Contract Cheating



What is contract cheating?

Cheating in academic study is not a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, students have cheated, and will continue to engage in cheating. This does not make cheating acceptable. In recent years at Deakin University there has been a notable increase in one type of cheating called “Contract Cheating”.

What is this term “Contract Cheating”? It is constantly heard in the news or by your lecturers – isn’t cheating, just cheating? Contract Cheating is defined as work produced by an external agent or third party and submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work. 

This process usually follows a pattern: students submit or upload their assignment criteria on an auction site, ghost-writers bid to do the work,the student selects a bid and pays for the assignment, the ghost-writer then completes the assignment and sends it to the student. The student submits this work under their name. This process is called ‘Contract Cheating’.

Contract Cheating  is not accepted at Deakin University and can result in your exclusion from your course and the University. The potential penalties you might face under the Deakin University Student Academic Misconduct Procedure Schedule A: Penalties for Student Academic Misconduct include one or more of the following outcomes:

  • A zero mark for the unit
  • Suspension from the course for up to 4 study periods
  • Exclusion from the University.

DUSA is here to help you create better academic strategies and avoid engaging in contract cheating during your study.

Why might you “contract cheat”?

Deakin students may “contract cheat” for a variety of reasons: medical, financial disadvantage, social pressures, poor study techniques or cultural differences. Students who cheat often lack of understanding of the principals of academic integrity and how Australian tertiary providers’ expect students to behave.

Students have provided many reasons that they feel are valid for engaging in Contract Cheating. Some common reasons people used a contract cheating service were:

  • They believed receiving help from “contract cheating websites” is not a breach of academic integrity. Many students would use a “ghost-writer” for the assignment and then submit the pre-written work as their own.

  • Some international students caught cheating have said that they faced a heavy financial burden (working long hours for little money) coupled with family or professional pressure of receiving an expensive foreign education. Students felt a pressure to succeed and resorted to cheating to ensure their success.

  • Students were peer pressured, particularly in group projects, to cheat or risk failing the unit.

  • Students with English as a Second Language caught contract cheating felt they misunderstood the work requirements or did not receive enough English language help from their tutors or peers.

  • Students discover that their friends have used contract cheating services and achieve good grades. They believe that this gives them a reason to contract cheat as their friends have not been caught. 

You may believe that some of these statements provide genuine and authentic reasons to engage in contract cheating. This is not true. It is never okay to use “contract cheating” services when studying. You will face academic penalty, dilute the quality of the education for which you are paying and you will face other significant consequences.

What do “contract cheating” traps look like?

Contract Cheating companies masquerade as academic help services to trap Deakin students. They will advertise on campus with fake “help” posters, through social media and via websites. These companies use key words on their websites, posters and social media like assignment help, educational solutions, professional or experts to help complete your project, online writing services, homework help, plagiarism checking services, and will often promise money back guarantees.

These platforms are not genuine help services; they will not assist you with your learning nor help you achieve academically. Instead they write assignments, essays and projects for you, this is contract cheating. If you submit the work provided, or part of the work provided to you by these services, you will be caught and you will face academic penalties like exclusion.

What help services are available to me? How do I get academic help?

Deakin University and DUSA provide a range of academic and welfare services on campus and through the cloud that can assist you with your learning and other areas of your life. Many of the services are free and are available to current Deakin students. If you require help - ask someone.

Available services:

Academic skills (online)

Deakin Counselling Services

Deakin Safer Communities

Deakin Residential Services

Disability Support

DUSA Advocacy & Welfare

DUSA Clubs & Societies

Faculty course advisors

HDR students

Language and Learning Advisors

Sort It! Legal Service

Liaison Librarians

Medical services

Off-campus Housing Services


Special Consideration


Sport & Recreation

Students Helping Students

For further information and assistance please contact DUSA Advocacy & Welfare on 1300 555 528 or via email on