Cheating by pharmacy students: Perceptions, prevalence and comparisons

R. Harries, Paul M. Rutter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dishonesty has been part of the educational system for as long as students have been educated. The extent to which this happens varies between institution and course studied. Recent work has shown the prevalence of dishonesty by pharmacy students to be high. This study aimed to add to this body of evidence and determine what students believed the penalty should be if caught. Staff and undergraduate students at Portsmouth University, United Kingdom were asked to complete a survey consisting of 16 scenarios that reflected dishonest activity. Results revealed 53% of students had participated in dishonest behaviour, with students more likely to cheat in coursework than written examinations. Students suggested relatively lenient punishment for acts of dishonesty, although fourth year students felt cheating in examinations warranted removal from the course. This was in line with academic views. Portsmouth students also exhibited lower levels of dishonest behaviour compared to previously published rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Cheating
  • Dishonesty
  • Pharmacy education
  • Students


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