference, reading Turnitin reports and evaluating sources. We run workshops regularly as part of our focus weeks, and we also offer a Library Cafe drop-in every Wednesday in the Library, where you can come and ask all your questions if you can't make a workshop you'd like to attend.

If you want the latest information about our workshops delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up to our monthly Workshops At Library Newsletter here.

Book a Librarian

1:1 appointments are a great space to ask your individualised questions from our expert librarians and skills tutors, who can help you avoid committing an academic offence and ensure you are following best practice in your work.

You can book an appointment with an experienced member of library staff if you would like support with: 

  • Finding information on a topic
  • Finding data on a topic
  • Using a particular database/online resource
  • How to cite/reference

Alternatively, you can book a 1:1 with an academic skills tutor from Skills for Success, who can help you with:

  • Your writing
  • Structuring your work
  • Understanding what your assignments are asking of you
  • Maths and stats support 

Both services are available online around the year, including holiday periods. Library 1:1 appointments are also available in-person at our Colchester and Southend campuses.

Library Café Hour

The Skills at Library team are hosting weekly library research cafés in the Albert Sloman Library, Colchester Campus. No need to book, just come along anytime between 14.00-15.00 to speak to a librarian about your library research.

 Key support covered:

  • Finding information
  • Accessing sources using Library ebooks and digital platforms
  • Checking the quality of the information you find
  • Referencing and managing sources

Academic integrity, authorship and plagiarism

These pages define what academic integrity means in a UK Higher Education context and what we expect from you as students at the University of Essex. The landing page also pulls together some of the resources highlighted in this guide, such as Moodle courses and Referencing guidance.

Academic offences

If you're not sure what "academic offence" entails, this section on the exams and coursework page gives a good explanation of what we mean by plagiarism as well as providing definitions of other common academic offences, such as collusion, falsification, and contract cheating. The section also highlights what happens and what to expect if you are accused of academic misconduct, and provides strategies on avoiding academic offences.

You may also want to check out the academic offences procedure (.pdf) for more examples of academic offences and a breakdown of the process for academic misconduct investigations.

If you scroll further up on the page, you can also find policies and advice on assessments and reassessments, extenuating circumstances, late submissions, and appeals. 

Artificial intelligence guidance

The University's central artificial intelligence guidance outlines what you are and aren't allowed to use artificial intelligence (AI) for in your academic work, and what would constitute an academic offence whilst using AI. Your department may give you more guidance on AI use, but this central guidance is a great starting point for checking that the way you're using AI is ethical and compliant with University policy.

The key takeaways from this guidance are:

  • You can't copy-paste outputs from generative AI tools into your work
  • You can, however, use AI to find and define information, organise yourself and your work, check your tone and grammar, and more
  • AI tools are going to continue to develop and advance, so learning how to use them ethically will benefit you in your studies and future career

If you wish to learn how to use AI more effectively, you can come along to our "Using artificial intelligence tools ethically" workshop where we talk about writing better prompts, ways to utilise AI ethically, and introduce a range of AI tools created specifically for the academic environment.

FASER is the platform you use to submit all your coursework and assignments, and any online exams will be conducted through FASER. You will also receive your marks and feedback via FASER, so getting familiar with FASER will likely take some stress and pressure off if you have to submit an assignment close to a deadline or you're asked to take an exam via FASER. You can find lots of information about how FASER works, common issues with submissions, and how to troubleshoot problems on the help and support pages linked below:

FASER help and support pages

Turnitin logo

FASER is also how your department checks your work for similarity with academic sources, internet sources and other student work by running your work through a software called Turnitin. Turnitin is commonly called a plagiarism detection software, but what it actually does is match your work for similarity with the works in the Turnitin database.

Turnitin will then produce a similarity score (percentage of your work that is flagged as similar to other content in the database) and an originality report which highlights the matches between your work and the works in the Turnitin database - this includes everything you've quoted (whether referenced correctly or not), anything that has been copy-pasted into your work, and often your references as well. Not everything that is highlighted in your report is cause for concern - for example references or quotes that you have cited accurately can be safely ignored.

Depending on your department, you may be allowed to run your work through Turnitin (via FASER) and produce one (1) similarity report prior to submitting your final assignment, or you may only see the report once you get your marks back, or in some departments you will never see the similarity score or report unless there is a problem with your work.

We would advise that if you are allowed a pre-submission check:

  • Do the check once your work is as close to finished as possible
  • But give yourself enough time to get the report back, which in busy times can take several hours
  • Also give yourself enough time to address any issues highlighted in the report

If you are not allowed a pre-submission check we would suggest you go through your work and check that:

  • All your quotes have quote marks around them and include either a footnote reference or an in-text citation, depending on your referencing style
  • All your paraphrased sections are clearly indicated and include either a footnote reference or an in-text citation, depending on your referencing style
  • Where you have paraphrased, check that you haven't just changed a few words but have actually put the extract in your own words, changed the sentence structure around, and made links between your work and the source
  • All your references follow a consistent format (ideally in your departmental style, but consistency is more important!)

If you're worried about Turnitin, anything that has been highlighted in your report, or how to use your Turnitin report to make your academic work better, you can come along to our "Using Turnitin reports" workshop. The workshop covers how Turnitin works, what sort of things get highlighted in the reports, how to address the various highlights, as well as recapping wider academic integrity skills.

You can book onto these sessions either on CareerHub by searching for Turnitin, or you can keep an eye out on our events calendar.

Our research students (PGR students) are expected to uphold high academic integrity standards like all our students, but they are also expected to follow good research practice, which entails a little more scrutiny than just avoiding plagiarism. The University's Research and Enterprise Office team have put together some really helpful pages on research integrity that you can check out for more information about what constitutes research misconduct and what to expect if you face a research integrity investigation or accusation.

We've linked some of the checklists, codes of practice and other resources below to help you ensure you follow good research practice and uphold high standards of research integrity.


Download links:

Referencing skills support

Academic Skills support

Skills for SuccessAcademic Skills support

The Academic Skills team here at Essex is called Skills for Success. Follow the above link to find the full list of support Skills for Success offer, including online support, workshops, and more. Stronger writing and digital skills encompass and feed into academic honesty so developing a more rigorous academic practice will help you fill any gaps in your learning and assessment process.

You can find all Skills for Success events on CareerHub. You can either search for specific skills (such as writing skills) or filter the event type to "academic skills" to find and book onto all Skills for Success, Library, and IT training workshops.