Study @ Unisa

Student values & plagiarism


Unisa students commit to these values

These values define our conduct and our focus in providing an environment, a culture and a service that will shape and allow us to fully live and exemplify our values:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Discipline
  • Honesty
  • Commitment
  • Humanity

Did you know that plagiarism is a form of dishonesty?

Plagiarism is taking someone else's thoughts, ideas or writings and passing them off as your own. It's a serious academic offence, which can result in a student being expelled, and impacting on the student's standing with other universities and academic institutions.

Here are some tips to ensure you don't plagiarise:

  • Acknowledge the original source whenever you use a fact, phrase, chart or quotation from someone else's work.
  • Keep careful notes of every source you consult when working on an assignment, so that you never use a source without proper acknowledgement.
  • Never copy and paste anything from the internet without also copying the URL (where you found it), so that you can provide a full reference for the source.
  • Don't use the work of fellow students.

There are many online tools that you can use to check your work for plagiarism. It's always a good idea to submit this check along with your assignment.

Plagiarism in assignments and during exams

All academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by a student is expected to be the result of his or her own work. The university views acts of copyright infringement and plagiarism as a serious offence.

Plagiarism is the act of taking words, ideas and thoughts of others and presenting it as your own. It is a form of theft which involves a number of dishonest academic activities. Please read the University’s Policy on Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism, the Policy on Academic Integrity and the Student Disciplinary Code.

Students are advised to study the Disciplinary Code, especially chapter 3 (1.19).

Take action against contract cheating

Enlisting the help of a third party to complete examinations, assignments or coursework on your behalf is considered contract cheating. Examples of contract cheating include

  • paying for services to complete an exam or assignment.
  • allowing someone to access your myUnisa account or module site to assist with assignments.
  • uploading and sharing course material to sites that have not been vetted by the university and which claim to offer study help or tutoring.

Contract cheating usually occurs due to a lack of time or understanding of assignment content or course expectations. The risks are, however, far greater than the benefits of this practice. Those who engage in contract cheating risk devaluing the quality of a degree, threaten the security of student identity and data, and jeopardise the reputation and brand of the institution. 

Some of the consequences of contract cheating include receiving zero for an assignment or exam, suspension, expulsion or even the revocation of a degree or credential. 

You can help prevent contract cheating by

  • doing your own work.
  • not accessing "study help" websites where student work is posted.
  • notifying the university if you find any Unisa course material on sites that are not connected to Unisa. 
  • forwarding communication soliciting help with assignments in exchange for payment to Unisa.

The university appeals to students with any information on dishonest or fraudulent activity related to Unisa exams to report it to the Fraud/Corruption Hotline on telephone number 0800 005 311.

Unisa has a zero tolerance for any form of dishonesty or cheating activity related to assignments and exams

We wish to remind all students that Unisa has a zero tolerance for any form of assignment and examination dishonesty or cheating.

Any student who is found to have participated in any fraudulent or dishonest activity related to exams (eg possession of unauthorised notes or exam papers, external parties assisting with assessments) will be referred to the Student Disciplinary Unit for investigation and disciplinary action. If found guilty, they will have their modules cancelled and their marks withdrawn. They will also face up to a maximum of five years suspension from the university and from all universities in South Africa. Click here for the Unisa rules for students and the Student Disciplinary Code.

The university appeals to students with any information on dishonest or fraudulent activity related to Unisa exams to report it to the Fraud/Corruption Hotline on telephone number 0800 005 311.

Plagiaristic actions

All the below actions include any part of your assignment, even a single paragraph:

Plagiaristic actions


Collaborating on any form of formative or summative assessment without the permission of the lecturer
  • Submitting an assignment where you were working with fellow students or any outside party in WhatsApp groups.
Completing or taking an assessment or examination on behalf of another student
  • Submitting an assignment bought from any party.

  • Using an assignment that you obtained on WhatsApp or Telegram or any other medium.

Possessing, distributing and/or using unauthorised materials or technology before or during an examination or when preparing formative assessments


  • Using WhatsApp or another medium to obtain help from another person during your assignment or examination.
  • Copy-pasting from websites on the internet for your assignment or examination.

Contracting (ghost or contract cheating) another person or professional agency to produce academic work, sometimes original work, on your behalf and then submitting it as your own academic output

Copying from another student for the purpose of completing any assessment

  • Paying another person or website to do your assignment or examination.
  • You may not use any previous assignment and submitted in a new year of registration.


Last modified: 2022/05/20