Assessment Discipline

and Academic Misconduct

Many students who break the School’s assessment regulations did not intend to cheat but did not properly understand the School’s regulations
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What is expected of you

All the work you submit to the School is expected to be 100% your own. Therefore, you must not collude or confer with anyone when producing an individual assessment. Any involvement of a third party to write or edit your work (beyond the permissible levels of advice stipulated in Section 3 of the Statement on Editorial Help) is strictly prohibited. It is now a criminal offence to provide, or arrange for another person to provide, contract cheating services for students enrolled at a higher education provider in England. Students who are found to engage in contract cheating services risk not only severe sanctions under these regulations but the School’s Disciplinary Procedure as well, where it may be determined to refer the matter to the Police.

The use of AI tools to help with any part of your assessment is strictly prohibited unless some use is permitted as defined by the Department responsible for the assessment.

You must ensure all sources (which includes books, articles, on-line resources) used in your work are correctly referenced. The School will carry out checks to ensure the academic integrity of your work. After your submission, it remains open to an examiner to ask you questions regarding the authenticity and originality of your work.

Many students who break the School’s assessment regulations did not intend to cheat but did not properly understand the School’s regulations on referencing and plagiarism.

The School considers all forms of assessment misconduct, whether deliberate or otherwise, a very serious matter and can apply severe penalties that might impact on your award.

Depending on the discipline and type of assessment, your Department may have specific expectations about how you write and reference your work. These will be clearly explained in the assessment instructions. 

Before you submit your work you should carry out the following checks:

  • That all sources are correctly referenced both in the bibliography and within the body of your work
  • That where you have quoted a source you have used quotation marks
  • That you have not re-used significant amounts of work you have previously submitted to the School or a previous institution. This must be referenced properly or it will be considered self-plagiarism. You should seek clarification directly from the Department about the use of earlier submitted material 

Use of homework assistance or external websites

Submitting assessment questions to ‘homework assistance’ websites to get help answering them, viewing answers to LSE assessments posted on these sites, or seeking help from ‘essay-mill’ or ‘ghost-writing’websites, is strictly forbidden. If you do this, you are at risk of expulsion from the School.

As part of LSE's marking and academic integrity procedures, staff make regular checks for potential instances of academic misconduct. This can include legally obtaining the identity of LSE students who have accessed these homework assistance websites.

School Assessment Regulations 

Students taking assessments should ensure they have read and understood the following regulations. 

The following regulations apply to all summative assessments:

The School Regulations on Assessment Offences

The below is not exhaustive but sets out the main regulations you should be aware of:

  • Communication in any form by a student during the assessment submission period, to another individual or individuals except where expressly allowed by the examiners;
  • Copying or reading from the work of another student or from another student's books, notes, instruments, computer files or other materials or aids, unless expressly allowed by the examiners;
  • Using software or information stored electronically in any form that is not expressly allowed by the examiners;
  • Providing or receiving information about the content of an examination before it takes place, except when expressly allowed by the department or institute concerned;
  • Impersonating or trying to impersonate a candidate, or attempting to procure a third party to impersonate oneself and take the assessment;
  • Fabricating or falsifying data or results by individual students or groups of students;
  • Any conduct of which the result would be an advantage for the student obtained by subterfuge or action contrary to published rules or regulations;
  • All work must be the student's own work. Direct quotations from other work must be placed properly within quotation marks or indented and must be cited fully. All paraphrased material must be clearly acknowledged. Infringing this requirement, whether deliberately or not, or passing off the work of others as the student’s own work, whether deliberately or not, is plagiarism;
  • A piece of work may only be submitted for assessment once either to the LSE or elsewhere. Submitting the same work twice will be regarded as an offence of 'self-plagiarism';
  • The School reserves the right to interview any candidate about the authenticity of any submitted assessment.

Late submission penalties

The following arrangements apply to all summative assessments.

Please see the following websited for further information about key School processes: 



Exceptional Circumstances

In order to ensure the academic integrity of the School’s assessments and its awards, it is necessary to apply late mark penalties where an assessment is received after the published deadline or agreed extension. Where an assessment is submitted late it may be possible to consider your reasons for late submission and determine whether or not to apply a penalty. More information about this procedure can be found below.

Note: If there are any professional accreditation requirements, then it is possible the late penalties may differ slightly. This will be confirmed by the department responsible for the course.

Students who encounter exceptional difficulties outside of their control that might prevent them from submitting on time during the assessment window should submit Exceptional Circumstances within the normal deadline. They should also contact the relevant academic department as soon as possible after submission to explain why they could not submit on time.


Time limited assessments with a common start/finish time for all students (12 noon, GMT); or,

Time limited assessments to be taken at any time within a 24-hour window:

- One percentage mark will be deducted per minute (or part-minute) the submission is late, up to a total of 15 minutes.

- Students who submit more than 15 minutes late will receive a zero mark

- These students should submit exceptional circumstances and the Exam Board will consider whether the zero mark will be discounted or, where the student has run out of attempts, a further opportunity to attempt the assessment will be granted.

Students who are not ‘Fit to Sit’ would be expected to defer in advance of the assessment window.

