Privacy notice

Read about how we process personal data and find out about your rights.

This notice outlines the University’s processing activities relating to personal data and covers the following:


The University of Sussex is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Our registration reference is Z6428144.

You can refer to the University’s Data Protection Policy for more information about our commitment to processing personal data in a way that is compliant with relevant data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Data Protection Officer for the University of Sussex is Alexandra Elliott, Head of Information Management and Compliance. If you have any queries concerning your personal data and how it is processed, contact the Data Protection Officer at

The basis for processing your personal data

We process personal information to enable us to provide education and support services to our students and staff; for advertising and promoting the University and the services we offer; publication of the University magazine; to support alumni relations and fundraising, undertaking research; managing our accounts and records and providing commercial activities to our clients.

We also process personal information through the use of surveillance systems such as CCTV and Body Worn Video devices to monitor and collect visual and audio recordings to provide a safe environment for students, staff and visitors to the campus and for the purposes of security. Such personal data may be used for the prevention and detection of crime; for evidential purposes to support criminal, civil and internal proceedings, including disciplinary investigations against staff and students; for assisting in traffic management and parking enforcement; and to assist in Health and Safety requirements and other legal or regulatory compliance obligations.

We may also process personal information for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or when necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising of defending legal rights.

We will collect and process personal data about you for the purposes described above. Personal data may include “special categories of data” as described under the General Data Protection Regulation, such as information about your racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or other beliefs, and physical or mental health.

When we process personal data, there needs to be a legal basis for doing so and, if we process special categories of data, we need to meet additional conditions too. Further information can be found on the ICO’s website and in the additional information on our Data Protection pages.

The University processes personal data largely on the basis that it is necessary for the performance of our tasks carried out in the public interest or because it is necessary for our or a third party’s legitimate interests. The purpose of the University is to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research to the benefit of the wider community and examples of processing on this basis include our teaching and research activities, as well as monitoring and evaluating the performance and effectiveness of the University and improving the academic, corporate, financial and human resource management of the University.

We may also process your personal data because it is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering a contact. For example, this may include interacting with individuals before they are enrolled as a student, as part of the admissions process, or dealing with any concerns a student may have.

We may also need to process personal data to comply with our legal obligations. This can include compliance and regulatory obligations, such as anti-money laundering laws, immigration obligations and safeguarding requirements, or to assist with investigations carried out by the police or other authorities. We may also process your personal data where it is necessary to protect your or another person’s vital interests, or in circumstances where we have your specific consent to do so.

Personal data we collect about you and how we use it

Information is collected in several different ways depending on your interaction with the University and personal data is processed for the purposes outlined below.

Website visitors and enquiries

We collect personal data from visitors to this website through the use of online forms as well as when you email us with an enquiry. We also collect information about the transactions you undertake through this site including details of payment cards used. In addition, we collect information automatically about your visit to our website. Further information about ‘Cookies’ is set out below.  

We may process information collected through this website or other electronic networks used by the University, for the purposes of advertising, marketing, public relations and general advice services as follows:

  • the identification of recipients for University services and administration of promotional campaigns,
  • the advertising and promotion of the University and its services including by direct marketing means,
  • the advertisement and provision of general advice to members of the public about University services,
  • the advertisement and promotion of the University through third party products and services, e.g. financial sponsorship,
  • fundraising for the University and other organisations (excluding fundraising through alumni).

Applicants, students and alumni

We collect personal data via student applications through the UCAS system and our own application systems. Should you subsequently enroll as a student at the University, a student record will be created for you.

The data collected from you as a prospective student or student is used by the University for the following:

Accounts and records

  • the administration of student accounts and payments
  • the collection of student fees
  • to maintain a central student record
  • to enable us to fulfill statutory reporting obligations.


  • administration relating to the application process, e.g. receipt and processing of UCAS forms, compilation of statistics, assessments including preliminary and confirmed offers, liaison with UCAS and agents
  • administration required for provision of education and training (such as registration and timetabling)
  • provision of education and training such as the planning and control of curricula and exams, and commissioning, validating and producing educational materials
  • to contact individuals who have provided disability details at the point of application or registration to signpost to our Student Support Unit to register for arrangement of reasonable adjustments
  • to deal with student awards and scholarships
  • calculation and publication of exam results
  • to carry out student discipline and academic misconduct processes
  • to administer the academic appeals process
  • administration relating to visiting and exchange students and the Study Abroad programme
  • video capture of lectures, seminars and other teaching activities, and to support the online delivery of teaching
  • provision of references.

Student experiential services

  • to allocate housing, and to provide campus and residential support for students living in University-managed accommodation
  • administration of grants and loans, e.g. student loans and access loans
  • administration and provision of library services including membership records, loan/hire records, information and databank administration
  • ticket issue/reservation services and the running of events
  • administration and provision of a student card
  • administration and provision of welfare and support services*
  • administration and provision of careers guidance
  • activities undertaken as part of our commitment to widening participation and access
  • administration and provision of computing and IT facilities
  • administration and provision of Student Union services
  • to request testimonials from current students for the purpose of assisting prospective students through the application and Clearing processes.

*It is often likely that special category data needs to be processed for these purposes. Where necessary, additional information will be made available to you and your consent will be sought in these circumstances. 

Alumni relations

  • the promotion of the relationship between the University and its alumni
  • University-related fundraising initiatives involving alumni
  • advertising and promotion of alumni events and reunions
  • distribution of University mailings, e.g. alumni magazines, newsletters, annual reports, and message forwarding (without disclosure of data)
  • the promotion of benefits and services available to alumni from third parties
  • eliciting non-financial support, such as careers advice to students and help with student recruitment
  • advertising, marketing and public relations for others.

