Data Protection: Student Privacy Statement

Who we are

This is the privacy statement of Queen Margaret University. This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information about you.

Queen Margaret University (QMU) is a Data Controller in terms of the General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018. The University is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Our Registration Number is Z6013920. 

We are a public authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and a Scottish public authority under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Personal Information that we collect and hold about you is used by us for our statutory and/or public functions. Where we collect or share data it is on the basis of the exercise of official authority vested in us as a public authority, and on the basis of public interest.

Processing of your personal information is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us as the Data Controller (See GDPR Article 6(1)(e)) and for statistical and research purposes (See GDPR Article 89). Processing of Special Categories of data is necessary for statistical and research purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on the duties in the Equality Act 2010 (See GDPR Article 9(2)(j)).

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

We also process personal information for the use of CCTV systems to monitor and collect visual images for the purposes of security and the prevention and detection of crime.

QMU needs to process and retain certain personal information relating to you, because you are an applicant to, or student of the University. All of your personal information will be treated in accordance with the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect on 25 May 2018. This means that confidentiality will be respected and that appropriate security measures will be taken to prevent unauthorised disclosure.

Queen Margaret Students’ Union is a data controller in its own right. Read QMUSU's privacy policy on their website.

How we collect your data

The personal data QMU holds about you is obtained from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:

formation you have provided on your application form (including applications made directly to the University, via a third party such as UCAS, via a partner institution, or via an overseas agent);

  • Information you provide us with annually at enrolment (matriculation) and during the course of your studies;
  • Information related to performance, attendance and awards during your studies;
  • Funding organisations such as SAAS or sponsorship bodies;
  • Partner organisations such as professional bodies, employers, and other educational establishments for the purposes of external study or exchange.

Why we collect and use your personal information

This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information about you. When you apply and then accept your offer you enter into a contract with the University and agree to accept the University’s Terms and Conditions, and agree that the University can process your personal information for administrative and educational purposes. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Administering and providing education & training.
  • Managing and administering the University, including accommodation services.
  • Recruitment, admissions and enrolment.
  • Maintaining your student records and managing academic processes, including attendance and assessment.
  • Processing financial transactions including fee payments and the administration of grants and loans.
  • Providing advice and support to you, including disability services, counselling and wellbeing services, mentoring, health and safety, attendance monitoring, pastoral services (Personal Academic Tutor system) and careers guidance.
  • To protect your vital interests e.g. in an emergency situation.
  • Verifying your identity where this is required.
  • Contacting you by post, email or telephone.
  • Managing behavioural or disciplinary issues, appeals and complaints.
  • Providing you with information about educational programmes and services.
  • Managing and monitoring access to University services including library, IT, printing, sports, catering and events.
  • Research including monitoring quality and performance.
  • Seeking feedback on University programmes, services and facilities.
  • Graduation and confirmation of awards.
  • Alumni membership.
  • Statistical and archive purposes.
  • · Preventing and detecting crime, fraud or corruption.
  • · To meet our obligations under equality law.


Special categories of personal information

Under the UK Equality Act 2010, we need to collect sensitive personal data about our applicants and students on UK campuses to assist with monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination. We hold this information in strictest confidence and only disclose it, again in confidence, to bodies with a statutory duty to collect it, such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency. You can choose whether you want to provide information for this purpose.

Special categories of personal information are afforded an extra level of security and confidentiality. This includes information about racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union

membership, data concerning physical or mental health, data concerning sexual life or sexual orientation and data relating to criminal offences, convictions and sentences.

If a student or applicant declares that they have a disability, we have a duty to disclose this information on a need-to-know basis to staff to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made, enabling disabled students to meet their full academic potential.


Access to your personal information

The University will manage your information securely and will restrict access to only those who need to use it in the course of their duties. The University will put in place technical and organisational measures necessary to ensure the security of your information.

The University will only disclose your information to third parties where we:

  • Have a legal basis to do so under the General Data Protection Regulation; or
  • Are required to under a statutory or regulatory obligation; or
  • Have your consent.

Sharing your personal data

To fulfil our statutory or legal obligations your data may be provided, without your explicit consent, to organisations or agents acting on their behalf including but not limited to:

For academic purposes

  • With a partner institution to deliver a programme collaboratively or jointly between the University and the partner institution.
  • With our external examiners: to check that our assessment of your work is fair. • For official independent assessment of our programmes e.g. by the QAA.
  • Verify your attendance and qualifications, e.g. in a reference for a potential employer or agency (with consent).
  • Confirm your attendance, progress and assessment marks to your sponsor or the institution through which you are studying (if this is not QMU).
  • Arrange a suitable work placement if this is part of your course. • If you have taken part in the Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS), which provides advice and support to help eligible students to enter Higher Education, we may share limited information with LEAPS about your progress and outcome of your studies, in order to improve the LEAPS service for future participants.
  • With relevant support agencies to enable appropriate adjustments to be made in line with an individual needs assessment.
  • Publicise your award in our graduation programme and in the list of awards we provide in press releases. You have the right to opt out of your award being detailed in the press release.

