Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)

This privacy notice explains how your personal data will be processed for the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).

BCU is the data controller for your personal data and is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (the ‘GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The surveys are carried out by Advance HE on behalf of Higher Education providers including BCU.

1. How we collect and use your information

The purpose of this survey is to gain insight from students about your learning and teaching experience. All responses collected through our student experience surveys are stored by Jisc (data processor), on behalf of BCU. Jisc will share the survey responses with Advance HE (data processor). Your responses will be held securely by BCU, Jisc and Advance HE.

All participating institutions, BCU included, have agreed not to identify any individuals when reporting their results internally or externally, and will ensure that no individuals can be identified by those results. The full dataset will be available to Advance HE in order to conduct national level research and analysis.

2. The types of information we collect

We will use personal data held on our student records system and data provided directly by you in response to the survey. To make the survey as easy as possible to complete, some data that you have already supplied to the University is preloaded. This data is about your course, year of birth, name, Student ID, university email address and some special category data (e.g. ethnic background, country of domicile).

3. On what basis do you process my data?

Your personal data will be used only by relevant BCU staff where the data is necessary for them to undertake their designated role. Access to the raw data is restricted to the Planning & Performance Department for analysis purposes. After that all staff within the institution will only have access to anonymised aggregated results.
We process your personal data on the basis of your consent. You can withdraw your consent to have your survey responses used in the ways described here and we will destroy your individual survey response, however we will keep the aggregate data which does not identify you within our datasets.

You are able to withdraw your consent at any time in the future, should you wish to withdraw your consent please contact

4. How long is your information kept?

All the data we gather from the survey will be kept for 10 years after the survey closes for use in longitudinal research into quality of teaching and the student experience. However, we will remove any identifying information within one year after the survey closes.

5. Your rights

Under the Data Protection Laws, you have the following rights:

  • Request access to your data (commonly known as a “subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of your data and to check that we are lawfully processing it;
  • Request correction of your data. This enables you to ask us to correct any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove your data in certain circumstances, for example, if you consider that there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your data where we are relying on our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your data for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your data, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your data to another party

Depending on the circumstances and the nature of your request it may not be possible for us to do what you have asked, for example, where there is a statutory or contractual requirement for us to process your data and it would not be possible to fulfil our legal obligations if we were to stop. However, where you have consented to the processing (for example, where you have asked us to send you certain types of communication), you can withdraw your consent at any time, by emailing us at In this event, we will stop the processing as soon as we can. If you choose to withdraw consent it will not invalidate past processing and it may impact our ability to provide particular additional services to you. Further information on your rights is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

6. How to exercise your data rights?

If you wish to exercise any of your rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the following contact details:

By Email to:

By Post to: Data Protection Officer
Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Floor 1, Joseph Priestley Building
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham B4 7RJ

7. How to ask questions or raise concerns?

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about how we use or handle your personal data please contact the Data Protection Officer using the contact details in section 6 above.

If you are not content with the how we handle your information we would ask you to contact our Data Protection Officer to help you. However, you do also have the right to complain directly to the Information Commissioner at: or via post at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Information about the Information Commissioner is available at:

8. Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice may be updated from time to time so you may wish to check it each time you submit personal information. The date of the most recent versions will appear on this page (see version control).

Latest update: 1 May 2024