Use of Generative AI in Higher Education


This page contains guidance on Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) use in your academic studies, specifically in relation to your assessments. Please take the time to read it carefully - it is designed to support you in your studies. Your academic areas may provide you with further guidance - if they feel it is appropriate - in relation to the specific subject that you are studying, and/or the specific assessment that you are undertaking. 

If you have any questions about this guidance in relation to any specific assessment that you are undertaking, please discuss it with your lecturers/tutors/academic advisers in the first instance.


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Using Generative Artificial Intelligence to support assessment

We recognise that there is a balance to be had with using GenAI platforms such as ChatGPT, DALLE-2, Micorosft CoPilot, Google Gemini and more (such as ResearchRabbit or Elicit). We want to enable our students to be creative, but also need to protect and maintain academic integrity through transparent practices.

Although GenAI (defined as large language models (LLMs) rather than spell or grammar checks such as Microsoft Edit or Grammarly) can be helpful, it is important to recognise that there are limitations or issues with using these programmes. These include the following: factual inaccuracies, biases and even misinformation; an inconsistent performance in subject areas; variable validity of sources used in searches; referencing issues; “hallucinations” (where a LLM generates false information).

You need to be aware of the difference between an unfair advantage and reasonable use of AI. If you submit an AI generated piece of assessment as your own work, it would be considered as an academic offence. Turnitin has increased capabilities to detect AI use in submitted work.

GenAI platforms can be used reasonably to support your work in the following ways:

  • Drafting plans, structures, or ideas 
  • Answering questions or getting explanations 
  • Research
  • Evaluating materials 
  • Starting you off on a piece of work when you have writer’s block.

If you choose to use GenAI tools to support your work, you must be transparent about its use to ensure you don’t commit a malpractice offence. An improper use of GenAI will be treated as commissioning. Commissioning is defined in the University’s Academic Regulations as ‘getting another person(s) and/or artificial intelligence to complete work which is subsequently submitted as the student’s own work’


How to be transparent in the use of GenAI

You must acknowledge using AI by naming the tool and how it was used within your references. You should use one of the following options:

  • No content generated by AI technologies has been presented as my own work.  
  • I acknowledge the use of <insert AI system(s) and link>  to generate materials for background research and self-study in the drafting of this assessment.  
  • I acknowledge the use of  <insert AI system(s) and link>  to generate materials that were included within my final assessment in modified form. 
Please ensure that you include one of the statements above in the final version of your work that you submit.
We suggest that this statement is included within your References or Bibliography section towards the end of your work. 


Referencing your use of GenAI

You must describe how the information or material was generated (including the prompts you used), what the output was and how the output was changed by you. You should use the following format of wording, depending on the nature of use:   

  • The following prompts were input into <AI system>: <List prompt(s)>  
  • The output obtained was: <Paste the output generated by the AI system>  
  • The output was changed by me in the following ways: <explain the actions taken> 


Here is an example of how to include the use of AI within your references, in the Harvard style. Please use your department's referred reference style. Referencing guides can be found on the Study Skills help pages

OpenAI (2022) ChatGPT: Optimizing Language Models for Dialogue. Available at (Accessed: 30 June 2023)

You also need to reference the use of AI in-text. Here is an example of how you should write this: (OpenAI 2022)


Using AI to support research

If you need help with searching techniques and research tools please contact your Subject Librarian who will be happy to help.