English undergraduate? You’re in luck. Your faculty will give you these comments anyway without you submitting a subject access request! Ask your department for more information on seeing comments on your work.
What is a subject access request?
A verbal or written request made by someone (the ‘subject’) to see the information held about them (their ‘personal data’). You can make a subject access request to see any comments that have been made on your work. However, we recommend that you email the University for the quickest turn-around.
When should I submit a request?
If you want to see exam-related information, you need to delay your request until you have received the results. The legislation does not oblige the University to respond until after the results have been communicated to the candidates. Whilst you can submit a SAR for as long as the University holds your data, any academic appeals must be made within three months from the time your results are released (please see below for more information on appeals).
What do I need to do?
Fill in the template email below, and send it with an attached scan of your passport to: email@example.com
You won't be charged a fee unless you request multiple copies of your data, or make an 'unfounded' or 'excessive' request. More information is available here.
How long does it take?
The data should be provided within a month of the request being made (likely starting from the time that identification is provided). However, if you submit multiple requests or the requests are complex this can be extended by a further two months, although you must be informed of this by the end of the first month. The clock will stop if the University asks you to clarify the scope of your request, and will not restart until you respond. So you need to keep an eye on your email.
How do I submit a subject access request?
You should send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that you can request all the information you would like, including e.g. comments on exam scripts from different modules, in a single access request.You can use the template below
Subject: Subject Access Request
Dear Oxford University,
Please supply the data about me that I am entitled to under data protection law relating to my [level of exam/s e.g. FHS] exam in [exam title/s] undertaken on [date of examination] as part of my course, [course title/s e.g. BA PPE]. I would like the following information:
- Any comments made on my exam scripts
- Any comments about my exam script
- Any marks reconciliation sheets
- [any other information you would like – try to be specific]
[You can also list any information you don’t need (for example ,if you’ve already been provided with it)].
My full name is [full name] and my candidate number is [candidate number (this can be found on the Examination and Assessment Info page in Student Self Service, it is not your SSO.)]. Please find attached a scanned copy of my passport.
If you need any more data from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible. It may be helpful for you to know that data protection law requires you to respond to a request for data within one calendar month.
If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer, or relevant staff member. If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you. Its website is ico.org.uk or it can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.
Do I need ID?
The University must be sure of your identity, and including a scanned copy of your passport in your email is an effective way ensuring that they know it’s you.
How will I receive the information back?
The University will send you a password protected PDF, with instructions on how to obtain the password (by phone or text). They will send this to the same email address you used to submit the request. If this was your University email account, and that account expires before you are due to receive the response, you will need to provide the University with an alternative email (or use a non-University account from the outset). If you do not want your response sent to you by email (for example, hard copy sent to your home), you should let the University know how, and where, to send the information.
Can I submit an academic appeal from a subject access request?
Yes, if your subject access request reveals that procedures were not followed properly, errors were made or the process was biased in some way. There is no right of appeal over matters of academic judgement. Academic appeals must be made within three months of the release of your results. For more information please see the University's page or speak to Oxford SU Student Advice.