Academic and General Misconduct

The MGA advocacy team is here to ensure that your rights are upheld if you are accused of general and/or academic misconduct.

Student discipline is governed by the Monash University (Council) Regulations. Part 7 of the regulations relates to student discipline and deals with three kinds of misconduct:

General misconduct

General misconduct means any conduct that is contrary to accepted standards of behaviour and university rules. That includes conduct by which a student attacks, harasses, intimidates, threatens or endangers others. It can be done knowingly or recklessly and includes:

  • Being in possession of unauthorised 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 general misconduct due to 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.

Academic misconduct

Academic misconduct means conduct by which a student seeks to gain an unfair or unjustified academic advantage in a course or unit of study either for themselves or another person.  It covers cheating in examinations, plagiarism, collusion on assignments, submitting a false medical certificate in support of an application for special consideration or submitting work which was previously submitted for assessment at Monash or another university. It also includes asking or paying another person to complete assessable work, including by using an online website to seek this assistance.

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.

Research misconduct

Research misconduct is conduct by a student in connection with research which is dishonest, reckless or negligent and seriously deviates from accepted standards for proposing, conducting or reporting research. 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.

Possible penalties

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

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

Over the years we have compiled a list of FAQs in response to the enquiries we have received. Bookmark this page for future reference and if your question isn’t listed – get in touch with us!

Click here to read our advice and advocacy FAQs.

Book an appointment with an MGA advocate

To get in contact with one of our advocates, please book an appointment via email. Alternatively, you can call the Clayton (9905 3197) or Caulfield (9903 1880) office to speak to one of our advocates.

Advocate for Clayton, AMREP, MMC and Gippsland:

Sunshine Kamaloni

James Breheny

Advocate for Caulfield, Peninsula, Parkville and Law Chambers:

Sarah Murphy

Ying Xu