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Natural Sciences Tripos


It is the responsibility of every student at the University of Cambridge to avoid plagiarism by familiarising yourself with the University-wide statement on plagiarism, faculty and departmental guidance, and ensuring that you ask for clarification or support, if you need it, from your Director of studies or tutor.

The University defines plagiarism as:

‘Plagiarism is defined as submitting as one's own work, irrespective of intent to deceive, that which derives in part or in its entirety from the work of others without due acknowledgement. It is both poor scholarship and a breach of academic integrity.

Examples of plagiarism include copying (using another person's language and/or ideas as if they are a candidate's own), by:

  • quoting verbatim another person's work without due acknowledgement of the source;
  • paraphrasing another person's work by changing some of the words, or the order of the words, without due acknowledgement of the source;
  • using ideas taken from someone else without reference to the originator;
  • cutting and pasting from the Internet to make a pastiche of online sources;
  • submitting someone else's work as part of a candidate's own without identifying clearly who did the work. For example, buying or commissioning work via professional agencies such as 'essay banks' or 'paper mills', or not attributing research contributed by others to a joint project.

Plagiarism might also arise from colluding with another person, including another candidate, other than as permitted for joint project work (i.e. where collaboration is concealed or has been forbidden). A candidate should include a general acknowledgement where he or she has received substantial help, for example with the language and style of a piece of written work.’

For the full university statement on Plagiarism please follow this link:

You can find further guidance on plagiarism, and links to resources, for example guidance on referencing and study skills on these webpages:

It is a good idea to read through this information carefully as the University takes plagiarism very seriously with all suspected cases being investigated which can ultimately lead to suspension from the University or failure.

In addition to the university statement many Departments and Faculties have supplementary guidance on plagiarism – what constitutes plagiarism, how to avoid it, and Departmental specific guidance on how detection methods are used. Many of the Departments that teach on the Natural Sciences Tripos use plagiarism detecting software to either do random sampling, blanket testing or checks where plagiarism is suspected. The use of this software should be set out in the Department/Faculties plagiarism statements but if you are unclear of the policy for any of your papers please do check with the Course Organiser.

Links to the relevant Departmental/ Faculty statements are provided below.