Personal data | University of Oxford
Personal data
Students working in the Upper Reading Room of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, UK
Copyright © Rob Judges Photography. This image comes from Oxford University Images. All rights reserved.

Personal data

The following information will help you to understand the purposes for which the University will store and process your personal data.

What is personal data?

Personal data is any information which relates to a living person, and from which they can be identified. Sensitive personal data is defined as information about racial or ethnic origins; political opinions; religious beliefs or other beliefs; trade union membership; physical or mental health; sexual life; criminal allegations, proceedings or convictions.

Keeping the data up-to-date

The University has a responsibility to ensure that the personal data which we process is accurate and up-to-date. Please help us to do this by ensuring that your personal details are kept up-to-date. It is particularly important that the collegiate University always holds an accurate current term-time address so that we can contact you with important information. You can check and, if necessary, amend your personal details by logging in to Student Self Service.

Processing your data

Data processing encompasses the collection and use of personal data. The collegiate University needs to process your personal data in order to perform its educational, pastoral, statutory and administrative purposes and responsibilities to you and others. This processing will take place before, during and after your studies at Oxford.

Examples of processing for these purposes include, but are not limited to: processing information about your studies and achievements; your financial relationship with the University and your funders; processing information to enable you to use University and college facilities and to allow effective communication with you; processing information to survey you or to conduct research into academic achievements to enable the University to improve academic and pastoral provision; and processing information to fulfil our statutory responsibilities.

Sharing of personal data

In the fulfilment of the collegiate University’s responsibilities and purposes, personal data collected by the University may be shared within the collegiate University.

In addition, the University and the colleges may disclose your personal data to other bodies outside of the collegiate University in order to fulfil these responsibilities and purposes. Such bodies include but are not limited to:

  • the Oxford University Student Union ('OUSU') and wholly-owned subsidiary companies of OUSU
  • your funders and/or sponsors, including the Student Loan Company
  • providers of external training or placements, including schools that participate in the Internship Scheme
  • employers or prospective employers and other educational institutions
  • any relevant professional or statutory regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council
  • the Higher Education Statistics Agency
  • relevant public bodies, including but not limited to the UK Home Office; HM Revenue and Customs; and Local Authorities
  • organisations which provide specific services on behalf of the University, including, but not limited to mailing houses, the plagiarism detection service and organisations providing external admissions testing services.

Publicly accessible information

Your webmail address will be included in the online University contact search. Requests to have your email address omitted from the online contact search should be addressed to your Telecommunications Co-ordinator (normally your Departmental Administrator or College Office).

Information about your educational achievements may be published in University/college publications for example the Oxford University Gazette from time to time.

You should be aware that many countries outside the European Economic Area do not have data protection legislation, or have different data protection or privacy regimes, and so may not always protect your personal data to the same standard.

Processing sensitive personal data

There are very limited circumstances in which sensitive personal data will be collected and/or processed by the University without your consent.  Such processing may occur where the University considers it to be necessary and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Development and Alumni Relations System

Once you have been registered on your course your details will also be added to the Development and Alumni Relations System (DARS). For full details on the way in which the data is held and used in DARS, please see the DARS Data Protection Statement or email the Development Office to request a paper copy.

Subject access requests

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right of access to your personal data subject to certain exemptions. If you wish to seek access under the Data Protection Act to information held about you by the University or have any queries about the University’s use of your data, you should contact the University’s Data Protection Officer.


The University’s records are normally archived as a matter of routine. Nevertheless, you are advised to retain any original certificates issued by the University safely and securely.

Was this page useful?*