The study of acting with and without integrity in academia

Module details

  • Offered to 2nd Year and 3rd Year students in Spring Term
  • Planned delivery: Online - Asynchronous
    (sessions will be taught on some Mondays and some Thursdays 16.00-18.00)
  • 1-term module worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore

This module asks students to develop and personally reflect on their ideas about ethics and integrity in academia. You will develop an understanding of what academic integrity means for you, your discipline and your wider practice. You will develop a personal view of academic integrity and consider questions such as what compels students to cheat, what are the benefits of acting with integrity and what are the consequences of fraudulent activity in an academic setting?

This module will guide you to identify and reflect on academic integrity principles, operate successfully in a research team and conduct research into academic integrity problems in a fair and ethical manner. You will critically evaluate your findings and present them online, as well as reflect on your own ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will better be able to:

  • Identify and reflect on academic integrity principles that are relevant to your background, academic discipline and level of study
  • Operate successfully as a member of a research team to investigate issues of current interest to the academic integrity community
  • Formulate and design research into academic integrity problems and conduct this research in a fair and ethical manner
  • Critically evaluate the results and findings of academic integrity research
  • Communicate the results and findings of academic integrity research for both specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Reflectively evaluate your ability to develop and manage your own learning as part of a diverse interdisciplinary team

Indicative core content

The module content is based around the latest research findings and areas of interest to the cohort.

Initial sessions will focus on helping you to develop a personal understanding of academic integrity and how this relates to your own academic discipline. You will explore existing definitions of academic integrity, framed in both positive and negative ways, including considering the behaviours where students breach academic integrity, often presented using such terms as plagiarism, collusion and cheating. You will review and reflect on your personal views of academic integrity at the end of the module.

Much of the module will be case study based, with seminars looking at the latest research. Some seminars will focus on a single issue, others covering a variety of related research areas. The purpose of the seminars is to help you to choose a research area to investigate in more detail as part of an interdisciplinary research group. These sessions will vary based on current topical areas and the interests of external guest speakers but are likely to consider such issues as contract cheating, how technology is used to both breach and improve integrity, comparative data on academic integrity from around the world and research integrity. The presentations will allow you to consider the types of research methods that are suitable for investigating academic integrity and to choose methods that are relevant for the research area you choose to work on.

Collaborative academic integrity research is a component of the module. You will be working on an academic integrity-based research project and some of the seminar time will be used for you to discuss ideas, report on your current progress and to get feedback from peers and the teaching team. In the interest of information sharing, you will be presenting your final research findings. This means that you will also play a role in communicating the latest findings on academic integrity to other students and interested parties. So, the content will vary based on the questions that you have chosen to focus in on.

Learning and teaching approach

This module will be taught using a flipped classroom approach focusing on the relevant ideas from research and wider practice. Course materials are largely prepared and will be available for students to view online as they prefer. Methods of learning include: 

  • Discussion sessions to allow for the sharing of ideas will be scheduled during the module facilitated through video conferencing
  • Guest presentations
  • The use of in interdisciplinary research teams

Feedback is integrated throughout the module. Due to the collaborative nature of the module, this will include peer led feedback.



  • Individual reflective summaries (20%)


  • Group presentation on research topic (80%)

Key information

  • Requirements: It is compulsory to take an I-Explore module during your degree (you’ll take an I-Explore module in either your 2nd or 3rd year, depending on your department). You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 105 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes for example reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments, project work and preparing for other assessments
  • I-Explore modules are worth 5 ECTS credit towards your degree; to receive these you will have to pass the module. The numerical mark that you obtain will not be included in the calculation of your final degree result, but it will appear on your transcript
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 course
  • This module is offered by the Department of Computing