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Durham University


Similarity in personal statements

UCAS submits all personal statements to their Similarity Detection software (CopyCatch) in order to ensure that an applicant's work does not contain the same or similar text to websites, another applicant's personal statement, or other documents. When a personal statement is detected as having similarity to one of these sources, UCAS provides us with a report highlighting the similarity and an indication of what the text in the statement is similar to.

Once we are notified that an application contains text which similar to text found elsewhere, we will use information from UCAS and from the applicant to determine the seriousness of the similarity found in the personal statement and departments will then make an academic decision which is communicated to applicants through UCAS as normal.

Each applicant whose personal statement is flagged to us by the UCAS Similarity Detection Service will be contacted by the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office to offer the opportunity to explain how the similarity occurred.

For those admitted as a student, Durham University takes all forms of Academic Misconduct, including 'plagiarism' or 'copying' very seriously and submitting work which is not entirely a student's own can lead to expulsion from the University. We also operate a fair and transparent admissions process and as such, would want to ensure that all information provided to us is honest and accurate.

If you have submitted an application to us and you have been notified that UCAS has detected similarity in your personal statement, you can contact us directly to explain the similarity though Ask Us