Nursing assignments, coursework, presentations and dissertations are available to buy online for as little as £49.
Services offering to provide students with essays for money are to be made illegal under plans announced by the government.
The government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise these cheating services for financial gain to students taking a qualification at any institution in England.
An online search easily reveals nursing assignments, coursework, presentations and dissertations for as little as £49 for a pass – with the cost rising depending on the grade.
Student nurses using such services is likely to breach the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) code of professional conduct and would fall short of the regulator’s educational standards. Many universities also already have specific rules around academic misconduct and the use of essay mills.
Ministers say the ban will help to safeguard the academic integrity and standards of higher education in England and protect students from falling prey to the deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services.
Minister for Skills Alex Burghart MP said: “Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do. We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.
“We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.”
A spokesperson from the National Union of Students added: “NUS firmly opposes essay mills. These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic.
“NUS has called on the Government to take action against them in the past, and we hope they are finally listening.
“In the meantime we would urge universities to put in place academic and pastoral support so that students are never in the position of feeling they have to turn to essay mills in the first place.”