Skip to main content

Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and privacy policies

The Data Protection Act 1998 (the DPA) regulates the use of personal data and is based on eight data protection principles. It seeks to balance an individual’s right to privacy with the commercial need to use information about individuals.

A general description of how we process personal information is available on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Our approach to DPA compliance is set out in our Data Protection Policy for Staff and BU Representatives (docx, 127kb).

How we use information collected via our website

For details on this see our website privacy & cookies policy.

How we use information about our staff

If you are a member of staff, your statement of main terms and conditions of employment, any other notices provided to you at the point of collection and this webpage sets out how we use information about you.

We collect and retain personal information, in various formats, about our current, past and potential future staff for a variety of purposes as set out in Bournemouth University's registration with the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

We hold this personal information about our staff securely, both in hard copy format and electronically, under the requirements of the DPA.

How we use information about our students

For details on this see our student privacy notice.

Students’ responsibilities when handling personal data

Students will, during their studies with us, come into contact with personal information from many sources (including that of their fellow students or interview and questionnaire participants). We expect students to handle information about other people responsibly.

Where students carry out research for university business, and not just for the purposes of private study, they must also comply with the DPA (and, after May 2018, the GDPR) and follow the requirements set out in our Data Protection Policy for Staff and BU Representatives (docx, 127kb).

We encourage the use of social media as it can be a valuable tool for communication and learning and can assist in the work of students and staff. Students are reminded that the usual standards of behaviour and conduct that we expect on a day-to-day basis apply equally to the use of social media. For further information on this, please see our Social Media Policy and Procedures for Students (doc, 145kb). Misuse of social media can cause significant distress to others, and we may take action against those responsible.

Making a request for a copy of your personal data

Under the DPA, you can ask us to provide you with personal information we hold about you. This is called a subject access request under the DPA. To make a request, you can use our Subject Access Request Form and send it to our Information Office. Alternatively, requests can be made by letter or email to the Information Office using the contact details on this page.

The fee for making a subject access request is £10. The fee is payable regardless of whether or not we supply any information. 

To ensure compliance with the DPA, and to maintain confidentiality, we will require proof of identity from those seeking to access their personal information. Failure to provide this will result in the information being withheld. Our Subject Access Request Form outlines the documentation we require to satisfy our identity check. Please don’t send any original documentation to us by post.

We will respond to your request within the applicable timeframe under the DPA. This is usually, 40 calendar days from the later of receipt of your request, any clarifications we require from you and payment of the fee.

Some of your personal data may be exempt from the right of subject access and so we would not be able to provide it to you. For example, responding to a request may involve providing information that relates to both you and another individual. In these situations, we can only release this information to you if the other individual has consented to this, or it is reasonable in all the circumstances to do so without their consent.

For information about the subject access exemptions under the DPA, see the Information Commissioner’s Office webpage.

Requests for exam scripts

The DPA allows students access to examiners’ comments written on examination scripts. We implement this right of access by allowing all students to obtain a copy of their exam scripts.

To obtain a copy of your own exam script, you should put your request in writing to your Programmes Administrator together with the £10 subject access request fee. Please note that, as with all other requests for personal information, we will require proof of identity.

It may also be possible for students to meet with their tutor to discuss their exam script if they are required to retake a particular examination. Providing a copy of the script is not required, no charge will be due.