So, can I use AI?

AI can be a very useful tool while at university, however, there are many ways you can and can’t use it. 

To help you learn, focus and study, YES!!! 
To use in exams or when writing coursework, NO!!!! (Unless your School says otherwise) 
In our daily lives, we interact with many forms of artificial intelligence, often without even recognising them. However, maintaining good academic practice and integrity is crucial for achieving optimal results in our studies. Understanding what resources are acceptable to use can be complex, but we've compiled some tips to assist you in navigating these challenges effectively as you pursue your studies.

Top Tips

  • It’s important to first read through the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy to fully understand what is expected of you while you study. All student policies can be found on the university website under Registry Services, just make sure you are looking at the right academic year.
  • If you are unsure about using a form of AI, please refer to the AI guidance PDF, under ‘Student conduct, complaints and appeals’ in the Student Policies page for your academic year.
  • It’s important that policy and guidance are read carefully, and if you are unsure about anything you should speak to your personal tutor.
  • Some modules allow certain AI to be used but check with your School before the exam or assessment. Make sure you know what tools you are allowed to use, how they may be used to complete your assignment and whether/how you should reference them.
  • Please note, that Birkbeck has opted to use Turnitin’s AI writing detection tool which will highlight any passages in an assessment produced by AI-powered tools, although this alone cannot be used as evidence of academic misconduct. 


Understanding what tools, you can and can't use in your academic endeavours is crucial for maintaining integrity and fostering genuine learning experiences. Let's delve deeper into the do's and don'ts regarding the utilisation of AI software while at university:


  • Cheat with AI: You might not know that it is considered cheating to use different AI software, such as ChatGPT, to create assessments and pass them off as your original work. This constitutes academic misconduct and goes against the college's Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy because the content of your assignment has not been produced by you. Furthermore, Generative AI cannot be critical, evaluative or reflective about the content of your assignment. As these are key components of assessments at university, an AI-generated assignment is unlikely to pass, in addition to getting you into trouble for plagiarism.
  • Replace Critical Thinking with AI: Refrain from relying on AI to bypass critical thinking processes and original creativity in your assignments. Your academic tasks are meant to assess your comprehension, analytical skills, and ability to generate novel ideas. Using AI to generate responses without engaging in genuine cognitive processes is unethical and counterproductive.



  • Utilise AI for Preparatory Tasks: It's acceptable to employ AI tools for tasks like language translation (e.g., Google Translate) and checking spelling and grammar (e.g., Microsoft Word's grammar suggestions) during the preparatory stages of your work.
  • Leverage AI for Understanding Complex Material: Use AI to aid in understanding challenging texts by summarising key points or extracting essential findings. If you ask a tool like ChatGPT to summarise a complex text, it will likely make it easier for you to understand the content when you read it for yourself. This can assist you in grasping intricate concepts more effectively, especially when tackling scholarly articles or research papers.


Key sources of information

If you are still unsure or need any additional advice, speak with your personal tutor or your department staff before using any AI-powered tools to complete an assessment. 

Page created by William Sarenden in collaboration with the college 


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