Information for Candidates
This notice has been produced on behalf of:
AQA, City & Guilds, CCEA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC
Information for candidates
GCE, ELC and Project qualifications - coursework assessments
This document tells you about some things that you must and must not do when you are completing coursework.
When you submit any coursework for marking, you will be asked to sign an authentication statement confirming that you have read and followed these regulations.
If there is anything that you do not understand, you must ask your teacher or lecturer.
Coursework provides you with an opportunity to do some independent research into a topic. The research you do will involve looking for information in published sources such as textbooks, encyclopedias, journals, TV, radio and on the internet.
Using information from published sources (including the internet) as the basis for your coursework is a good way to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a subject. You must take care how you use this material though - you cannot copy it and claim it as your own work.
The regulations state that:
- “the work which you submit for assessment must be your own”;
- “you must not copy from someone else or allow another candidate to copy from you”.
If you use the same wording as a published source, you must place quotation marks around the passage and state where it came from. This is called “referencing”. You must make sure that you give detailed references for everything in your work which is not in your own words. A reference from a printed book or journal should show the name of the author, the year of publication and the page number, for example: (Morrison, 2000, pg.29).
For material taken from the internet, your reference should show the date when the material was downloaded and must show the precise web page, not the search engine used to locate it. This can be copied from the address line. For example: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/16/sosteacher/history/49766.shtml), downloaded 5 February 2018.
You must also include a bibliography at the end of your work. This must list the full details of publications you have used in your research, even where these are not directly referred to, for example: Morrison, A. (2000) “Mary, Queen of Scots”, London: Weston Press.
If you copy the words or ideas of others and do not show your sources in references and a bibliography, this will be considered as cheating.
Preparing your coursework – good practice
If you receive help and guidance from someone other than your teacher, you must tell your teacher who will then record the nature of the assistance given to you.
Your parent/carer may provide you with access to resource materials and discuss your coursework with you. However, they must not give you direct advice on what should and should not be included.
If you worked as part of a group on an assignment, for example undertaking field research, you must each write up your own account of the assignment. Even if the data you have is the same, the description of how that data was obtained and the conclusions you draw from it should be in your own words.
You must meet the deadlines that your teacher gives you. Remember - your teachers are there to guide you. Although they cannot give you direct assistance, they can help you to sort out any problems before it is too late.
Take care of your work and keep it safe. Don’t leave it lying around where your classmates can find it. You must always keep your coursework secure and confidential whilst you are preparing it; do not share it with your classmates. If it is stored on the computer network, keep your password secure. Collect all copies from the printer and destroy those you do not need.
Don’t be tempted to use essays from on-line essay banks - this is cheating. Electronic tools used by awarding bodies can detect this sort of copying.
You must not write inappropriate, offensive or obscene material.
Plagiarism involves taking someone else’s words, thoughts or ideas and trying to pass them off as your own. It is a form of cheating which is taken very seriously.
Don’t think you won’t be caught; there are many ways to detect plagiarism.
- Markers can spot changes in the style of writing and use of language.
- Markers are highly experienced subject specialists who are very familiar with work on the topic concerned - they may have read the source you are using (or even marked the essay you have copied from!).
- Internet search engines and specialised computer software can be used to match phrases or pieces of text with original sources and to detect changes in the grammar and style of writing or punctuation.
Penalties for breaking the regulations
If your work is submitted and it is discovered that you have broken the regulations, one of the following penalties will be applied:
- the piece of work will be awarded zero marks;
- you will be disqualified from that unit for that examination series;
- you will be disqualified from the whole subject for that examination series;
- you will be disqualified from all subjects and barred from entering again for a period of time.
The awarding body will decide which penalty is appropriate.
REMEMBER – IT’S YOUR QUALIFICATION SO IT NEEDS TO BE YOUR OWN WORK