Having a criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from studying at the University.

We ask all applicants to disclose any unspent criminal convictions to assess whether or not admission can be granted, or only granted with conditions to manage risk – such as potential harm to others.

A criminal conviction is not considered as part of the academic assessment of applications. We don't routinely share this information with assessors, with the exception of some professional-practice courses (such as medicine, social work, nursing and teaching courses), where declarations of criminal convictions form part of a 'Fitness to Practise' assessment. Professional-practice courses require both spent and unspent criminal convictions to be declared.

When you accept your offer, we'll email you asking to inform us of your conviction status, within three days, via the You@York portal. You'll be required to inform us of your status again when you enrol.

The list below outlines relevant criminal convictions, as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (gov.uk).

  • Offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003.
  • Offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • Offences involving firearms or arson.
  • Any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm, or offences that resulted in actual bodily harm.
  • The unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances, where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking.

If you declare a criminal conviction, you'll receive an email asking for further information, formal court documentation, and a formal letter of reference. If you're unable to provide a formal letter of reference, you can provide details of a person we can contact for information about your offence.

The information you submit relating to your conviction will be accessed by the following University staff:

  • The Head of Admissions and Applicant Experience
  • The Deputy Head of Admission (Policy and Compliance)
  • The Deputy Head of Admissions (Undergraduate or Postgraduate, depending on level of entry)
  • The Student Conduct and Respect team, and/or Head of Student Support
  • The Academic Registrar

The Conduct and Respect team will then complete a Risk Assessment, and make a recommendation to the Academic Registrar, who will make the final decision.

They may contact your named referee to seek information relating to your offence. They may also contact you directly (by phone or email) to discuss your conviction further, or to clarify any missing information.