Student Advice Service

Independent of the University of Northampton, our Student Advice Service is here to provide academic and welfare advice in both generalist and specialist areas.

You will be able to get support and advice from us in the private, friendly and relaxed offices which are located inside the Engine Shed, the home of the Students' Union.


Academic Advice

Our Student Advice Service offers advice on any issue you might come across when studying at the University of Northampton.

We are completely free, impartial and independent, and will make sure to provide you with the best quality advice and support on academic policies and procedures, and supply you with representation.

Get in touch with us if you need any help by emailing [email protected] or calling 01604 89 2272.


Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct is defined by the University as either an attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in an assessment or to assist another student to do so. Other types of academic misconduct include:

  • Cheating: behaving in a dishonest way to gain an academic advantage;
  • Collusion: an agreement between people acting together in order to deceive or cheat;
  • Fabrication: making up data, information or references;
  • Impersonation: assuming a student's identity with intent to provide an advantage for the student;
  • Self-Plagiarism/Duplication: submitting work that has already been used for assessment purposes;
  • Buying someone else's work: whether the work has been written or produced specifically for you or not, but where money or other benefits have been exchanged.

Cheating in examinations is also defined as Academic Misconduct. Examples include:

  • Taking notes or other unauthorised material into an examination, or temporarily leaving the examination to refer to such material;
  • The use of an unauthorised dictionary;
  • Obtaining an advance copy of an unseen examination paper;
  • Taking away paperwork designated not to be removed from an examination.


Mitigating Circumstances/Extenuating Circumstances

The University defines Mitigating Circumstances (MCs) as:

“A serious and acute problem or event beyond a student's control or ability to foresee which has prevented completion of assessment(s) or attendance at examination(s).”

This means that Mitigating Circumstances are factors – normally personal – that have recently arisen and that have had or will have a negative impact on your performance in an assessment. MCs will only be considered as grounds for deferring assessment(s).

Under no circumstances will mitigation be considered as grounds for adjusting the grade(s) awarded for assessments already completed.

For detailed explanations of the grounds for Mitigating Circumstances, please contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling 01604 89 2272.



Plagiarism is when a student submits work for assessment, which they claim to be their own but actually contains material that belongs to another person.


How to avoid plagiarising:
  • Allow plenty of time to research and write your coursework;
  • Ask your tutor straight away if you are not sure what you are doing;
  • Keep a record of all sources that you have read/looked at, as well as useful quotes and where they are from;
  • Access the Skills Hub to help your knowledge of referencing and plagiarism;
  • Access to UNPAC on the NILE site to learn how to avoid Plagiarism or watch this video;
  • Access this interactive guide to referencing using the Harvard system;
  • Book an appointment with Learning Development to receive free expert guidance and tuition on any academic skill including essay writing, dissertations, critical analysis, etc.

The University of Northampton considers Plagiarism to be a type of Academic Misconduct.


Student Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with a service that the University is providing, or if you wish to complain about an action by any University staff or department, there is a procedure to ensure that your concerns are dealt with properly and fairly.

For detailed explanations of the grounds for making a complaint, please contact us by us emailing [email protected] or calling 01604 89 2272.


Study Break/Suspension of Study

In certain circumstances, you can request a study break/suspension of study from your course. This is normally on the basis of:

  • Long-term illness;
  • Personal circumstances resulting in a temporary inability to continue on the course.

There are some things you cannot do during periods of suspension of study. You:

  • Will not be engaging with the programme, i.e. will not receive academic support or undertake assessments;
  • Will not have access to any University facilities, e.g. Library Services, IT Department, etc.

Please also be aware that you cannot suspend your studies in order to complete any dissertations or any other outstanding assessments.

For more detail on requesting a study break, please contact us by us emailing [email protected] or calling 01604 89 2272.


Study Termination and Appeal

Termination due to academic failure refers to students who are not permitted to continue on their programme of study.

Students must withdraw from further study, having exhausted all opportunities for reassessment.


Can I make an appeal against termination?

Students have the right of appeal against the termination decision under the University’s Termination Appeal Policy. If you think you have valid reasons for an appeal, then you should complete and submit the Termination Appeal Form within two weeks of the date of your termination letter.


What grounds can I use as the basis for an appeal?

There is only one reason on which you can base an appeal against termination for academic failure: that is, Mitigating Circumstances which were not known at the time the termination decision was made. You will need to show that the circumstances are relevant to the failed assessment(s). Appropriate documentary evidence must be provided, along with an explanation of why the matter was not raised earlier under the Mitigating Circumstances Policy.

Get in touch with us for more information by emailing [email protected] or calling 01604 89 2272.