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Cited as a best practice example of plagiarism guidance for students, this resource outlines the School of Nursing's procedure for dealing with plagiarism.

The full document can be downloaded here Managing Plagiarism in the School of Nursing March 2012.docx

School of Nursing plagiarism guidance

 Plagiarism is a serious offence that not only has an impact on the student’s academic progression but also has implications for the student’s fitness to practice in professional programmes. The NMC’s position on plagiarism is clear and they have stated that plagiarism may in some cases be viewed as attempting to obtain a qualification by deceit. In a recent case the NMC accepted the following definition:

The unauthorised use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another and the representation of that language or those thoughts as their own original work, (NMC 2006) sourced at:

This reflects the School of Nursing’s position and consequently, the process to manage plagiarism is outlined below. This is based on the guidance provided by the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences with additions to manage the related professional issues.

In some cases students may not have plagiarised but rather an incidence of suspected plagiarism may highlight a learning need that should be addressed with the student.

In the first instance the School will act to reduce the incidence of plagiarism. The School is aware that nurturing scholarly values by for example, clear  and consistent advice about the nature and implications of plagiarism, the importance of accurate referencing and the construction of meaningful assessment tasks, and providing clear guidelines on referencing (and modelling this in reading lists), discourages plagiarism and this informs programme design and delivery.


To offset and deal with plagiarism, the following actions are recommended for the School:

  1. Students will be advised at induction about:
    1. What is plagiarism
    2. Referencing and plagiarism
    3. The implicit link to professional conduct
    4. Auto-plagiarism
    5. Using Turnitin to check work
    6. Actions that will be taken on suspicion of plagiarism
    7. Consequences and implications of plagiarism
  2. Information introduced at induction should be reinforced in each year of the course
  3. Information introduced at induction should be reinforced as part of studies advice
  4. Students should be encouraged to use Turnitin to check their own work.
    1. This should be addressed in the studies advice agenda and students should be encouraged to reflect upon and discuss plagiarism and its consequences
    2. This should be reinforced by module coordinators when students are preparing to submit assignments
  5. Turnitin ( will be used by module coordinators once coursework has been submitted and plagiarism has been suspected in order to determine the likelihood of plagiarism.


Where plagiarism has been suspected the following process should be observed:

  1. The Module Coordinator will submit an electronic version of coursework to Turnitin and analyse the originality report
  2. If the result is *significantand plagiarism is detected then refer to Faculty schedule of penalties for the offence,
    1. These differ for taught programmes and research programmes and will be applied in addition to any professional sanctions applied: the list of penalties are available from Faculty here:
  3. If plagiarism is suspected in a practice learning portfolio where the use of Turnitin would be problematic the Module Coordinator/Option Leader and Course Director will meet with the student to enable the student to give an account of events
  4. The course director and/ or module coordinator will meet with the student to enable the student to give an account of events
  5. Student support arrangements put in place and monitored by the course director
  6. The Head of School should be notified of all cases of plagiarism and will determine if further action is required based on the facts of the case such as referral to Fitness for Practice Committee

Further guidance about managing plagiarism is provided by the Faculty here:

*Significant: This refers to an originality report that clearly shows that plagiarism has occurred.

The Faculty procedures for recording plagiarism have been reproduced here:


  • The member of staff identifying the plagiarism will contact Mrs Elaine Duffy, Executive Officer, Faculty Office, Magee, by e-mail, copied to the Module Co-ordinator and the Course Director, identifying the student by name, registration number and course, and asking Mrs Duffy to check the Faculty database and report as to whether the student had any previous incidents of plagiarism and if so how many. 
  • Mrs Duffy will reply to the e-mail (again copied to the Module Co-ordinator and the Course Director).  This e-mail, which will be in a standard format, will include details of the penalties to be applied, in line with the requirements of the University’s policy on plagiarism.  This will permit the mark for the submitted assignment to be adjusted accordingly.
  • The member of staff will then complete the University pro-forma and send it by e-mail, again copied to the Module Co-ordinator and the Course Director, to Mrs Duffy who will input the details into the Faculty database.
  • Information must also be copied to Head of School of Nursing for information and review. Also copied to School Secretary on that campus for recording on Campus spread sheet.