Criminal records

We do not wish to prevent those with criminal records from benefitting from higher education. This has to be balanced with providing a safe environment in which to work and study.

The Applicants and students with criminal records policy, located on the Student Cases webpage, explains the process used in considering applications from those with criminal records and how applicants can appeal against the decision made. The obligations on applicants and students to declare criminal records are also described.

Who is required to declare a conviction

Applicants for most courses are not required to declare whether they have any relevant unspent criminal convictions at the time of application, but they will need to declare them if they accept an offer. Only applicants for courses leading to certain professions or occupations may be asked to declare if they have any criminal convictions, including spent convictions, when they apply.

At undergraduate level, through UCAS, these courses include (but are not limited to) teaching, medicine, dentistry, law, accountancy, actuarial, insolvency, healthcare, social work, veterinary medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, osteopathy, chiropractic, optometry, and those involving work with children or vulnerable adults, including the elderly or sick people. At postgraduate level, where applications are made directly to the University, these courses include dentistry, social work and counselling.

If you feel that your course should be flagged and this has not already been done, please contact Taught Admissions on (undergraduate) or (taught postgraduate).

The declaration process

Where the course requires a full DBS disclosure, follow your set procedure.

For courses where a criminal conviction declaration is not included in the application form and a DBS check is not required, applicants must disclose any relevant unspent convictions within 14 days of accepting an offer, by emailing The following details are required: name, UCAS/application/student ID number, programme applied for and the title of the offence, including the date and sentence imposed.

Once all information has been collated, an initial assessment of risk will be undertaken by one of the three Admissions staff who manage the process. The initial assessment recommendation and associated information will be pseudonymised and forwarded to the Criminal Conviction Panel, which will consist of two representatives from the following: a Deputy Head of Admissions; the Head of Admissions; a Legal Adviser; a member of the Secretariat. They will review the case and will reach one of three conclusions:

  • Confirm the offer with no changes or additional restrictions.
  • Propose additional conditions on the applicant’s admission. These could include restricting their module choices or rejecting their application to stay in University accommodation, or restricting it to certain locations. 
  • Withdraw the offer.

Further guidance

For a more detailed explanation about the process for undergraduate applicants, including the help text that applicants see in UCAS, see the admissions guide on the UCAS website (you will need to sign in to UCAS to view this content).

Guidance can also be found on the Declaring criminal convictions page of the corporate website.

For any queries, please contact