Privacy Notice: Student Applicants

The University needs to hold and process personal data relating to its students in order to keep proper records, provide support and guidance to students and monitor academic progress.


Part 1: Generic Privacy Notice Information

The University of Sheffield (TUoS) has a responsibility under data protection legislation to provide individuals with information about how we process their personal data. We do this in a number of ways, one of which is the publication of privacy notices. Organisations variously call them a privacy statement, a fair processing notice or a privacy policy.

To ensure that we process your personal data fairly and lawfully we are required to inform you:

  • Why we collect your data
  • How it will be used
  • Who it will be shared with

We will also explain what rights you have to control how we use your information and how to inform us about your wishes. TUoS will make the Privacy Notice available via the website and at the point we request personal data.

Our privacy notices comprises of two parts – a generic part (ie common to all of our privacy notices) and a part tailored to the specific processing activity being undertaken.

Data Controller

The Data Controller is TUoS. If you would like more information about how the University uses your personal data, please see the University’s Data Protection page or contact Data Protection Department:

Telephone: 0114 22 21117


The Data Protection Department also coordinates responses to individuals asserting their rights under the legislation. Please contact the Department in the first instance.

Data Protection Officer

The Data Protection Officer is responsible for advising the University on compliance with Data Protection legislation and monitoring its performance against it. If you have any concerns regarding the way in which the University is processing your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer:

Luke Thompson

Head of Data Protection & Legal Services

Telephone: 0114 22 21117


Your rights in relation to your data

Privacy notices and/or consent

You have the right to be provided with information about how and why we process your personal data. Where you have the choice to determine how your personal data will be used, we will ask you for consent. Where you do not have a choice (for example, where we have a legal obligation to process the personal data), in both instances we will provide you with a privacy notice. A privacy notice is a verbal or written statement that explains how we use personal data.

Whenever you give your consent for the processing of your personal data, you receive the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Where withdrawal of consent will have an impact on the services we are able to provide, this will be explained to you, so that you can determine whether it is the right decision for you.

Accessing your personal data

You have the right to be told whether we are processing your personal data and, if so, to be given a copy of it. This is known as the right of subject access. You can find out more about this right on the University’s subject access page found here

Right to rectification

If you believe that personal data we hold about you is inaccurate, please contact us and we will investigate. You can also request that we complete any incomplete data.

Once we have determined what we are going to do, we will contact you to let you know.

Right to erasure

You can ask us to erase your personal data in any of the following circumstances:

  • We no longer need the personal data for the purpose it was originally collected
  • You withdraw your consent and there is no other legal basis for the processing
  • You object to the processing and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing
  • The personal data have been unlawfully processed
  • The personal data have to be erased for compliance with a legal obligation
  • The personal data have been collected in relation to the offer of information society services (information society services are online services such as banking or social media sites).

Once we have determined whether we will erase the personal data, we will contact you to let you know.

Right to restriction of processing

You can ask us to restrict the processing of your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • You believe that the data is inaccurate and you want us to restrict processing until we determine whether it is indeed inaccurate
  • The processing is unlawful and you want us to restrict processing rather than erase it
  • We no longer need the data for the purpose we originally collected it but you need it in order to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim and
  • You have objected to the processing and you want us to restrict processing until we determine whether our legitimate interests in processing the data override your objection.

Once we have determined how we propose to restrict processing of the data, we will contact you to discuss and, where possible, agree this with you.


The University keeps personal data for as long as it is needed for the purpose for which it was originally collected. Most of these time periods are set out in the University’s retention schedule found here

Making a complaint

If you are unsatisfied with the way in which we process your personal data, we ask that you let us know so that we can try and put things right. If we are not able to resolve issues to your satisfaction, you can refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: Information Commissioner’s Office

Part II: Tailored Privacy Notice for Prospective Students

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: Type(s) of personal data collected and held by the University and method of collection

We will collect personal details such as: name, address, qualifications and support needs. For equality monitoring purposes, we will also ask for Special Category Data such as gender, religion, race and disability. We also collect this data for research purposes.

