Subject Access Requests
Before making a request, please note
- Information recorded by candidates during examinations is exempt from subject access provisions - see details.
- The Data Protection Act 1998 requires that data is held only as long as is necessary, and that data held is not excessive - see 'How long are student records retained for' on the Information for Students page.
How to make a Subject Access Request
Your request and accompanying payment of £10 can be made via our online store.
The personal data requested should be clearly stipulated (e.g. student records held in the Department, UCAS forms, copies of research data for a particular project, personnel file).
It may be necessary to ask for proof of identity of the data subject (who is usually the person making the request).
The University will respond to requests within 40 days of receipt of the completed Request Form (provided sufficient information has been given to enable the University to process the request).
What are my Subject Access Rights?
The Data Protection Act gives you as the data subject, the right to find out what personal data is held on computer and in paper records held in relevant filing systems.
What is Personal Data?
Data is personal if it is information that affects [a person's] privacy, whether in his personal or family life, business or professional capacity.
Information held in 'unstructured' files do not constitute a 'relevant filing system' and fall outside the terms of the Data Protection Act.
'Unstructured' means either:
- Not held within any recognisable filing system (e.g. within piles of miscellaneous papers) or
- Held within a recognisable filing system, with documents held in chronological order.
- Files are ordered by subject, subdivided or indexed such that personal data may be extracted readily and without leafing through irrelevant documents
- and within that file the information is sub-divided into discrete subjects
What information can I ask for?
You can ask to be provided with any personal data that you consider the University may hold about you on computer or in paper records accessible under the terms of the Act.
If you are able to provide a description of the data (including dates) this will help to speed up the process of collating your data.
To request a copy of your references you need to make the request to the employer the references were sent to. You should make the request in writing as a subject access request under the Data Protection Act. They will then consider if any exemptions apply and if they can release this information to you. If you make the request to the employer responsible for providing the reference it is unlikely that you will get a copy, as they are not obliged to provide this under the Data Protection Act.