Getting permission

Location permissions

Make sure you get permission in advance from the technician, academic or facility you’re visiting and that you have prebooked the space before your shoot.

Agreement from people in photos

Before you can use pictures of people who can be recognised, you must by law have their written permission. As general guidance, we suggest you seek permission when one, two or three people are featured in the image. In the University we ask them to complete and sign our image consent form. Ask your faculty or central marketing team for the current form.

It’s not always necessary to get written permission when a photoshoot is of a large crowd or event, but you do need to make people aware that you are taking photographs, preferably in advance.

When asking permission, make sure you give people time to understand and reflect on what you are asking them to do, and make it easy for them to opt out.

The University’s student registration process now states that while students study with us, their image may be used for marketing or publicity purposes. They can opt out of this if they wish. This is a broad cover-all and should not be taken as explicit permission for featured students. (There is also a clause in the registration process covering Lecture Capture).

For more information on data protection read the Use of Images policy.

Consent form storage

Because they contain personal data, completed consent forms must be stored securely. Completed paper consent forms you collect now should be scanned to a password-protected folder and the paper originals shredded. If you have existing completed paper consent forms, shred those over five years old and file in a locked cabinet any forms less than five years old. For more information contact Secretariat.

Use ‘marketing’ and ‘publicity’

Use the words ‘marketing’ and ‘publicity’ when telling people (eg in notices or an event brochure) that a photographer may be present and asking their permission. ‘Marketing’ communicates that we will use the images to help sell courses (via prospectuses, the website, etc) and ‘publicity’ that we may use the images to promote the University.

Examples of appropriate wording are:

Graduation ceremony posters and online registration form

There may be a photographer or film-maker present during and after the ceremony and these images may be used in publicity and marketing purposes to promote the University. Please contact a member of staff if you wish to be exempted from this activity.

Open day brochure and online registration form

The open day is a public event and an official photographer will be taking photographs for use by the University for marketing and publicity uses in our publications and on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact a member of staff if you wish to be exempted from this activity.



Common misunderstandings

  • The University is a public place so we shouldn’t need permissions.
    Incorrect – the University is deemed a private campus (hence the barriers), therefore, we need permissions.
  • Graduations are a public event so permissions aren’t needed.
    Incorrect – This is effectively a ‘family affair’ and most visitors would expect it to be private (despite social media posts). We need to be explicit that images may be used for publicity and marketing purposes and give people time to consider and be able to opt out.