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The University of Southampton
About us

Privacy Notice - Applicant

The University is the data controller, which means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about you. We are providing you with this privacy notice as you are applying to study with us. It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the application exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR). Our registration number with the Information Commissioner’s Office is Z6801020.

Data refers to the information that we hold about you from which either on its own or in combination with other information you can be identified and may include names, contact details, photographs, identification numbers, online identifiers, biometric information and expressions of opinion about you or indications as to our intentions about you.  A list of the data we collect is set out below.

"Processing" means doing anything with your Data, such as collecting, recording or holding the Data as well as disclosing, destroying or using the Data in any way.

Data Protection Principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:

What information does the University collect?

In connection with your application we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal data about you:

What if you do not provide your personal data?

If you fail to provide data when requested, we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if you fail to provide us with relevant details and evidence of previous qualifications, we will not be able to take your application further and it will be withdrawn.

Why does the University process personal data?

We need to process your personal data to fulfil our public task in providing educational services to decide whether to offer you a place on one of its programmes of study.

We will use the personal data we collect about you to:

We may also process your personal data for the purposes of direct marketing relating to life at Southampton where you have given your consent for us to do so.

How the University uses your Special Category Data

We may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal data, where this is absolutely necessary to process your application:

We will only process sensitive personal data where you have given your explicit consent, unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Information about criminal convictions

We will use data about your criminal convictions to assess your suitability for a course and make any necessary changes to your learning and living environment to allow you to undertake your studies and adhere to any conditions placed upon you. In addition to this, the information may need to be shared externally where a course requires a professional registration on graduation with an external body.

Processing for limited purposes

We will only process your Data for the specific purpose or purposes that we tell you about, or if specifically permitted by the UK Data Protection Act 1998 or the Data Protection Act 2018 (depending on which is in force at the relevant time), and will only process your data to the extent necessary for that specific purpose or purposes.


We will keep the data we store about you accurate and up to date as relevant to the purpose or purposes for which we process it. Data that is inaccurate or out of date will be destroyed. Please notify us if your personal details change or if data we hold about you is inaccurate.

How will your personal data be collected?

We obtain your personal data either directly from you or indirectly from third party sources with whom you have had direct contact, such as UCAS or reputable international agents.  We will always look to ensure that the third party has the lawful authority to share this data with us and has collected it from you fairly.

How will your personal data be secured?

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees of the University who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

Holding and retaining your data

We will retain your personal data relating to your application indefinitely. Where your application results in an offer that you later accept, your application will form part of your student record.

We retain your personal data for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the application exercise in a fair and transparent way as well as to allow us to provide you with information about your student journey once you have left the institution. We will also use the details of previous applications for internal statistical analysis and strategic decision making.

Who has access to your personal data?

Your personal data will be shared internally within the University for the purposes of processing your application.

We may share your data externally with:

We may need to share your Data with third parties in order to comply with the University’s legal obligations, such as reporting to Government and regulatory bodies such as the Office for Students and Research England to make returns to the Higher Education Statics Agency, or to respond to lawful requests from other relevant educational providers.

Exceptionally, we may disclose your Data with a third party if required to do so: to protect or defend the University’s rights, interests, or property, or those of third parties; act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of University constituents, or the public; or protect against legal liability.

All third-party data recipients are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal data in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party data recipients to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Automated decision making

Some of your personal data will be used for some automated decision making. In particular:

Where this is the case, you are able to challenge the decisions that have been made by contacting


We will use some Data that we obtain to evaluate certain personal aspects about you in order to:

Your rights

You have a number of rights. You can:

If you would like to exercise these rights please use our online form or write to:

The Data Protection Officer

Legal Services

University of Southampton, Highfield

Southampton, SO171BJ


Right to withdraw consent

When you apply to study with the University, we ask you to provide consent to participate in some direct marketing activities related to your course, the University or the city of Southampton. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact .

Unwanted communications

We will, from time to time, contact you by email, post, telephone, SMS and, at times, social media with your consent (when required). If at any stage you are concerned about the content of these communications e.g. unwanted marketing information or wish to change how we communicate with you please contact us at: to unsubscribe. All electronic communication will be offered with an opt out opportunity as is required by EU and UK electronic privacy rules.

Further information

We also have additional policies and guidelines concerning particular activities. If you would like further information please visit our Publication Scheme .

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled your data you can contact us at:

Student and Academic Administration

Highfield Campus, Southampton SO17 1BJ UK.


Telephone: +44(0)23 8059 5000

Alternatively, you can contact the UK Information Commissioner’s Office .

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