Why is copyright relevant to students?

As a student you are likely to want to photocopy, scan, and download information from books, journals, and online resources to support your learning. You may also want to reuse these materials in your assignments and dissertations. This material will almost certainly be covered by copyright.

The work you produce and publish will also be protected by copyright.

  • A PhD student usually owns copyright in their research. An exception might arise where a pre-existing agreement allocates copyright to another party (for example, if you or a project you have worked on is sponsored, or funded by an external organisation).
  • Copyright for work created during the course of employment would usually be owned by the employer.


What can student do?

Students and staff can use published works for private study, research or self-entertainment without permission from, and without payment of remuneration to, the copyright owner, provided that the name of the author and the title of the work are mentioned.

These are illustrative limits:

  •  5% of a work;
  • one chapter from a book;
  • one article from a single issue of a journal;
  • one paper from one set of conference proceedings.

The copies must only be used for your own personal use and content should never be shared or sold.

Copyright is distinct from, but relates to, considerations of academic plagiarism. Please always ensure that the original source is acknowledged by providing a reference when doing your coursework.

If you are in any doubt, don’t copy!