The differences between contract cheating and plagiarism may seem confusing and are the source of debate within the academic integrity community.
In some ways, contract cheating could also be viewed as plagiarism in Policy A25:
This would, after all, apply to situations where students are handing in something completed by another person.
In both of these cases, the student has interacted with their sources and worked on their assessment.
In this case, there is no learning at all, hence contract cheating being a more serious form of academic misconduct.
We can see the differences in intent by looking at the two situations below:
In the first situation, the student intentionally had someone else complete their work. However, in the second situation, the student plagiarsed, but completed their own work.
As Newton (2018) describes, contract cheating is “deliberate, pre-planned and intentional”, regardless of whether a formal contract or payment is involved.