Online ‘take home’ assessments with a 24-hour assessment window

- Five percentage marks will be deducted for every hour (or part hour) the assessment is late.

Assessments with either a 48-hour, 72-hour, one-week, two-week or three-week window: 

For the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline:

- Five percentage marks will be deducted for every half-day (12 hours), or part of a half day the assessment is received late. This will result in a maximum penalty of ten percentage marks for the first 24 hours.

For beyond the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline:

- Ten percentage marks will be deducted for the first 24 hours as above then five percentage marks will be deducted per 24 hour period (not limited to working days) the assessment is late, or 24 hour period, thereafter

Assessments of longer than three weeks:

      - Five percentage marks will be deducted per day (this includes weekends, bank holidays and School closure days), or part, thereafter late.

Academic Integrity Statement

By submitting this work to the School you confirm you will abide by and uphold the School’s Code of Good Practice, Ethics Code and academic integrity as outlined in the School’s Regulations on Assessment Offences and department guidance and you also confirm that: 

•     the work in this assessment is solely your own; and

•     you have not conferred or colluded with anyone in producing this specific assessment*; and

•     you understand the use of AI tools to help with any part of your assessment is strictly prohibited unless some use is permitted as defined by the Department responsible for the assessment (see Departmental guidance); and

•     where necessary, you have clearly cited and referenced the work of others appropriately to make clear which parts are your own work; and

•     your submission does not re-use substantial/verbatim materials you have previously submitted to the School or elsewhere. To note, in some cases expanding on earlier formative or summative work may be permitted as defined by the Department responsible for the assessment (see Departmental guidance) and;

•     you understand the School has the right to ask you questions about the originality of your work if deemed necessary

 *It is acceptable to consult with LSE LIFE for general study skills questions but not questions specific to the content of a particular assessment.

Sources of Help

You are advised to carefully read all assessment instructions for every single assessment, you should also ensure you are familiar with the information relating to assessment submissions within your Department handbook and any relevant Departmental webpages.

  • You can also find help and individually tailored advice through LSE LIFE here.
  • Advice for submitting on-line assessments to LSE can be found here.

You can find detailed and helpful advice from the LSE Library as follows:

Your department librarians are available online to assist with referencing or research resource questions as you prepare for your online assessments. 

Read our Citing and referencing guidance  to help you ensure that you will be citing your sources accurately and consistently. 

The resource Cite them right is a resource containing advice on how to reference different resources, according to different academic citation styles such as MLA or APA. The Cite them Right Tutorial and Basics section covers the most common questions.  

The Library will be running regular referencing sessions online in Spring term which can be booked on the LSE Training system. 

Materials from our workshops are in Moodle - LSE Life: finding and referencing sources

What happens if you are suspected of assessment misconduct

The School will carry out checks to ensure the academic integrity of your work. Where a Department has concerns about the originality or content of your submission they may invite you to an informal interview. This is an opportunity for you and the Department to discuss your work and explore any concerns. The Department can use the basis of this interview to determine whether or not to make a formal assessment offence allegation against you. However, it cannot influence the marking process. Only where an allegation proceeds further under one of the assessment regulations procedures can any penalties be applied to your work but this could only occur after due process and you will be given the opportunity to further explain your work.

Alternatively, the Department may be satisfied with your answers during the interview and decide no further action will need to be taken.

What happens if an allegation is made against you?

The Department will determine if the allegation is “minor” or "major”. In either case you may like to seek impartial advice from the LSE Student Union. All major allegations must be considered by an Assessment Misconduct Panel. You will be provided with information about the allegation and the opportunity to explain your case both in advance and at the Panel meeting. All members of the Panel will be impartial and will seek to make a decision on the balance of probabilities.

For minor allegations your Department will recommend a course of action that is deemed proportionate to the alleged offence. Such action could range as described below. In all cases you will be provided with information about the allegation and the opportunity to explain your case before any action is taken against you.

Possible outcomes:

  • Warning - The allegation is considered to be of a minor nature, you may be given a written warning; this will have no effect on your results and will not be on your student record. However, we will keep an internal note of the allegation, and any future contravention of the rules may result in more serious action being taken against you. 
  • Disposal - The allegation is considered to be too serious for a warning, but does not warrant a penalty, you will be invited to consent to a Disposal.  This means that a note will be added to your student record, and the Exam Board may take the allegation into account when determining your final degree classification, particularly if your mark profile is borderline.  
  • Re-mark – The allegation is considered to be of a minor nature and can be resolved by removing any possible advantage you may have gained; your work may be re-marked with any unreferenced or overlapping material removed and a new mark confirmed. A note of the allegation and outcome will be added to your student record.
  • Zero mark – The allegation is considered not serious enough to refer to an Assessment Misconduct Panel which could consider applying zero marks to all of your work and even expulsion, but warrants the application of a penalty. You will be awarded a zero mark for the work in question Where this results in an overall fail for the course then you will be required to resubmit the work provided you have attempt remaining.

If you have any questions relating to an allegation you can contact the Student Regulations Team using the following enquiry form.