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Durham University

Department of Physics

Student records

Privacy notice

The following information relates to the Department of Physics and supplements the above documents. It provides you with privacy information in relation to any personal data that you provide to the Physics Department for the purposes stated below.

Why does the Department hold information about me?

The Department keeps records about you and your academic activities, and some information which may affect your academic activities. The data are held and used for reasons of legitimate interests, i.e., to help the Department to fulfil its obligations to you, as required by the University, and ultimately to help the Department to help you succeed in your degree. They may also help the University to fulfil a legal obligation.

What types of data are held, and how are they collected?

The types of personal data held may include:

  • Basic details about you which you have supplied to the University at application or enrolment, e.g. name, gender, programme.
  • Details of contact that we have had with you, e.g. email correspondence, adviser meetings.
  • Details of contact that we have had with other appropriate people within the University about you, e.g. email correspondence with your college, with Student Registry.
  • Records of your academic progress and attainment, e.g. attendance records, assessment marks.
  • Relevant information that we have received from others, including third parties, at your instigation, e.g. medical professionals, Disability Support, Counselling Service.
  • Information that you supply to us by other means, e.g. plagiarism form, self-certification form, SAC form, academic appeal.
  • Information that we generate to send to third parties at your instigation, e.g. references for employment or further study.
  • Your identification photograph.

How is the information used?

It is in the legitimate interests of the Department to have accurate and up-to-date information to help it to work in your interests. This includes making judgements about whether to refer you to other appropriate people in the University for help, or to third parties. We will use your information only where we are allowed to by law, e.g. fulfilling a legal obligation, because we have a legitimate business interest or where you agree to it. For example, we take and store a digital photograph of you, for reasons of safety in the laboratory, to ensure that your tutor, adviser and other members of staff can get to know you more quickly and to minimise the risk of mistaken identity (e.g. in cases of welfare or academic concerns). Your records will also help the Department with any investigation should you have a problem or concern regarding your experience as a student. The Department also needs to be able to help the University to fulfil its legal obligations with regard to Subject Access Requests. We may also use your information to improve the services we provide to you through internal audits and monitoring. From time to time some of your personal data may be used for statistical reporting purposes but in such cases the data will be anonymised. Occasionally an independent check may take place to ensure that your personal data are being held and processed appropriately.

How are my personal data stored by the Physics Department?

Most personal data are held electronically but some may be held on paper. Most data held electronically are stored in a secure database with access limited to specific members of staff. Some data are held only in email form. Data held on paper are accessible only to authorised members of staff.

Will my personal data be shared?

Different parts of the University (e.g. departments, colleges and central professional support services) need to share certain information about you to enable us to work together for your benefit. If you disclose some personal data (e.g. medical information) to us, which we do not already hold, then we may need to share it with others in the University, in your interests. Wherever possible we will ask for your consent to share this information.

The Department will not share your personal data with third parties (i.e., outside the University, including your family members) without your consent, other than in very exceptional circumstances (e.g. when required to by law, or when there is a risk to life), in accordance with the University's Data Protection Policy. The most common scenario in which we share your data with third parties is when we provide a reference for employment or further study, in which case by nominating a member of the Department as your referee you are giving your consent to that person's sharing your data with the relevant third party. We do share relevant student data, confidentially, with our three External Examiners, as part of the examination and assessment process; this is required by the University.

For how long will you retain my personal data?

The Department will retain your personal data for a period that both enables us to provide appropriate services and is consistent with the University's Records Retention Schedule. This is typically the duration of your studies plus six years afterwards, although for some types of data (e.g. submission of assessed work) it is less, whilst for others it may be more.

How may I request that the Physics Department does not process my personal data?

Email in the first instance, with a clear statement of your request. This may only be possible for data provided to the Physics Department, although there are also conditions applied to where processing may be restricted. For more information see the Right to Restrict section of the University's Data Protection pages. The Department is required by the University to carry out certain data processing activities in the normal course of its teaching and administrative functions.

Physics Department web pages and use of cookies

The University cookie policy applies to the Department's web pages.

Links to other websites

The Department's web site includes links to some web sites outside the University. If you follow those links then you are encouraged to read the privacy statements on those sites.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice will be reviewed annually.

Further information

Email . We aim to respond to queries within two working days.