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Guidelines for Members of the Public

Please note that requests for data relating to individuals falls under the data protection act. If you wish to view your personal data which is held by the University, please see our pages on subject access requests.

Use the following links to navigate quickly to the information you are looking for:

How to Make a Freedom of Information Request

You can make a request by email to or by mail to:

Legal and Compliance Services
University House
University of Warwick

Sending your FOI request elsewhere in the University may cause unnecessary delays in processing the request.

Your request should contain your preferred contact address, and should confirm whether you would like the answer to your request electronically or by post.

Your request should be clear and specific. If we are unsure as to what you are asking for, we will attempt to reestablish contact to gain clarification. We will not proceed with your request until we are sure of your requirements, and we will not start counting the 20 working day time limit until we have received clarification.

If the information requested is particularly difficult to extract, we have the right under law to charge for its release or to refuse it altogether. In these circumstances you will be given the opportunity to modify your request to avoid a charge or a refusal. We will ordinarily supply you with some suggestions as to how your query can be adjusted to fit in with the statutory 18 hour limit. If you decide to proceed with the original request and we are willing to charge for the information, you will be issued with a fees notice and the information will not be extracted until we have received payment.

How long will it take to get a response?

The University aims to respond to freedom of information requests in 20 working days. We consider statutory holidays and weekends not to be a part of this 20 day period. This most frequently affects requests made during mid to late December as the University also observes a number of customary holiday dates over the Christmas period, during this time we will endeavour to get the response to you within a normal timeframe, but there may be a delay due to members of staff being on annual leave over this time. Where possible, we will aim to inform you if the deadline for your request will be modified by any closure of the University.

Please allow sufficient time for your request to arrive at the University and be processed, taking into account postal delays if you sent the request by mail. We will ordinarily count the beginning of the 20 working day time period from the working day which we receive your correspondence, as per the ICO guidelines.

If you have not heard from us and it is beyond the 20 working day limit, please contact the Legal and Compliance Services team at in the first instance, explaining exactly what you requested, when you sent the request, and to whom your request was originally sent.

What to expect

You can expect your request to be dealt with as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days. Your request will either be completed in full, completed in part (where completion in full is not possible), or will result in no information being provided. If the request is not fully completed, you will be informed as to the reason why.

When a request concerns statistical data relating to students, it is our policy to not give precise numbers for groups with less than five individuals, as we believe that doing so would increase the risk of disclosing the personal information of individuals, which is exempt under section 40 of the freedom of information act. Similarly, we are unlikely to give out contact details for staff or students where they are not already publicly available.

We are unable to disclose information which belongs to the Students' Union, as they are a seperate entity and not listed under Schedule 1 of the act.

When you are writing to us for information, you may first wish to check our publication scheme to find out if the information you want to request is already available to the public.

If the University has sought clarification from you or asked for you to refine your request and we have not heard from you within 20 working days we will close your request.

What do exemptions mean?

If we have refused your request in full or in part because of an exemption, we will always state what this expemption is and refer you to the section of the freedom of information act where the exemption is referenced. You can find out more about each exemption from the Information Commisioner's Office website. If you are unhappy with the way that an exemption has been applied, you may contact us for further explanation.

Requesting an internal review

If you are unhappy with the way in which your request was handled, or have reason to believe that you have not received all of the information that you are entitled to under the act, it is suggested that you contact the Legal and Compliance Services team at in the first instance.

Much like the Information Comissioner's Office the University asks that internal reviews are made in writing, either email or via post, within one calendar month from the date of receipt of the original response to the Freedom of Information request.

You can ask for an Internal Review of your request and the Review will look at all aspects of your complaint and report back normally within 20 working days, however this will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

You should make your request in writing to:

Legal and Compliance Services
University House
University of Warwick


If you still have further concerns at the end of the Internal Review you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.


We welcome any feedback you may have on your experience of requesting information from us, or on the information available to you from our website. If you would like to give us any feedback, please send it to infocompliance at warwick dot ac dot uk.