To meet statutory and legal obligations

  • The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). For more information on what HESA does with your personal data please see the HESA Student Collection Notices;
  • The Scottish Funding Council (SFC).
  • The Student Loans Company (SLC).
  • The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).
  • Home Office/UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
  • The Office for Students.
  • UKRI, including agents managing the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  • Local authority for Council Tax exemption purposes.
  • Electoral Registration Office in accordance with the Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001.
  • Professional bodies, for example HCPC, NMC, GTCS.
  • Embassies and other Governments.
  • Law enforcement agencies and debt controllers.
  • Potential employers or education and placement providers.
  • Research surveys approved by the University covering student progress, attitudes, social and financial circumstances including the National Student Survey (NSS) and the International Student Barometer (ISB).
  • Relevant authorities dealing with emergency situations at the University.
  • The University also provides limited information to the QMU Students’ Union for the purpose of academic representation, running of elections, administering clubs, societies and sports clubs and social marketing activities.

International data transfer

As an international organisation, the University may need to process your personal information in a country other than the one you are studying in, when this is necessary to provide you with academic and support services, meet a legal obligation, fulfil a contract with you, or where we have your consent.

Personal data may be transferred outside the European Union, to countries which may not have equivalent data protection laws. Examples of circumstances when personal data may be transferred outside the EU include:

  • Managing collaborations with overseas educational institutions including student exchanges and partnership programmes.
  • Working with overseas recruitment agencies.
  • Information posted on our website which is accessible outside the EEA.
  • Some of the systems and services the University uses to store data in the Cloud which may include storage facilities based outside the EEA.

Personal information processed by consent

Where the processing of personal information falls outwith the scope of your contract with the University (i.e. the information that the University is required to process to manage and administer

your time at University) then we will require another legal reason to process your data. This may require us to ask for your consent for processing. Consent will be sought when it is required.

Profiling or automated decision making

We do not use profiling or automated decision-making processes. Some processes are semi-automated but a human decision maker will always be involved before any decision is reached in relation to you.

Graduation ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies are public events. Audio and visual images of ceremonies may be made publically available via the sale of DVDs and live broadcast at the venue, on campus and on the Internet. Names of graduands, including those graduating in absentia, are published in the graduation programme. Lists are published in the press and you will be offered the opportunity to opt out of this.

The University may take photographs and other images for possible use in University publicity and promotional material. Graduands who do not wish to be included, must inform the photographer at the time the photograph is taken.

A separate Privacy Notice is provided for Alumni Engagement.

Use of our Website

QMU respects the privacy of every individual who visits our websites or responds to our interactive advertisements. The Privacy Statement on our website outlines the information we collects via its various web pages and how we use that information. The Statement also instructs you on what to do if you do not want your personal information collected or shared when you visit QMU's website or respond to our advertisements. 

QMU Website Privacy Statement

Retention of your personal information

The University will retain your personal data only as long as necessary for its purposes as described. Please note, however, that even after termination of your student relationship with the University, QMU may still need to retain your personal data to satisfy its obligations to keep certain records for particular periods under applicable law. Such retention is documented in the University Records Retention Schedule, held by the Data Protection Officer.

Your rights relating to your personal information

You have the right to:

Access your information

Find out what personal data we process about you and obtain a copy of the data, free of charge within one month of your request. We may make a charge for additional copies of the same information.

Correcting your information

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up to date and you may ask us to correct any personal information about you that you believe does not meet these standards.

Deletion of your information

You have the right to ask us to delete personal information about you where:

  • You consider that we no longer require the information for the purposes for which it was obtained.
  • We are using that information with your consent and you have withdrawn your consent – see Withdrawing consent to using your information below.
  • You have validly objected to our use of your personal information – see Objecting to how we may use your information below.
  • Our use of your personal information is contrary to law or our other legal obligations.

Objecting to how we may use your information

You have the right at any time to require us to stop using your personal information for direct marketing purposes. In addition, where we use your personal information to perform tasks carried out in the public interest or pursuant to the legitimate interests of us or a third party then, if you ask us to, we will stop using that personal information unless there are overriding legitimate grounds to continue.

Restricting how we may use your information

In some cases, you may ask us to restrict how we use your personal information. This right might apply, for example, where we are checking the accuracy of personal information about you that we hold or assessing the validity of any objection you have made to our use of your information. The right might also apply where this is no longer a basis for using your personal information but you don't want us to delete the data. Where this right to validly exercised, we may only use the relevant personal information with your consent, for legal claims or where there are other public interest grounds to do so.


If we process personal information that you provide to us on the basis of consent or because it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are party, and in either case that processing is carried out by automated means, then you have the right to have that personal information transmitted to you in a machine readable format. Where technically feasible, you also have the right to have that personal information transmitted directly to another controller.

Automated processing

If we use your personal information on an automated basis to make decisions which significantly affect you, you have the right to ask that the decision be reviewed by an individual to whom you may make representations and contest the decision. This right only applies where we use your information with your consent or as part of a contractual relationship with you

Please contact us in any of the ways set out in the Contact information and further advice section below if you wish to exercise any of these rights.

Changes to our privacy statement

We keep this privacy statement under regular review and will place any updates on this website. We will publish any changes we make to this data protection policy on our website.

Paper copies of the privacy statement may also be obtained by request from the Data Protection Officer.

This privacy statement was last updated on 10 May 2018.

Contact details and further advice

If you have any queries about the processing of your personal data as described above, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer. You can do this by email:; telephone: 0131 474 0000 or post:

Data Protection Officer
Queen Margaret University
Queen Margaret University Drive
EH21 6UU



We seek to resolve directly all complaints about how we handle personal information. If you have any issues about this statement or the way the University has handled your personal information, please contact the University Data Protection Officer in the first instance.

If you are dissatisfied with the response from the University, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Telephone: 0303 123 1113


Version 1 – May 2018

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Queen Margaret University Main Telephone Number 0131 474 0000