For more detailed information about how we use personal data as part of our alumni relations, see our alumni services privacy notice.

Your information may be used to send you details of products or services that we offer that we have identified as likely to be of interest to you, but you will only be contacted according to the preferences you submit when providing your personal data. If you would like to change these preferences (e.g. opt out of receiving some communications or change channels used for contact) at any point, you can:

  • use the link on the bottom of the last email you received from our Alumni team
  • use Study/Sussex Direct to update preferences
  • email if you are a former student.

Employment applicants and staff

We collect personal data via the employment application and recruitment process, and when you enter into a contract as an employee of the University. The way this data is used is outlined below: 

Employment applications

  • selection processes, including short-listing candidates and interviews
  • equality and diversity monitoring
  • processing expenses related to interview processes
  • pre-employment health screening. 

Staff members

  • payroll administration and HMRC compliance
  • administration of employee pension schemes
  • provision of occupational health services, including for pension purposes
  • management of absence records
  • verification of eligibility/right to work
  • administration of flexible working arrangements
  • providing access to secured buildings and to parking facilities
  • ensuring compliance with the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy
  • reviewing performance and facilitating promotion and reward
  • to carry out staff grievance and disciplinary processes
  • processing expenses and administrating corporate spending accounts
  • to enable us to fulfill statutory reporting obligations.

Basic personal details can be maintained via Sussex Direct and MyView, and/or by contacting your Human Resources representative.


Throughout the course of the research carried out at the University (as part of its purpose to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research to the benefit of the wider community), personal data will be processed where necessary. Further information can be found below and within our Research policies.

Research participants

Where individual research involves human participants (data subjects), the research is subject to an ethical review process. Research participants will also be provided with an information sheet relating to the specific piece of research they are participating in, as well as the necessary consent form(s) to ensure transparency and clarity regarding data collection, use, and retention. The University has created consent forms in a standard agreed format.

Health research

As a University we use personal data to conduct research to improve health, care and services, and we have to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personal data from people who have agreed to take part in research. This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use your data in the ways needed to conduct and analyse the research study. Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum amount of personal data possible.

Health and care research should serve the public interest, which means that we have to demonstrate that our research serves the interests of society as a whole. We do this by following the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research.

General notice regarding photography and video

The University’s photographer and Marketing and Communications teams routinely capture images and videos on campus for promotional use on the University’s website, social media channels, and/or print materials, some of which may include individuals. In cases where individuals are clearly identifiable, consent will be obtained accordingly.

The University also records video footage of some events, such as our graduation ceremonies, for the purpose of making these available via its website to those who are unable to attend. Notices will be posted at events and information made available for those who prefer not appear in any footage.

Retention of personal data

The University will only keep your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed.

Personal data is processed and stored in line with the University’s Master Records Retention Schedule which sets out how long different categories of personal data should be held by the University.  

Disclosure and transfer of personal data

We will only disclose your personal data to a third party when we are required to by law, where we have your specific consent, or where appropriate arrangements are in place with regard to data sharing - for instance:

  • companies or suppliers with whom we engage to process data on our behalf – if so, we will ensure adequate arrangements are in place to protect your personal data, such as a data sharing agreement
  • relevant government departments and agencies such as the Office for Students (OfS), the Home Office (in connection with visas and immigration), HMRC, and local authorities (for Council Tax and Electoral Registration purposes)
  • funding bodies such as Student Loans Company (SLC) or sponsors
  • professional and regulatory bodies in relation to confirmation of qualifications, professional conduct and the accreditation of courses
  • legal representatives
  • internal and external auditors.

We are also required to send personal data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). HESA collects personal data relating to staff, students and leavers from Higher Education. Details of how HESA will process your personal data can be found in the relevant HESA notices.

From time to time, the University will transfer limited personal data outside the European Economic Area. Where this does occur, the University will adhere to the requirements of data protection legislation. Personal data will only be sent to countries that have equivalent data protection safeguards or where contractual clauses ensure the appropriate safeguarding of data. The University ensures that appropriate agreements with regard to data sharing are in place with contracted service providers and international partner institutions outside the EU. 

Your rights including access to information and correction

You have a number of rights under data protection legislation, including the right:

  • to rectify inaccuracies in personal data that we hold about you
  • to be forgotten in some circumstances, that is your details to be removed from systems that we use to process your personal data
  • to restrict the processing of your personal data in certain ways
  • to obtain a copy of your data in a commonly used electronic form
  • to withdraw consent where that is the legal basis of our processing
  • to object to certain processing of your personal data by us.

Further information about your rights can be found on the ICO’s website and on our Data Protection pages. You may also contact the Data Protection Officer for further information.

You also have the right to ask to see what personal data we hold about you, known as a subject access request. For more information, refer to our Data Protection pages for guidance on how to submit subject access requests.

You have a right to complain to the ICO about the way in which we process your personal data. Information on how to report concerns to the ICO.


Cookies are files placed on your computer to collect standard internet log information and visitor behaviour information. This helps us to understand visitor behaviour, to remember your preferences and improve user experience.

For further information about cookies you can visit and to find out more about how the University uses cookies, please refer to the further to the cookie information web page.

Other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites that are outside our control and are not covered by this privacy notice. Our notice only applies to the University of Sussex’s website so when you link to other websites, you should read their own privacy policies.

Changes to our privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review and the notice was last updated on 6 October 2020.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about our privacy notice or the information we hold about you, you can contact the University’s Data Protection Officer by email at or you can write to Alexandra Elliott, Data Protection Officer, University of Sussex, Sussex House, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.