If it is considered that your work contains an academic offence, you will be sent an email to both your student account and the personal account listed on your SITS record (it is important to keep this up to date).


The email will inform you of:

  • the offence
  • the evidence the university has obtained
  • and to provide you with a form (AOF3) 


You must complete the AOF3 to indicate how you wish to respond to the allegation. You will be asked to respond by a certain date, after which your case will be considered at an Academic Conduct Panel meeting. 


Filling out an AOF3 form


Before completing the AOF3, it is important to consider your options because you cannot appeal the decision of the panel (unless you believe the process was not followed correctly), even if you feel that the outcome to be unfair.


You will be asked to tick one of the following options on the form:

  • I accept the allegation
  • I do not accept the allegation


If you accept the allegation, you are encouraged to send a written statement explaining why the offence occurred. You should also explain what steps you are putting in place to ensure that an offence does not occur again, for example, attending extra study skills sessions about academic referencing.


If you do not accept the allegation, you must provide a written statement and evidence to support your case. It needs to be clearly explained in the written statement how the evidence supports your case, or the evidence may be dismissed as irrelevant.


Please note that the university have systems and processes in place to support students if they are facing difficulties (beyond their control) when studying, for example personal illness, an accident or a serious family issue. Therefore, if an academic offence has occurred because you were facing such circumstances, it is important to provide evidence about when you reached out to the University for support. If you could not reach out at the time, this will need to be clearly explained in your statement.


Academic Conduct Panel


An Academic Conduct Panel will be scheduled to consider your case. This meeting will take place even if you do not submit your AOF3.


You may be invited to attend the meeting if the panel feel that a conversation with you directly would help them. If you do not respond to this request, the panel will consider your case based on any written statement and/or evidence you have submitted.


You will receive notification of the panel outcome, any further action, and any penalties you may incur, within 10 working days of the panel. The panel will also notify all other relevant university departments about the outcome.


Potential Academic Conduct Panel outcomes


Where the Academic Conduct Panel does not find evidence of an academic offence, it may dismiss the case. Where the panel have proven an academic offence has taken place, they will look to impose penalties that constitute a balanced and fair treatment of all students, whilst allowing a to recover their standing and to progress in their studies. These are likely to be: 


  • The assessment in question is failed and a resit is undertaken.
  • The assessment in question is failed and unit is retaken the with the grades/marks capped at pass mark.


Where a student has multiple/serial offences, or where the offence is considered to be deliberate and serious (for example, purchasing an assignment), the student may be exited (expelled) from the University and not permitted to continue with their studies. 


How can the SU help? 


The Beds SU Advice team is unable to write your AOF statement for you, but we are available to discuss your case and check through your statement once it has been drafted. A member of the Beds SU Advice team might also be able to attend the panel with you to offer support and prompts, but we are unable to speak on your behalf. 


If you decide that you would like assistance from an advisor, they can be contacted via:


‘Drop-in’ to one of our academic appeals, Zoom Sessions. These run on a ‘first come, first served basis’, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10.00am-12:00pm:  


To Join our Zoom Meeting