Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies

Contact Details

Departmental Coordinators:
Ms Alex Lopez Alvarez
Ms Clare Szembek (Mon-Wed)
tel: 020 7679 3109
ext: 33109

Head of Department:
Dr Humberto Núñez-Faraco
tel: 020 7679 4332
ext: 34332

Plagiarism & Turnitin


Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person's thoughts or words or artifacts or software as though they were a student's own. Any quotation from the published or unpublished works of other persons must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and students should identify their sources as accurately and fully as possible. A series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitutes plagiarism just as much as does a single unacknowledged long quotation from a single source. Equally, if a student summarises another person's ideas, judgements, figures, software or diagrams, a reference to that person in the text must be made and the work referred to must be included in the bibliography.

Recourse to the services of 'ghost-writing' agencies (for example in the preparation of essays or reports) or of outside word-processing agencies which offer correction/improvement of English is strictly forbidden, and students who make use of the services of such agencies render themselves liable for an academic penalty.

Use of unacknowledged information downloaded from the internet also constitutes plagiarism.

Where part of an examination consists of 'take away' papers, essays or other work written in a student's own time, or a coursework assessment, the work submitted must be the candidate's own.

It is also illicit to reproduce material which a student has used in other work/assessment for the course or programmes concerned. Students should be aware of this ‘self-plagiarism’. If in doubt, students should consult their Personal Tutor or another appropriate teacher.

Failure to observe any of the provisions of this policy or of approved departmental guidelines constitutes an examination offence under UCL and University Regulations. Examination offences will normally be treated as cheating or irregularities under the Regulations in respect of Examination Irregularities. Under these Regulations students found to have committed an offence may be excluded from all further examinations of UCL or the University or of both.

The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a web page or a computer file).

The Turnitin Detection System

The Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies will be routinely using the Turnitin Detection System for all course work essays submitted by students as of 1 October 2009.
The system is designed to detect examples of plagiarism in student work. This new policy is in line with UCL Best Practice. Basically it works as follows: students are enrolled to use Turnitin at the beginning of, or soon after, the beginning of the new academic year. At the conclusion of the course, students submit one copy of their course work essay electronically to Turnitin by the stipulated deadline.