Admissions privacy notice

Purpose of the privacy notice

This privacy notice explains how the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) collects, manages, and uses your personal data for the purpose of applying and securing a place in higher education. ‘Personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (the data subject).

This privacy notice adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) principle of transparency. This means it gives information about:

  • how and why your data will be used;
  • what your rights are under GDPR; and
  • how to contact UWE Bristol in relation to questions, concerns or exercising your rights regarding the use of your personal data.

Why are we processing your personal data?

To support the admissions process, UWE Bristol are required to process your personal data to ensure you secure your place in higher education. This may include personal data that you provide direct to the University or through third party services such as UCAS, and other organisations and partner institutions.

As a data controller we are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal data in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (or any successor legislation) and any other legislation directly relating to privacy laws that apply (together “the Data Protection Legislation”). General information on Data Protection law is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

How do we use your personal data?

To support the admissions process, the University will process your information in the following ways:

  • to provide guidance and support. This may include contacting you directly to discuss the application process.
  • to determine student recruitment to its programmes of study. This may include the assessment and verification of information, such as previous education and work experience, funding arrangements, immigration and visa requirements
  • for further management of the selection process
  • for certain courses we will assess your suitability to work with patients, children or other vulnerable people and your fitness to practice for entry into some regulated professions.

The University may hold and process data about criminal offences or convictions if you have disclosed this on your application or it if is appropriate given the nature of your programme (for example if a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if required for your course).

We will use information about criminal convictions and offences in the following ways:

  • to consider your suitability to become a member of the University or to continue to be a member of the University or to decide if any support or measures need to be put in place
  • to comply with regulatory requirements to decide your suitability to study on a regulated programme or to practice in a regulated profession 
  • consideration of safeguarding issues.

We will only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. Personal data relating to criminal convictions will be retained confidentially and securely and access to that data will be strictly controlled. Further information relating to this process can be found in our criminal convictions policy (PDF).  

Our lawful basis

We will only process your personal data when the law allows us to. In addition, we will always comply with UWE Bristol’s policies and procedures in processing your personal data.

Our lawful basis for using your personal data in many cases fall under public task. We may also rely on other law bases (either instead of or in addition to public task). This includes: 

  • Contract: this applies when we collect your data for contractual purposes with the University or because there are certain steps required before entering a contract
  • Legal obligation: this applies where we need to use your personal data to comply with one of our legal obligations
  • Vital interests: occasionally, we may need to use personal data to protect your vital interests or somebody else's (vital interests). This usually only applies if we need to use personal data in an emergency, for example a "life and death" situation
  • Legitimate interests: where necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests or someone else's legitimate interest where such legitimate interests do not infringe your own rights and freedoms
  • We may rely on your Consent in some circumstances, and we will be very clear with you when we are seeking your consent. Where we rely only on your consent to process your personal data, you may withdraw your consent at any time.

Where we process special category data, we will ensure an additional lawful basis has been identified. You can find out more information about lawful bases at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) - A guide to lawful basis.

We will always tell you about the information we wish to collect from you and how we will use it. We will not use your personal data for automated decision making about you or for profiling purposes.

What data do we collect?

  • Your personal details such as your name, home address and other contact details, age and date of birth, gender, ethnicity, contextual information, nationality, country of birth, your dependents
  • Information relating to your health or disability when required
  • Criminal offence and/or conviction data
  • Information about your course
  • Your qualifications
  • Information about your previous education and work experience
  • Funding arrangements (for example your sponsor)
  • Immigration and visa information (if you are an international student)
  • Any other personal data submitted in your personal statement or as part of the application process
  • Information in any supporting documentation which is provided by you or a third party (such as information from referees, from qualification awarding bodies or results which are provided to us by UCAS) during the application process
  • Details of your engagement with and the outcomes of any selection processes (including interviews, selection tests, portfolio submissions and, where relevant, fitness to practice and/or health declarations or other suitability assessments)
  • Eligibility for scholarships
  • General correspondence and administration in relation to your application

Who do we share your data with?

We will only share relevant items of your information where it is necessary to fulfil the lawful purposes listed above. Recipients of your personal data will include:

  • Academic and professional services staff at the University involved in admissions processes
  • Relevant support services within the University to provide accurate and timely support to applicants
  • External staff from professional practice involved in admissions processes, such as selection events or admissions panels
  • In some instances, data may be shared with external authorised agencies such as the Home Office or police, for example to prevent or detect fraud or in fulfilment of another legal obligation such as the University’s obligations as a student visa sponsor
  • If your studies are conducted at another institution in partnership with UWE Bristol, we may share your data with the relevant staff at that business involved in admissions processes
  • If your studies are sponsored by an employer or other organisation, we may disclose your data to the extent that it is a contractual requirement of your sponsorship
  • If you apply for a degree apprenticeship, we may share your data securely with partner employers
  • Intermediaries authorised to act on behalf of the University in the recruitment of international students (where applicable). Further information relating to this process can be found at International applications.
  • Uniquest to contact applicants/offer holders at UWE Bristol
  • If selection events are required to progress your application, such as group interviews, this may require your name to be shared with other applicants
  • Any nominated contact provided by yourself as part of your application
  • Any other external suppliers / Data Processors that act on behalf of the University

Otherwise, we will not share your personal data without your consent.

How do we keep your data secure?

We take a robust approach to protecting your information with secure electronic and physical storage areas for data with controlled access. Access to your personal data is strictly controlled on a need-to-know basis and data is stored and transmitted securely using methods such as encryption and access controls for physical records where appropriate.

Alongside these technical measures there are comprehensive and effective policies and processes in place to ensure that those who process your personal information are aware of their obligations and responsibilities for the data they have access to. 

By default, people are only granted access to the information they require to perform their duties. Mandatory data protection and information security training is provided to staff and expert advice available if needed.

Where data is processed outside of the UK, appropriate safeguards will be in place to ensure your privacy rights and freedoms. This will be supported with contractual requirements that comply with Data Protection Law.

How long do we keep your data for?

We will only retain your personal data for as long as we need it to carry out the purposes in this notice.

Please see our University Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedules for more detailed information. These are available by contacting our Data Protection Office at

Your Rights and how to exercise them

Under the Data Protection legislation, you have the following qualified rights:

  1. The right to access your personal data held by or on behalf of the University;
  2. The right to rectification if the information is inaccurate or incomplete;
  3. The right to restrict processing and/or erasure of your personal data;
  4. The right to data portability;
  5. The right to object to processing;
  6. The right to object to automated decision making and profiling;
  7. The right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we will verify your identity before giving effect to your rights.

To exercise any of your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer

Further information

Once you have completed the admissions process and you are accepted as a student at the University, you must refer to the UWE Bristol Student Privacy Notice for further information on how we process your data.

How to contact us

We will always respond to concerns or queries you may have. If you wish to exercise your rights or have any other general data protection queries, please contact UWE Bristol’s Data Protection Officer

For further information about Admissions, contact:

Admissions Office
University of the West of England
Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1QY

Tel: +44 (0)117 32 83333