Updated: 3rd June 2021

Plagiarism is using, without acknowledgement, someone else’s words, ideas or work.


Academic assessments exist to help you learn and to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. The marks you receive for assignments show how fully you have demonstrated this and give you credit for your learning. Good academic practice is the process of completing your academic work independently and honestly; using the appropriate academic style and with all sources fully attributed following the Harvard Citation System (see handbook for guidelines). When you submit an assignment you are asked to confirm that the work you are submitting is your own and has not been written by anyone else. Whilst you may collaborate with others in studying, submitted work copied from or written jointly with others is not acceptable.


Plagiarism is using, without acknowledgement, someone else’s ideas or work. If you submit an assignment that contains work that is not your own, without clearly indicating this to the marker (fully acknowledging your sources using the rules of the specified academic referencing style), you are committing ‘plagiarism’ and this is academic misconduct.

This might occur in an assignment when:

  • using a choice phrase or sentence that you have come across or translated from another source
  • copying word-for-word directly from a text or other source
  • paraphrasing or translating the words from a text or other source very closely
  • using text downloaded from the internet, including that exchanged on social networks
  • borrowing statistics or assembled facts from another person or source
  • copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources
  • copying comments or notes from a trainer
  • copying from the notes or essays of a fellow student
  • copying from your own notes, on a text, tutorial, video or lecture, that contain direct quotations from trainers
  • using text obtained from assignment writing sites, organisations or private individuals.
  • paying for work from other sources and submitting it as your own

It is important to understand that if you do not acknowledge fully the sources that have contributed to and informed your work you are misrepresenting your knowledge and abilities. Since this may give you an unfair academic advantage in assessment it is considered to be academic misconduct. Where plagiarism is suspected your trainer will speak with you about this in the first instance.  If plagiarism has occurred you will be asked to select a different essay title and submit this assignment.  You will only receive a pass mark of 40% (ensuring you have fulfilled the requirements of the essay question).

Detailed guidance on how to properly acknowledge sources used in writing can be found within all assignment handbooks and support is available through our Pastoral Support Officer.


Although you are encouraged to show the results of your reading by referring to and quoting from works on your subject, copying from such sources without acknowledgement is considered to be plagiarism and is not acceptable. You must make it clear which words and ideas are yours and which have come from elsewhere.

  • If you are using the words that appear in the source i.e. quoting, you must show these words in quotation marks accompanied by an in-text citation/in-text reference and bibliography at the end of the assignment.
  • If you are summarising (sometimes called paraphrasing) ideas in a source you must acknowledge these by including an appropriate in-text citation/in-text reference and bibliography.

If you are new to academic study you may find it difficult to understand these academic conventions and this can lead to poor academic practice. In the same way as you want to develop your psychotherapy practice, it is equally important that you learn how to write and present your work so that it meets the requirements of good academic practice. If you require support with this please contact our Pastoral Support Officer – details on the noticeboard.  Also ensure you use your tutor’s feedback on your assignments which may include how you are using and referencing sources.


  • Assignments provide a vehicle for assessing your performance during your training and contribute to gaining your final award.
  • Assignments assist you in understanding your subject and aid your learning.
  • When you attempt to use the ideas and theory independently you learn more thoroughly and develop your own writing style.
  • Writing your own assignments will help you to integrate your theoretical knowledge with your practice.