Personal data is collected from the application, open day booking form and/or any enquiry forms you submit to us as well as face-to-face, email or telephone contact you make with the University and its representatives. We also collect additional personal data via your Access+ Eligibility Declaration which supports our contextual admissions offer-making process.

We also receive information sent to us by UCAS. For further information regarding this, please visit the UCAS website at

This personal data may contain ‘special category’ data as described in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Such special categories may include information about your physical health (including allergies and intolerances), disability, and religion-related requirements (e.g. Halal, Kosher etc.)

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: Lawful basis

Personal data will only be processed when the law permits this to happen. Most commonly personal data will be processed in the following circumstances:

  • Where you have given us your consent
  • In order to fulfil our obligations to you as part of the admissions process
  • Where we need to comply with a legal obligation
  • To protect your vital interests or those of another person (for example, in the case of a medical emergency)
  • In order to perform a task carried out in the public interest

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: How personal data is stored

The information will be stored in a customer relationship management (CRM) system and student records system. Access to these systems is restricted to authorised personnel only and all admissions staff receive regular training to ensure that your data is handled appropriately and legally.

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: How personal data is processed

Information provided to us will be used to support you in considering and making an application to The University of Sheffield  and to enable the University to consider your application for entry to our programmes. Once admitted, your admissions record will be used to create your student record. We collect statistical admissions data for the purposes of identifying trends, forecasting and monitor progress.

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: Who the University shares data with

Information is shared with relevant parties within the University for the purposes outlined above. In addition, specific data may be shared with the following for the purposes specified:

  • UKVI – if you require a visa to study in the UK, the University will supply required information to the Home Office in order to provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS) number. This number is required as part of the visa application process.
  • UCAS – if you apply to The University of Sheffield through UCAS, the University will notify you of its decisions through the UCAS portal UCAS Track. In order to do this, information relating to your application will be shared in accordance with their requirements and published privacy notice (please see
  • Scholarships/funders – If you are applying for or have been awarded a student loan or scholarship, we may share information with your funding body, with your consent, in order to facilitate the payment of these funds.
  • Approved International Agents – if you register an interest with the University as an enquirer outside of the UK, we may pass your details to one of our approved agencies, who may contact you to ask if you would like their assistance with your application. You are under no obligation to employ them to work on your behalf.
  • Researchers - The University may share data internally with University researchers or externally with third party organisations for the purposes of research. We will only do this where ethical approval has been granted and we will act in compliance with data protection law.

Student Applicants/Potential Student Applicants: Collaborative Programmes

Where the University of Sheffield manages admissions procedures it will provide partners with details of the students attending courses. Where required, the University of Sheffield will provide progress reports to partners or other relevant bodies.

Where a student chooses to make use of the University’s complaints and academic appeals processes, the University will process personal data necessary for the purpose of administering the case and then retain such records in line with its University Records Retention Schedule.

Student Applicants/Potential Student Applicants: Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

The University is required to obtain information about past criminal convictions prior to offering a place on some of its programmes and as a condition of employment for certain posts. The University also undertakes DBS checks on those students who work with young and/or vulnerable people.

Student Applicants/Potential Student Applicants: Fraud and Plagiarism, Disciplinary Procedures and Academic Appeals

The University may process a student’s personal data for the purpose of the prevention and detection of fraud, particularly plagiarism (this may involve disclosure to third parties, eg in the use of plagiarism detection software).

It may also process a student’s personal data in the course of disciplinary procedures or academic appeals (this may involve disclosure to third parties, eg to seek legal advice).

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: How long personal data is held by the University

The University has a Records Retention Schedule that specifies how long data will be held for. The University keeps personal data for as long as it is needed for the purpose for which it was originally collected. Most of these time periods are set out in the University’s retention schedule found here

Student Applicants/ Potential Student Applicants: Further information

If you have any questions which you feel have not been covered by this Privacy Notice, please email us or write to: