Admissions Policy on the Acceptance of Ex-Offenders

Non-Professional Courses

The University takes very seriously its duty of care to its existing staff and students.

The decision on whether to accept a student with a criminal conviction should be based on whether the student is considered to be a risk to staff or students. 

The following factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Nature of the offence
  • Length of time since the offence
  • Number of offences
  • Age of applicant at the time of the offence
  • Punishment given.

It is unlikely that an applicant convicted of a violent or sexual offence or drug dealing will be admitted to the University. 

It is unlikely that an applicant who has a string of offences, the most recent of which was less than 5 years ago, will be admitted to the University.

It is unlikely that an applicant who has had a prison sentence in the past 5 years will be admitted to the University, although each case will be considered on its merits, taking into account the nature of the offence(s).

If an ex-offender is admitted to the University, consideration must be given as to whether they should be admitted to Halls. It is unlikely that someone with a recent conviction for fraud, burglary or theft will be given accommodation in Halls.

Particular care will be taken where it is likely that, during the programme of study, students are likely to come into contact with children or with vulnerable adults.

Education Courses

The decision on whether to accept an ex-offender on a teaching training course will be based on whether they are likely to be able to enter the teaching profession on successful completion of the course. If the applicant is unsure whether they will be able to enter the teaching profession, they are advised to contact the National College for Teaching and Leadership for advice. 

It is unlikely that applicants will be accepted as teachers if they have any of the following:

  • Violent behaviour towards children or young children
  • A sexual, or otherwise inappropriate, relationship with a pupil
  • A sexual offence against someone over the age of 16
  • Any offence involving serious violence
  • Drug trafficking and other drug related offences
  • Stealing school property or monies
  • Deception in relation to employment as a teacher, or at a school or further education institution
  • A criminal conviction which results in a sentence of more than 12 months imprisonment
  • Repeated misconduct or multiple convictions, unless of a very minor nature.

Social Work 

The decision on whether to accept an ex-offender on a social work course will be based on whether they are likely to be able to enter the social work profession on successful completion of the course. If the applicant is unsure whether they will be able to enter the social work profession, they are advised to write to the General Social Care Council for advice.

Applicants will not be accepted as social workers if they have been convicted of any of the following:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Sexual offences against a child

It is unlikely that anyone applying for social work who has been convicted of the following types of offences will be able to work in social care:

  • Offences against the person, including:
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • Common assault
  • Assault with intent
  • Wounding with intent
  • Serious driving offences, in particular drink driving
  • Offences of dishonesty, including:
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Deception

Other Professional Courses

The decision on whether to accept an ex-offender on a professional course will be based on whether they are likely to be able to enter their chosen profession on successful completion of the course. Clarification on this may need to be sought from an employer in that profession.

It is unlikely that anyone convicted of the following types of offence will be able to work in health professions:

  • Violent behaviour
  • Sexual abuse

However, all applications will be considered in the light of all relevant circumstances, including:

  • The nature of the offence
  • The age of the applicant at the time the offence was committed
  • The applicant’s subsequent record
  • The relevance of the offence to the course applied for.

Page last updated: Wednesday 12 March 2014