Privacy Notice – prospective students, applicants and offer-holders

1. Introduction

This notice provides information about the use of personal information when you make enquiries about studying at the University of Manchester (including by registering to attend our open days), make an application and if you go to become an offer holder. 

2. What is personal data (also known as personal information)?

Personal information means any information which relates to or identifies you as an individual and includes opinions about you or information which may not explicitly identify you (eg where your name has been removed) but which nevertheless does identify you if it is combined with other information that is readily available.

3. How does this notice relate to other information about data protection?

This notice covers the period before you become a registered student of the University of Manchester from the time you make an enquiry about possible study at the University, through the application and offer-holder process. The student privacy notice provides detailed information about how we use your personal information when you are student and if you participate in widening participation and outreach programmes and events we will also provide you with further information about the way we use the information you provide for these activities. In addition to the information published here, you may receive further information informing you of the choices you have regarding receiving certain types of information from us.

4. Who will process my personal information?

This notice explains how the University of Manchester will hold and process your personal information from the time you first make an enquiry about future study and throughout the application process including once you become an offer-holder.

5. What personal information will you process?

The University needs to collect, maintain and use personal data relating to or about you in order to deal with your enquiry; process your application; manage the provision of offers and the preparations for your arrival at the University. This includes:

For these making an enquiry to study:

5.1. Personal contact details such as name, title, and home address, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses

5.2. Date of birth

5.3. Gender

5.4. Course(s) applied for

5.5. In certain circumstances we may ask you to provide some additional details such as the name of your previous institution of study and academic history including previous or predicted assessments and results, relevant prior learning (APL) and/or work experience

For those applying to study at Manchester, and those in receipt of an offer for study at Manchester, all of the above information, plus:

5.6. Marital status and dependants plus information about parents/legal guardians (eg address details, passport information, employment history) and sometimes nationality information of other relatives for the purposes of a tuition fee assessment where fee status is under review

5.7. Next of kin and emergency contact information where you are applying to for an access programme and are under 18 years of age

5.8. National Insurance number (as part of the required identity checks for students that require a DBS check for safeguarding purposes)

5.9. Copy of passport, visa and right to study documentation where relevant

5.10. For the purposes of assessing eligibility for bursaries, applications for hardship funds programmes linked to these, a record of household income will be collected maintained

5.11. Your application form. We will use the details you provide on your UCAS application or in the case of direct entry (including pre-sessional courses and CPD) your University of Manchester application plus any supporting documents requested as part of your application and additional details provided by any referees and recorded following any interview or selection process

5.12. Applications to study courses with professional qualifications. For these courses (such as Medicine), we will also conduct screening checks (DBS) and where required consult other vetting barring services – for safeguarding purposes

5.13. PGCE applicants. We will use the results of your Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy

6. What is the purpose of the processing under data protection law?

We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to do so by providing us with a legal basis or valid condition.  In the case of those making an enquiry to study at Manchester, prior to submitting an application or receiving an offer, we will process your personal information on the basis of your consent and we will seek further consent from you to send you additional promotional information about studying at Manchester.

Following the submission of an application to study we will use your personal information in the following circumstances where it is necessary for the:

  • performance of our contractual obligations with you including preparing for a future  contract (eg to manage your student experience, accommodation services and general welfare while you study at The University of Manchester;
  • compliance with a legal obligation (eg UK equal opportunities monitoring);
  • performance of tasks we carry out in the public interest (eg admissions research);
  • pursuit of the legitimate interests of the University or an external organisation (eg to send promotional information relating to studying at the University).

We require you to provide us with the information we ask for during the application process in order to assess your application properly. If we require your consent for any additional uses of your personal information, including your image and more sensitive personal information we will collect it at the appropriate time and explain this to you. You can withdraw your consent at any time. We will not use your personal information to carry out any wholly automated decision-making that affects you.

7. Can you provide examples of processing?

The University will process the personal information you provide, including your application details and the other information referred to above for a range of purposes connected with potential future study, including the purposes of:

7.1. identifying you

7.2. sending you the course or study related information you requested and tracking your application status

7.3. sending you other information by both mail and electronically relevant to an enquiry about studying at Manchester and/or making a choice to study at the University including sending you information about a recruitment event you have registered to attend either on or off-campus. In certain circumstances where this information is not necessary for the processing of your application/offer you will be provided with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving some of this information

7.4. processing your application to study at Manchester including any related applications for accommodation services

7.5. verifying the information you provided

7.6. deciding whether to offer you a place and communicating that outcome (together with any feedback)

7.7. conducting a tuition fee assessment to ascertain your fee status

7.8. conducting risk assessments of applicants under 18 years of age

We may also use or disclose the information provided for the following statutory or public interest purposes:

7.9. to prevent or detect fraud

7.10. for equal opportunities monitoring

7.11. to allow us to consider any future accommodation requirements when you have applied for University of Manchester accommodation. Further information is available here [accommodation notice]

7.12. to provide statutory returns required by applicable legislation

7.13. for research and statistical purposes, but no information which could identify you will be published

8. What constitutes “Special Category Data”?

The University will also process some information about you that is considered more sensitive and this is referred to as ‘special category’ personal data in the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018. When we process this type of information we are required to apply additional protections. Special category  personal data is defined as racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health or sex life and sexual orientation, genetic data and biometric data which is processed to uniquely identify a person. In the UK this also includes any personal information relating to criminal convictions and offences.

