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What is misconduct?

Monash University expects all students to conduct their studies with honesty and integrity. Misconduct is a breach of this expectation. The University recognises three kinds of misconduct:

  • Academic misconduct – can include plagiarism, collusion, exam cheating, and other means to gain an unfair advantage that others wouldn’t have. This can be something you do on purpose (intentionally) or by being very careless (recklessly).
  • Research misconduct – means research conduct by a student which is dishonest, reckless or negligent, and seriously deviates from accepted standards for proposing, conducting or reporting research. It can be done intentionally or recklessly.
  • General misconduct – includes conduct by which a student attacks, harasses, intimidates, threatens or endangers others. It is defined as  any conduct that is contrary to accepted standards of behaviour and university rules. It can be done intentionally or recklessly.

We most often see students who are suspected of academic misconduct because there is a problem with a piece of work they submitted. Sometimes the student’s work is too similar to another students, or it looks like they didn’t write it themselves. Sometimes they may have not correctly referenced the work of other people.

How can I avoid misconduct?

To avoid allegations of academic or research misconduct, we encourage you to complete all of the academic integrity training modules available, and to carefully read through resources available on Learn HQ. Many faculties also have their own Moodle modules and many units contain links to resources on academic integrity on their Moodle pages. Go through all of these resources before you begin researching or writing.

To avoid allegations of general misconduct, you should review and understand your obligations as a student as listed in the Student Charter.

If you make a mistake, contact an MGA advocate so we can support you.

What happens if I’m suspected of misconduct? Is there an investigation?

Monash University has processes for dealing with suspected misconduct. No decision is made before you are given a chance to explain your side of the story. If you contact one of our advocates, we can explain things and help you through the process.

For academic misconduct, the investigation usually starts with the chief examiner asking you to explain a suspected breach of academic integrity. This is the first step of the process that can lead to an academic misconduct allegation. You can find more information at LearnHQ.

For general misconduct, you can find details of the process at the Monash Safer Communities Unit website.

Will I be punished? What penalty will I get?

This depends on if you are found guilty. Depending on the nature of the misconduct, you could receive any from a range of range of penalties including: reprimands, fines, a 0 grade for all of part of the assessment, fail grade for the unit, suspension from enrolment for a period of time, or exclusion.

The penalty is decided on a case-by-case basis, meaning the decision maker will choose the penalty they think is fairest considering your situation.

What if I disagree with the outcome of a misconduct decision. Can I appeal?

Yes, appeals are available if your case meets certain grounds. We strongly encourage you to contact an MGA advocate for advice, and to do so quickly because the time in which to appeal is quite short.

Have you received an allegation of misconduct?

Contact an MGA advocate for confidential advice and support!

Monash University takes allegations of misconduct very seriously. When responding, it is important you are honest and reflective. We strongly recommend seeking our advice and support before responding.

Got questions? We have answers!

To get in contact with one of our advocates, please book an appointment via email or fill in our online form.

Everything you provide in the form is treated as private and confidential. Only starred fields are compulsory. Demographic data is collected for statistical purposes only.

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Got a question or request about anything at all? Get in contact with one of our staff members – we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, drop by the MGA office at Clayton or Caulfield so we can help!

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