Individual vs Joint Work
Whenever you submit work under the continuous assessment programme, you are required to sign a Declaration which allows for just two possibilities:
- you were required to produce your own original work, or
- you were required to produce the work jointly with others.
In general you should assume that case (a) applies unless you have been clearly instructed otherwise by the staff who set the work.
The key word in the above is "produce". In case (a) it means the process of constructing, writing out and submitting your own individual solution to the task, so that the marker will be correctly assessing your individual capability and contribution. You may have discussed with other students how, in general terms, to do this work, but your interaction must, in case (a), be limited to discussion: given this, your obligations are then (i) to acknowledge on the Declaration the persons with whom you had this discussion and (ii) to produce your own distinctive solution.
Copying the written work of others and misrepresenting it as one's own work is called plagiarism and is strictly forbidden. Constructing a joint solution is not in itself plagiarism but is nevertheless also forbidden in case (a). If you are suspected to have breached either of these rules then full details of the incident may be forwarded to the College Registry for investigation. You should make sure you fully understand the College's definition and policy on plagerism. Penalties in the most serious cases can result in exclusion from any Imperial College degree.
You will be subject to the same penalties if you enable other students to plagiarise your work, even if you produced it individually.
In all breaches of the above rules, copies of letters will remain on the student's record.
Further clarification, if required, of the Department's policy on these matters can be obtained from the Senior Tutor.