9. How will you process my Special Category personal information?

We will only process special category personal information in certain situations in accordance with the law.  For example, we can do so if we have your explicit consent and, in some circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data.  If we do, we will provide you with full details for the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent, which you can withdraw at any time. 

We do not need your consent to process special category personal data when we are processing it for the following purposes as these satisfy another legal condition where:

  • we need to carry out our legal obligations;
  • you have made the data public;
  • where processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims;
  • processing is necessary in the public interest.

We will use your special category personal information in the following ways:

9.1. your race, national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs or your sexual life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting (including where for monitoring purposes conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency HESA)

9.2. for certain courses of study, including on an individual, ad-hoc basis information about past criminal convictions will be processed at application stage where this is relevant because you will be working with children or vulnerable adults, and/or because of fitness to practise requirements in certain regulated professions. Where these details are required you will be provided with further information about this. For all other courses relevant unspent criminal convictions will be processed once an offer has been accepted in order to ensure appropriate risk assessments are conducted

9.3. information about your physical health or mental health or disability status where you choose to provide these details to us in order to receive an additional service, such as to:

         i. request reasonable adjustments relating to a disability you wish to inform us about. This might be to help with attendance at an open day or for future study at the University. In the case of future study the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) will be able to access these details and will provide you with further information about the use of your information

       ii. or for courses with fitness to practice requirements to receive an occupational health assessment  the Occupational Health Service will access this information and provide you with further information about the process and use of your information

10. Who will my personal information be shared with?

In addition to sharing your personal information with relevant University of Manchester staff for the purposes of dealing with your enquiry; assessing and processing your application or offer as required we will share your personal information for the above purposes as relevant and necessary with:

10.1. your referees

10.2. where relevant and as required and/or notified to you, your school/college or training organisation

10.3. your examination boards or awarding bodies

10.4. your student support assessment body

10.5. your funders and/or potential funders, including in the case of international applicants, the British Council or appropriate agencies

10.6. where relevant and as required, UK Visas and Immigration in order to act as your sponsor for visa purposes

10.7. where relevant and as required, governmental bodies including local authorities, the Home Office, and the Department for Work and Pensions and its agencies

10.8. UCAS for the purpose of investigation in cases where we need to verify aspects of the application

10.9. wen you confirm your place at the University, the University Students’ Union, in order to facilitate your membership of this and associated clubs and societies and to enable you to register for SU events. You have the opportunity to opt-out of membership of the Students’ Union following your student registration. For further information about how the Students' Union uses your information see the SU privacy policy 

10.10. other Higher Education organisations, in order to assist with tracking and research into access to Higher Education

10.11. companies or organisations providing specific services to, or on behalf of, the University and/or one or more Colleges

10.12. any other relevant professional or statutory regulatory bodies

10.13. where you are applying to study at a University of Manchester international centre personal information may be disclosed to international governmental/regulatory bodies based in that country (eg KHDA in Dubai, Committee for Private Education in Singapore)

10.14. to third party student accommodation providers operating under contract on behalf of the University

10.15. on occasion and where necessary, University auditors and, where required, other statutory bodies acting in an audit capacity

10.16. on occasion and where necessary, subsidiary companies of the University  

10.17. to banks (and other payment agencies you may use), family members who are paying a deposit, application fees, or early tuition fee payments before student registration. where appropriate and this includes the disclosure of relevant information to our supplier of banking services for the purposes of complying with anti-money laundering regulations

10.18. on occasion, the above types of sharing may involve the transfer of your personal information outside the European Economic Area (eg to facilitate your participation in an exchange visit or to report to an overseas funding provider). Such transfers usually are necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with you, and are carried out with appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of your personal information

10.19. other than as set out above, we will not normally publish or disclose any personal information about you to other external enquirers or organisations unless you have requested it or consented to it, or unless it is in your vital interests to do so (eg in an emergency situation)

10.20. where you have applied with the support of an educational agent we will share the details of your application with them with your consent

10.21. where you apply for accommodation provided by a third party operating under contract with the University

11.  What are my rights in connection with my personal information?

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

11.1. request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it

11.2. request correction of the personal information that we hold about you.  This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected

11.3. request erasure of your personal information.  This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing

11.4. object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground.  You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes

11.5. request the restriction of processing of your personal information.  This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it

11.6. request the transfer of your personal information to another party

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive.  Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights).  This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, you should contact the University Data Protection Officer by email: Alternatively you can write to The Information Governance Office, University of Manchester, Christie Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.  Further information about your rights is available from the University’s data protection web pages.

12. How long is my information kept?

We store your personal information as part of your student record for the duration of your studies and for a defined period after you graduate. In addition, information directly relating to your studies and the qualifications you were awarded is retained much longer as stated above and this information may also be consulted as part of our assessment of any future application you make for further studies at the University of Manchester. Information about how long different types of information are retained by the University is published in the University's record retention schedule (PDF document, 848KB).

13. Who can I contact?

If you have any questions about how your personal information is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection web pages. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (

4. How do I complain?

If you are not happy with the way your information is being handled, or with the response received from us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF (visit the ICO website)

15. Are changes made to this notice?

This privacy notice was last updated in August 2018 and may be amended from time to time.