Department Policies

Department Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the copying or misappropriation of ideas (or their expression), text or data without permission and due acknowledgement. It is the presentation of another person’s ideas or words as though they were the student’s own.

All work submitted as part of the requirement for any examination in the Philosophy Department must be expressed in the student’s own words and incorporate his/her own ideas and judgments.  By handing in an essay for assessment, the student is declaring that the work is his or her own.

Direct quotations from the published or unpublished work of another must always be clearly identified as such by being placed in quotation marks, and a full reference to their source must be provided in the proper form.

A single unacknowledged long quotation from a single source, or a series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitute plagiarism. Furthermore, if another person’s ideas or judgments are summarized, the student must refer to that person in his/her text, and include the work to which reference is made in the bibliography.

Use of additional tools such as ChatGPT should be cleared by your lecturer and, in any case, be acknowledged in assignments.  Failure to do either may constitute plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious offence for which there is a range of serious penalties.


Department Policy on Absences/Missed Deadlines

If a student misses a required element for medical reasons, s/he must submit a medical certificate to verify the reason for the absence on that date.  A medical certificate is a note written by a relevant medical professional, signed and stamped with the date, verifying that the student was unable to perform due to medical reasons. 

Students are required to submit medical certificates within two weeks of their absence.  In extreme cases where the medical condition keeps the student from doing coursework for longer than two weeks, the circumstances of the illness should be documented and discussed with the department at the earliest opportunity. Without documentation of extenuating circumstances, medical certificates submitted after more than two weeks of the absence from a required element may not be accepted by the department.

 Submit medical certificates to Ms. Colette Connolly 

Department Policy on Staff-Student Relationships

Message from the Department:

The Philosophy Department recognises that there is a disturbing culture of bias and sexism in the profession of philosophy internationally.  Our department believes that this culture has no place in academia, and especially not at UCC. 

If you have questions or wish to discuss this or any related issues, please contact the Head of Department: Prof. Don Ross.

Romantic or sexual relations between staff, including post-graduate tutors, and minors (under 18) is prohibited.  Please refer to UCC policies on Child Protection.

Between adults (18 and over), romantic or sexual relationships in the student-teacher, supervision, and evaluation process are very strongly discouraged by the Philosophy Department. 

At the same time, we recognize that such relationships do indeed occur between adults.  In these cases, the following steps should be taken:


Regarding Undergraduate Students

The member of staff or post-graduate tutor should:

  1. inform a senior member of the department – where possible, the Head of Department – as soon as possible;
  2. withdraw from all small-group teaching involving that student (in the case of teaching assistants, this may involve swapping tutorial groups with another TA), unless practically impossible;
  3. withdraw from the assessment of that student, even if anonymous marking is used;
  4. withdraw from writing references and recommendations for the student in question.


Regarding Post-Graduate Students

The member of staff should:

  1. inform a senior member of staff – where possible, the Head of Department – as soon as possible;
  2. withdraw from supervising the student, writing letters of recommendation for them, and making any decisions (e.g. distribution of funding) where preferential treatment of the student could in principle occur;
  3. in the case of post-graduate taught students, withdraw from all small-group teaching involving that student, unless practically impossible;
  4. in the case of post-graduate taught students, withdraw from the assessment of that student, even if anonymous marking is used.

While the responsibility for taking the above steps lies with the member of staff concerned, the student is equally entitled to report their relationship to another member of staff (e.g. Head of Department, if appropriate), and to request that the above steps be taken.


Adopted from the BPA/SWIFT Good Practice Guidelines

Further information on good practice can be found on the British Philosophical Association website:

Department of Philosophy

2,3 & 4 Elderwood, College Road, Cork