College of Engineering & Architecture Plagiarism Protocol


Academic integrity is an underpinning tenet of the UCD Student Code, by which all UCD students are bound. One of the key principles of academic integrity is full and appropriate acknowledgement of the contribution of others in any work. Plagiarism, which involves the explicit or implicit presentation of the work of others as the original work of the author, is a violation of academic integrity and a breach of the UCD Student Code.

The University Plagiarism Policy defines plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) and specifies procedures for addressing acts of plagiarism. The Policy also specifies the associated responsibilities of individual Schools/academic units. The College of Engineering & Architecture Plagiarism Protocol, which applies to all academic units/programmes/Schools within the College, is founded on the principles of the University Plagiarism Policy. Implementation of this Protocol is with respect to modules delivered by constituent schools in the College of Engineering and Architecture and applies to students, regardless of programme/major, enrolled in these modules and submitting work for assessment.

In its approach to plagiarism, the College of Engineering & Architecture is committed to educating students on relevant matters and encouraging students to learn from cases where penalties are applied. Therefore, both procedures regarding student briefing and sanctions imposed in cases of plagiarism should be appropriate to achieving these goals.

Stakeholder Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the College of Engineering & Architecture, through the constituent Programme Boards

  1. To ensure that mechanisms are in place to formally inform all students enrolled in College based programmes, during the first semester of their studies, of the UCD Plagiarism Policy and to provide access to associated learning resources. Where appropriate, relevant activities should be embedded within one or more core modules.

Responsibilities of Academic Staff

  1. Academic staff should be familiar with the University Plagiarism Policy
  2. Academic staff should be familiar with the School/College Plagiarism Protocol
  3. Academic staff should bring these Plagiarism Policies to the attention of students and relevant support staff (e.g. Teaching Assistants, Tutors) in any module where an assessment is set. Links to relevant policies/learning resources should be provided on module BlackBoard sites.
  4. Where Teaching Assistants/Tutors are grading students’ work, they should be informed of their responsibility to report suspected cases of plagiarism to the Module Coordinator. Teaching Assistants/Tutors should also be directed not to impose sanctions (e.g. grade component reductions) directly in such cases.
  5. Module Coordinators should make students aware of specific issues relating to individual modules, where such issues exist.
  6. Staff should make students aware that any cases of suspected plagiarism will be addressed as outlined in this protocol.
  7. Module Coordinators must ensure that non-Programme students enrolled in their modules are advised of the College Plagiarism Protocol.

Responsibilities of Students enrolled in Engineering and/or Architecture Modules

  1. Students should be familiar with the University Plagiarism Policy.
  2. Students should be familiar with the College Plagiarism Protocol.
  3. Any work submitted by students should be accompanied by a completed and signed Plagiarism Declaration (Appendix 1).
  4. Students should be aware of specific issues, as identified by the Module Coordinator for particular modules, where such issues exist.
  5. Students should be aware that any case of suspected plagiarism will be addressed as outlined below.

Plagiarism Structures & Procedures

School Plagiarism Committee

Each School within the College must have a Plagiarism Committee, consisting of the School Head of Teaching & Learning and at least two other academic staff members. The role of the School Plagiarism Committee is:

  1. To advise the School on matters relating to plagiarism.
  2. To examine reported claims of plagiarism in submitted work associated with School modules and to maintain a record of such cases; a record in respect of any student should be maintained only until that student graduates/exits from the relevant programme.
  3. To impose sanctions where deemed appropriate.

The role of the College Teaching & Learning Committee

School Heads of Teaching & Learning will report on matters related to plagiarism within their Schools to the College Teaching & Learning Committee, as advised by the College VP for Teaching & Learning. In this regard, the purpose of the College Teaching & Learning Committee is:

  1. To work with Schools and with relevant UCD units (e.g. UCD Library, UCD Teaching & Learning) to develop College-wide resources related to the implementation of the College Plagiarism Protocol
  2. To advise on implementation of the College Protocol.
  3. To examine School plagiarism reports, submitted to the committee at least once per semester. 
  4. To periodically review the College Plagiarism Protocol, in accordance with University guidelines and international best practice.

Procedure for addressing cases of suspected plagiarism in Engineering and Architecture modules

  1. Any instance of suspected plagiarism, if detected by a person other than the Module Coordinator, must be brought to the attention of the Module Coordinator.
  2. If the suspected plagiarism is deemed to be of a minor nature (e.g. poor citation referencing, failure to acknowledge source of an illustration, or similar minor issue), the Module Coordinator will conduct a discussion with the student to resolve the issue and ensure it does not happen again.
  3. If the suspected plagiarism is deemed to be more serious (e.g. whole sections of the submission copied from another source, without appropriate acknowledgement), the Module Coordinator must refer the incident to the School Plagiarism Committee.
  4. For any case referred to the School Plagiarism Committee, the School Plagiarism record must be checked, for evidence of re-offence by the student(s) involved, within the School.
  5. Any case referred to the School Plagiarism Committee will, in consultation with the Module Coordinator, result in one of 4 possible outcomes: 

(a) Recommend that the Module Coordinator conduct a discussion with the student to resolve the issue and ensure it does not happen again
(b) Direct that the student revise and resubmit the work, and direct that the grade for the work/module component be capped at D-.
(c) Reduce the grade for the work/module component to NG.
(d) Refer the case to the Registrar.


Note 1. In the case where identical, or substantially overlapping work is submitted by multiple students, the same sanctions may be imposed on all students involved. It is not the remit of the School Plagiarism Committee to determine authorship in such cases.

Note 2. If plagiarism is confirmed by the School Plagiarism Committee, and if the case is not referred to the Registrar, only the grade component for the corresponding module component will be affected. It is not the remit of the Committee to reduce the grade for the entire module.

Note 3. Where a case is referred to the Registrar (i.e. outcome (d)), the Penalties imposed by the Registrar can have serious consequences. The Registrar can direct that any of the following penalties be applied, whether in whole or in part:

  1. Resubmission, where the maximum grade awardable is D- or equivalent.
  2. Exclusion from the module.
  3. Exclusion from the programme.
College-Plagiarism-Declaration-Form PDF|72kb