Academic and general misconduct

Monash University Statutes and Regulations govern cases concerning academic and/or general misconduct. See Monash University Council Regulations and the Student Discipline Guidelines.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct means trying to gain an unfair advantage over other students. For example:

  • cheating in an examination or cheating in assignments;

it can also mean

  • knowing or being reckless in breaching university rules in examinations or unit assessment tasks or during placements;
  • collusion or plagiarism;
  • assisting or encouraging others to break rules.

Example 1

Student 1 and 2 worked on an assignment together even though it was not to be a group assignment. They submitted very similar work. They were found guilty of academic misconduct by collusion.

Example 2

Student entered examination venue and started the exam.  One hour later the student went to the toilet. On returning to their seat the student was asked to empty their pockets.  Notes were found inside a highlighter pen which related to the exam and were confiscated.  Student was found guilty of cheating.

Example 3

Student accidentally dropped notes which only partially related to the examination. The notes had been in a large wool jacket pocket. Student did not remember the notes were there and did not use them during the examination.  Student was found guilty of cheating because the student was reckless in forgetting to check all pockets.

Example 4

Student was very ill and could not study. The student purchased an assignment via the internet. Student was found guilty of academic misconduct. The fact the student was ill was taken into account for the penalty only.

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General Misconduct

General misconduct means conduct which is contrary to accepted standards of behavior or university rules. It can be done knowingly or recklessly and includes:

  • being in possession of unauthorized material during an examination;
  • bullying or harassing or intimidating;
  • behaving in a way which will likely result in harm to person or property or both;
  • dishonest or fraudulent activity;
  • failing to obey an officer of the university;
  • failing to obey an order made under university rules;
  • encouraging someone to participate in a disorderly act.

Example 1

A student brought a lucky poem into an examination not related to the topic. Found guilty of having unauthorised material.

Example 2

A student entered a university building making various threats and refusing to leave. The student was found guilty of general misconduct.

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Research Misconduct

This category only applies to research candidates. Essentially the misconduct that the statute and regulations contemplates is dishonesty, recklessness, negligence or some serious deviation from acceptable standards of behaviour. It includes:

  • plagiarism;
  • breach of copyright;
  • misleading attribution of authorship;
  • omission of references to relevant published work of another person
  • taking, sequestering or materially damaging research related property
  • failing to obtain the requisite ethics clearance
  • using information in breach of a duty of confidentiality;
  • submitting false results to a supervisor, examiner or publisher;
  • making a false or misleading statement or representation or otherwise;
  • assisting or encouraging a student to commit any of the above.

Example 1

Student neglected to notice some ‘endnote’ references were missing. The student was charged with research misconduct.

Example 2

Student failed to cite an unreported article in which the student was actually a co-author. Student was charged with research misconduct.

Example 3

Student submitted false accommodation receipts from conference stay. Student was charged with research misconduct.

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research also provides details relevant to higher degree by research postgraduates.

See also the Handbook for Doctoral Degrees and the Handbook for Research Masters Degrees.

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Possible penalties

Where students are found guilty of any of the offences outlined above a range of penalties is available to the University including: reprimands, fines, disallowance of work, suspension from enrolment for a period of time, exclusion.

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Make sure you're familiar with the University's plagiarism policy.

MPA Advocate Contact Details

The best way to contact one of our Advocates is by via email. For those postgraduates located off-campus or studying via distance education, advice can be provided by email, and supported by phone calls (funded by the MPA).


Sunshine Kamaloni

Benoit Tasse


Robert Rybicki

Sarah Murphy

Advocacy service at Peninsula, Parkville & the MMC

To support the needs of postgraduate students based at Peninsula, Parkville and MMC, an MPA advocate is scheduled to be on site to provide confidential, one-on-one support to postgrads.

Peninsula Campus
Ben Tasse will be at Peninsula on the following dates:

16 November 2017
23 November 2017
30 November 2017
7 December 2017
14 December 2017

Time: 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: Postgraduate Lounge, Struan House

Parkville Campus
Sunshine Kamaloni will be at Parkville on the following dates:

28 November 2017
12 December 2017

Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Venue: Pharm-Consultation Room 401.G.54

An advocate will be at the MMC on the following dates:

21 November 2017
12 December 2017

Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Venue: Level 2 Meeting Room MHRP Building

Revised assessment and coursework unit procedures from Semester 2, 2017

Monash University recently revised its approach to assessment. There is a new Assessment in Coursework Units Policy which integrates the ‘Monash Assessment Vision’. There are also procedures which accompany the policy. The MPA urges postgrads to take note of these new procedures that come into effect from Semester 2, 2017. More details are available here

Making Good Decisions Advocacy Forum

Click here to view slides from the 2017 MPA advocacy forum