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Applicants privacy notice

The University of Exeter (the “University”) is a data controller and is committed to protecting your personal data. We work in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation. This Privacy Notice explains how and why we process and use your personal data as an applicant. When you apply to us, you are asking us to consider whether we will enter into a contract with you. We are allowed to hold and process your personal data and send you related information because this is a necessary part of our and your decision about whether we will enter into a contract relating to study at Exeter. Your application represents your request for us to do this.
More information about Admissions Policy, Terms and Conditions and procedures.

The University may hold data relating to you from several sources. If you apply through UCAS we will receive this application information as well as qualification information passed to us subsequently via UCAS or direct from an awarding body. If you apply direct to us you will be the source of the information we hold. We may also hold information supplied by any agent you commission to work for you, from sponsors or third parties such as professional bodies or partners (such as the University of Law). If you provide information to third parties to pass on to Exeter, you may wish to consult the privacy notices of those organisations or agents.

Our records may include:

  • Contact details including names, addresses and telephone information required to administer your application
  • Achieved and predicted qualification information required to inform the decision about your suitability for your chosen programme of study
  • Equality and diversity monitoring, contextual information and any required criminal conviction information to enable the University to monitor the impact of its admissions and widening participation policies and comply with safeguarding laws and professional body requirements.

The University primarily uses your data to process your application as well as to provide you with information to assist you, which may be sent in the form of post, email and text messages. These communications may include:

  • Invitations to events such as open days
  • Information about benefits available to applicants such as scholarships or pre-sessional English classes
  • Information about the Exeter student experience which may include personal contact from current students or staff eg survey
  • Updates regarding the status of your application and things you need to do
  • Alternative course offers if we are unable to accept you for your original choice

Personal data may also be disclosed to the Student Health Centre, Accessibility and Welfare Services, Accommodation Office, and Student Finance to ensure that we can adequately support you and that you receive appropriate information about the services of the University. This will sometimes result in targeted general information but may also result in closer individual contact where, for example, you are offered a specific point of contact to liaise over additional needs or requirements.

We want you to be happy and comfortable with your higher education choices and will always target the information we send you to the appropriate stage of your application journey. We do not want to overwhelm you with contacts but we do want you to feel part of our special student community. We will not use your application information to promote other products or services unrelated to study at Exeter but will use it to support you to make informed decisions. You will be able to unsubscribe from non-essential communications but may miss something helpful and informative if you do this.

Most of our communication will be via email but we will also use SMS, telephone and postal contact from time to time, based on the details you supply to us. If you prefer one particular form of contact please inform the Admissions team. We will otherwise use the most appropriate contact method for the information we need to send you, based on what is supplied to us as part of your application.

If you have asked an agent to apply on your behalf, we will share information regarding your application status and documents. We will send communications direct to the agent regarding our decision and related services using the contract address the agent supplies. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the information the agent submits and receives on your behalf. Please ensure we have your personal contact details if you wish to receive personal duplicate copies of such communications.

In order to reach a decision on, or progress your application, the University may have reason to share data with a third party external to the University. The University ensures that appropriate data sharing agreements are in place prior to sharing your personal data with any partners. Sometimes, we will contact you for explicit consent to do this. We will not do this where there is a statutory requirement for us to share or where you have already agreed to this as part of your application.

Some examples of data sharing are as follows:

  • If you are intending to study abroad, involved in an exchange programme, joint/double degrees, partnership schemes, programmes that are co-registered and co-taught with other institutions, accredited prior learning (APL) or Doctoral Training Partnerships, we may need to release data to these institutions or related organisations as required to facilitate your studies
  • We may pass personal information to the Home Office and UKVI to ensure compliance with our Tier 4 sponsor licence and all associated immigration regulations and responsibilities
  • We may pass certain limited personal data onto other HEI’s, UCAS or organisations that are course relevant professional standards and registration bodies to protect the public from risk and to prevent fraudulent applications to courses which lead to entry on to these registered professions in the UK.
  • If you are using an agent, we may need further information from them and may need to refer to your application. We may also enable our overseas representatives to access your contact details so that they can offer you support by email, text or telephone. These staff work on behalf of Exeter but are employed through in-country service providers because of local regulations. These staff complete Exeter information governance training and their activities are bound by contracts which include requirements in relation to data protection and privacy.
  • We may share personal data with our joint venture partner INTO University of Exeter, in order to provide you with pre-sessional or pathway programme options for meeting entry requirements
  • We will disclose limited information in connection with your academic, achieved or potential, achievement to loan organisations or authorities to enable them to establish eligibility for a sponsorship/loans/awards/other such schemes; we will only do this if you have applied for student finance of this kind
  • We may require you to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course as part of a PGCE application; this will be a DfE requirement but you will have a choice of provider; when you have made your selection, we will need to confirm your eligibility and this will involve the transfer of limited personal data to the SKE provider
  • If you are accepted as a PGCE student we will also need to liaise with and provide limited personal data to your preliminary placement school and regulators or their auditors, such as the DfE; again, this is a DfE requirement and we will be responding to information you provide us about your chosen school
  • If a programme has certain requirements, it may be necessary to consult with external partners. This includes Disclosure and Barring Service checks and Occupational Health checks. In these instances, specific information will be required and you will be contacted to provide this. Specific agreements will be in place to protect the use of your personal information. Our relationship with GBG, our online DBS check service, is an example of this.
  • We may also need to deal with external providers during the application process. These could include but are not limited to UKCISA, UCAS, UK ENIC (Ecctis), IELTS, TOEFL, and Pearson in order to verify your qualifications.
  • We may confidentially and securely share your personal information with third parties who are contracted to provide IT services for the University; such information will only be used to provide the contracted services, and in accordance with the terms of the agreements with the University
  • Some of your personal data will be passed to the Exeter Students’ Guild or Penryn FXU (our equivalents of a Students’ Union) to enable the provision of details regarding Fresher’s Week activities; we will ask for consent to do this so you will have an opportunity to tell us not to.

The University does NOT sell data to third parties or allow third parties to sell on data where data is shared with them.

Your data is held securely on the University’s admissions database. The database is accessible to a limited number of University staff. All staff who access the database have completed the University’s data protection training. Additional protection is applied to ‘special condition’ data such as criminal convictions or health information.

The University will store your applications data for a fixed period, depending on your application outcome. If you accept an offer from Exeter and secure your place, your personal data is transferred to your student record ahead of enrolment and then on to the University’s alumni database when you graduate. You will receive further information about this and how to amend your contact preferences at each stage. See our Alumni privacy notice.

The legal basis for processing your personal data is primarily that by submitting an application you are asking us to consider entering into a contract. In addition, there are some tasks which are carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of our official authority, for example the completion of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education/Graduate Outcomes survey.

This Privacy Notice will be kept under review. Any changes will be updated on our website and communicated to you as appropriate. This Privacy Notice was last updated in May 2018.

You have the right to:

  • Ask us to see, correct or delete the data we hold about you
  • Object to specific data uses, as described above
  • Object to receiving communications
  • Object to the transfer of your data electronically to a third party.

Please contact us using the details below about any of these rights.

The University’s Data Protection Officer is responsible for monitoring compliance with relevant legislation in relation to personal data and can be contacted at, you can also contact the DPO if you have any queries or concerns about the University’s processing of your personal data. You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

You can contact us about any aspect of our use of your personal data or to tell us to stop one or more forms of contact by emailing You can also phone us on 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers) or +44 (0)1392 723044 (International).

If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Notice please do get in touch.