Last Updated: 13 Nov 2023 Views: 9463 (After reading, tell us below if this answer was helpful)

Can I use a chatbot or AI tool in my assignments?

AI Referencing and Acknowledgements Guidance

Current University guidance on AI systems and tools states:

“Our University’s position is that when used appropriately AI tools have the potential to enhance teaching and learning, and can support inclusivity and accessibility. Output from AI systems must be treated in the same manner by staff and students as work created by another person or persons, i.e. used critically and with permitted license, and cited and acknowledged appropriately.”

In addition, specific guidance appropriate to your module, course or programme may be detailed in course handbooks and other spaces. It is possible that your programme, module or assignment has modified guidance around use of AI tools.

Please check and ensure you have the most up to date information on use of AI tools and support.

For other questions on use of AI in your studies, please refer to the Teaching Guidance document.

How to reference an AI tool

When using AI tools, you should ensure that you reference them appropriately. If you use an AI tool (such as a chatbot, image generator or other AI system) and use the text or image directly in your work, you will need to cite it. If you are using Harvard Manchester referencing style, you should use the 'Software' example on the Library's guide to Harvard referencing. These tools are developing at pace and it is important to state which version of the tool you used as well as the date accessed. See the example below:

AI reference example  - essay on the challenges chatbots pose for educators:

In-text citation

“Posing ChatGPT the question 'does ChatGPT aid academic malpractice?', the AI turns the responsibility to the user, stating "it is up to the user to decide how to use ChatGPT and it is not intended to be used for any nefarious purposes, including academic malpractice" (OpenAI, 2022).”

Reference list entry

OpenAI (2022). ChatGPT (version GPT3). [Computer program]. Available at: (Accessed: 13 December 2022).

How to reference an AI generated image

If you use an AI tool to generate an image, you would reference it as follows:

In-text citation

Figure 1 highlights a realistic visual simulation based on a range of textual prompts using an AI tool (Midjourney, 2023)

Image caption

Place the caption for the image directly below the image

Figure 1: Synthetic landscape (Source: Midjourney, 2023)

Reference list entry

Midjourney (2003) Synthetic landscape [image]. Available at: (Accessed: 18 Sept 2023)

Referencing an AI tool as personal communication

You may be directed by your School to treat outputs from AI tools as “personal communication”, this is a referencing style that includes more detail, including the prompts you may have used and earlier versions of the output from the tool. Please see the example here

Additional requirements can include:

  • All the relevant prompts and outputs generated from the interaction in the form of an appendix.
  • Date when the outputs were generated.
  • A statement on any modifications that were applied to the output which were included in a piece of work.

Acknowledging your use of an AI tool

Finally, you may be asked or feel it is appropriate to acknowledge your use of an AI tool or system. This acknowledgement can sit at the start of your work (or sometimes be found in a footnote) and would usually give an overview of the tools used and the outputs. Please see the example below:

"Generative AI Disclosure: I used ChatGPT 3.5 to assist in idea generation, image creation, and for foeedback on grammar and content. I implemented some of its recommendations. I used DALL-E to explore ideas for visuals (one of which is used and cited on page 2)"