Contract Cheating

Contract Cheating

We know that as a student you experience pressure. The pressure of completing assignments, working to earn money, your family and your health can all contribute to your wellbeing. How you feel can lead to making the decision to cheat. 

You may have found this page because you scanned a QR Code. If so, you may be curious about receiving help and support with some of your assignments. Many tutoring companies are not as they seem, and may be trying to offer you contract cheating services.

Please read on to know the signs and discover how to avoid contract cheating.


Photo by Mad Fish Digital on Unsplash

Where can I get support?

Please see below for support and advice contacts.

You always have other options. You can: 

  • Seek an extension from your lecturer if you’re under too much pressure, or apply for special consideration if you’re eligible.
  • Talk to your tutor or email your lecturer and seek legitimate help. 

It might be tempting to take the easy way out and engage a third-party to complete some or all of your work. 

If you have already engaged in contract cheating, UNSW has agreed with ARC that if you come forward to admit to this conduct, the default penalty for 1 assessment cheated will be 0% for that assessment. If you have cheated more than once penalties will be stronger, however you will still receive a benefit from acting honestly. 

If you have questions, you are encouraged to contact the Student Conduct and Integrity Unit, who can talk you through your options. 


P: (02) 9385 8515

You can also seek more specialised help from the university, and nearly all of these services are free.  

Academic Assistance

 The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre offers academic skills support to all students enrolled at UNSW, including consultations to help you work on your assessments. 

Student Support Advisors

Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.

Health and Mental Health

Counselling Service

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services [CAPS] are available Monday to Friday to help students. 

UNSW Health Service

UNSW Health Service  provide a quality health service to the students, staff & visitors of UNSW. Their doctors, nurses and administration staff are non- judgemental and have a special interest in youth health. 

Student Advocate

For independent legal advice and advocacy, you can contact:


What is contract cheating and how to identify it.

How to know if you are unknowingly at risk of contract cheating.

Contract cheating, or 'ghostwriting', is when a student engages another person to complete work for them, and then submits the work as their own, regardless if money was paid or not.

You may be at risk of contract cheating if you ask someone to help you by:

    • Completing an assignment 
    • Substantially editing your work
    • Checking your work through Turnitin
    • Checking test or quiz answers
    • Assisting you with your university work for money

You may also be at risk of contract cheating if someone you don't know asks you for information, such as:

    • Your Z number and Z pass
    • Assignment questions or briefs
    • Marking rubrics

We understand that students can benefit from working with legitimate tutors. If you already work with a tutor, you can talk to the Learning Centre to ensure they are providing you the right kind of assistance. 

How can contract cheating impact my studies?

Contract cheating is a short-term fix with long-term consequences. 

The skills, knowledge and experience you gain throughout your studies at UNSW, can play a vital role in your development as an individual in your personal and professional life after University. By taking shortcuts, such as engaging in contract cheating, you miss out on the opportunities of learning the fundamental skills associated with your study. 

It's also important to understand that our ability to detect contract cheating is constantly improving.

What are the penalties for contract cheating?

The risks of contract cheating.

As contract cheating is a very serious breach of academic standards, the penalties issued by the University can have a heavy impact on your educational and professional development. 

Students found to have engaged in contract cheating can expect the following penalties:

    • 1 assessment - 00 mark and a Fail grade for the entire course. Students receiving this penalty can continue their studies at UNSW, subject to their Academic Standing
    • 2 assessments - 00FL for the course/s, and 1 Year Suspension from studies at UNSW. Suspended students can return to study at UNSW when the suspension is over.
    • 3 assessments - 00FL for the course/s, and Permanent Exclusion from UNSW. Permanently Excluded students can never study at UNSW again.

UNSW is constantly improving its ability to detect contract cheating. More than 100 students have been suspended or permanently excluded in the past 12 months for contract cheating. 

The risks do not end when you graduate. UNSW will rescind your degree, if we find you engaged in contract cheating during your studies, even after your graduation.

UNSW is also aware that some students have been blackmailed by the people who completed the work the student submitted. Blackmail is a crime and could continue affecting your life long after you have graduated. 


What is the link between contract cheating and blackmail?

UNSW students who have engaged in contract cheating may be targeted by blackmailers.

The person or company that did the work for you may demand money and threaten to tell UNSW about the misconduct, if you do not pay them.

While UNSW does not condone contract cheating, students should not be scared to come forward and get help if this happens. If you find yourself in this situation, please do not keep quiet. It could cost you so much more than just money.

Where can I find some helpful resources?

Below you will find resources regarding academic integrity, plagiarism and helpful workshops.

Smarthinking is a new and free online tutoring service available to UNSW students seeking advice on enhancing their writing skills.

Academic Integrity Module: A self-paced module that you can complete and receive a certificate.

Learning Centre Resources on Plagiarism

Leaning Centre Workshops on plagiarism. What it is and how to avoid it.