Privacy statement for pre-applicants and applicants

Information for applicants about how the Marketing department use your personal data and who we share it with. 

Where does the University get your personal data from? 

We obtain personal data about you from the following sources: 

  • From your application, and from any additional information you provide as part of a pre-application enquiry, to supplement or clarify your application. 
  • From third party sources (for example, UCAS or other institutions involved in collaborative programmes). When we obtain personal data about you from third party sources, we will aim to ensure that the third party has lawful authority to provide us with your personal data. 

Purposes for processing 

The information you provide will be used by the University to give you accurate pre-application advice, and to invite you to take part in on campus or online events.  

We set out in table 1 of this notice (below) the purposes for which we will process your personal data in detail. 

Why we process your personal data 

There are various legal bases for why we use your information. You will find the appropriate legal basis listed alongside each of the purposes for processing your data shown in table 1. 

Here is a brief explanation of each of the legal bases: 


On specific occasions the University will only process certain data if you consent, for example, on your application form, you only need to provide certain “special categories” of data if you agree to that. 

Necessary for entering into a student contract  

On many occasions the University will process your data to enable it to meet its commitments to you, for example assessing your application for an offer of a place. 

Necessary for the performance of a task carried in the public interest  

The University is an educational establishment and in particular its educational activity is conducted in a public interest (including your interest and the interest of others). 

Necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interest of the University or a third-party subject to overridden interests of the data subject 

The University (and sometimes third parties) has a broad legitimate interest in activities that connect to the activities and education of students. Subject to those interests not being overridden by the interests of fundamental rights and freedoms of students, it will pursue those interests. A good example of this legitimate interest would be conducting surveys to better understand people’s reasons for declining an offer of a place. Where Article 6(1)(f) is used the “legitimate interest” is generally the interest of the University (or third party) in providing or supporting the provision of higher education to its students. 

Special category data is personal data which is more sensitive, and so needs more protection. This data would include anything that reveals racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. To process these types of data additional legal bases are required: 

  • Processing “special categories” of data where you have given consent – the University will process certain sensitive information about you with your consent, for example, to contact you in relation to any adjustments you may require as a result of a disability, or to combat fraud. 
  • Processing “special categories” of data where necessary for reasons of substantial public interest. 

Information technology systems 

The University is made up of many services and departments who collect, process and store your data in a variety of sub-systems to deliver their services. These local systems are part of the corporately supported IT architecture which maintains a live service as well as copies of the live systems used for software development and testing. 

These development and testing systems will also contain your data and respect the University’s data retention periods. It is in the legitimate interest of the University to use your data in this way to ensure that the services you interact with are secure and provide the best student experience possible. 


Your information may be used to allow us to carry out surveys. These include the decliners’ survey which is sent to applicants who have declined an offer of a place at Aberystwyth University, or surveys of applicants who have participated in offer holder events and help us to improve our services and the applicant experience. 

Management information, research, and learning analytics 

We may analyse data on applications, offers and acceptances in order to: 

  • understand the relationship between pre-University qualifications and student achievement 
  • assess underrepresentation in different groups of students 
  • assess the impact of: 
    • contextual admissions 
    • admissions policies 
    • changes in education and exam systems 
    • government initiatives 
    • student recruitment activities.

While we will where possible use anonymised data for these purposes, in some cases we will use personal data where there is a legitimate interest in doing so. Where we use personal data for these purposes, we will ensure that any published information is anonymised. 

Table 1: uses of your data 

“Retention period” refers to the number of academic years that your data will be held for after you complete your studies. 

Uses of your data 

Data category 

Short description 

Specific purpose 

Legal basis 

Retention period 

Pre-application enquiries. 

Potential applicants provide personal data, and sometimes sensitive personal data, in order to get advice and information from admissions staff which is tailored to their own specific circumstances. 

We may use contact information you have shared with us to invite you to take part in on campus and online activities and events which we believe may be of interest to you, or to send you information about the university. 

Legitimate interest. 

To the end of the current  
admissions cycle plus 1 year. 


The admissions process collects information submitted by applicants in order to assess their suitability for a place on the chosen programme of study. 

Admissions requires communication and interaction between an applicant and the University, and when it is deemed material to the application, additional information provided by an applicant will be added to the application record. 

Information provided on your application may be used to invite you to take part in on campus and online activities and events. We may send you information about the university, and about services which might be useful to you.  

If you accept an offer, we will send you information about arrangements for Welcome Week, and guidance on the things you will need to do when you arrive at the University. 

We may also use your data to track the impact of our information and events but please note that this will have no influence on any admissions decisions made by the University. 

Legitimate interest. 

To the end of the current admissions 

Widening participation 


The University’s Widening Participation Strategy aims to address the discrepancies in the uptake of higher education opportunities between different social groups. 


The University works to raise educational aspirations and attainment among prospective students from under-represented groups. Information about the area where you live, the school you attend, whether you have spent time in local authority care, and your participation in a recognised widening participation scheme is used to assess whether you are eligible to receive a contextual offer, under the terms of the contextual admissions policy. 

Performance of a Contract 


Completion plus 5 years for 
successful applicants 

To the end of the admissions  
cycle plus 1 year for unsuccessful 

This data is also used to track the progress and success of applicants and students from their first contact with the University, through admissions and to the completion of their degree, to help the University understand how best to support all students. 

Legitimate interest