Forms of Plagiarism: Collusion

Learn more about the difference between collusion and legitimate practice


To collude is to work with someone else, or a group, to produce assessed work when the work in question should be entirely your own for the purposes of that particular assessment.  You present it as if it is entirely your own (excluding legitimate references to other peoples’ work), but you have colluded in producing it. Collusion is cheating, because there is the intention to deceive the assessor.

Cooperation and Collaboration 

These do not constitute collusion if there is no intention to deceive or to gain marks unfairly, or other advantage or to present something as entirely your own when it is not.  Cooperation and collaboration are perfectly legitimate within a university context, and you will often be asked to work cooperatively and collaboratively with fellow students, sometimes including doing collective/group assignments.  In such cases, the tutor will make it clear how far work should be collaborative and where it must be entirely your own.


When is it usually legitimate to work with others?

When is it generally cheating to work with others?

You can see that, in general, it is legitimate to talk with others about an assessment and pick up ideas from them, but it is usually not legitimate to discuss an actual piece of work you have done before you submit it.